Last Saturday, I set out to run 8 miles. I was a little nervous, since to this point I had only run 6.5 miles. It was a beautiful and clear New Year’s Eve, so we headed to the riverfront to get in a good workout to end 2011. I stretched, warmed up, and started out slow. Not even a quarter mile in, my legs felt a hundred pounds each and were just purely exhausted. My mind was ready to go, but my legs just quit. I had run two hilly miles the day before and done Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred four days in a row, and I think that not having any days of rest is to blame for the fatigue in my legs. I was frustrated. I was upset with myself for not preparing properly for this long run. I decided to just walk 3 miles to get in some exercise for the day, and try again for the long run the next day. I stretched, I rested, and about 24 hours later, I set out (again) to run 8 miles. There’s a hilly two-mile loop that starts literally right across the street from my house, making water and bathroom breaks easy. 1 mile in, my legs felt just like they had the day before. I chugged out 2 loops, 4 miles before calling it a day. At this point I realized that a complete rest day was needed in order to not injure myself. So on Monday, I did no physical exercise with the exception of my plank a day challenge. (It wasn’t a completely fruitless day however, I did clean out my room and saw “We Bought a Zoo”.)
I think the rest day was exactly what I needed! This afternoon, I laced up my shoes and headed out for a run. I decided to leave my iPhone, with its music and RunKeeper, at home and wear only my watch, which is only a stopwatch. I went for a flatter route, and it felt great. I didn’t go too fast, I just ran. 45 mostly wonderful minutes later, I was back home and feeling great. My legs felt good, my mind was in the right place. This run was what I needed to get out of the funk of last weekend’s runs. We’re now two months away from Rock’n’Roll New Orleans and I’m excited! I know there’s a lot of work still ahead, but it will be worth it. After my run, I did my 5th workout with the Jillian Michael’s DVD. I think I’ll do a few more days at level 1, then move up to the level two workout. I can certainly tell a difference in my upper-body strength already!
I said “mostly wonderful minutes” because of one incident. About 10 minutes into my run, this teenage boy ran me off the road. I know he saw me, because he looked me right in the eye and laughed. It made me so angry! There were no other cars on the road at the time, there was no reason he couldn’t have moved over. My neighborhood has no sidewalks, so I run against traffic, which is the recommended place to run. I’m also certainly not the only walker/runner around. Most drivers are careful to move over as they pass me, and sometimes wave, though they don’t always slow down. To all you drivers of cars out there: slow down and move over! It would be terribly discouraging to a person out on their first run/walk to get run over by a car.
Other than that maddening incident, my run was great. It feels really good to “have my legs back.”