The first real week of running after taking time off sucks. Those runs are so hard...but they're amazing, too. Every step of the run is a fight and you remember so clearly how easy it used to be.
You think: I have run half marathons. I can eat a 4-miler for breakfast. Why is three miles killing me right now? It totally sucks.
But you're also so grateful that you're running again...you hardly even mind the suck. It's kind of awesome how strong and weak you can feel at the same time.
This, folks, is why I love running.
This week I've gotten in two runs, and I plan to have a third this weekend. It's all part of recovering at a smart pace. Monday I did just under three miles with Kristin. We kept a slow, steady pace, and I felt really good - not too winded, strong legs.
|Post-run sweaty picture.
I foam-rolled afterward and took Tuesday off. Then I ran again Wednesday. There must have been a wildfire nearby, because I ran through some pretty thick, pungent smoke. I parked a little farther away so I could add some distance to my route if I wanted to, and I planned to do between three and four miles based on comfort.
|Pre-run...ready to get going!
The muggy, windless evening and the smoke really took a toll on me. The run was rough. I kept telling myself, "You can slow down as much as you want, but you cannot stop." My first two miles were pretty fast, and my last split was almost a full minute slower; but that's okay, because I didn't stop.
|Post-run, super "glowy" and relieved to be finished.
My legs felt fine, but my chest was truly burning by the end. Neither of these runs were as effortless as they "should" have been for just three miles. But that's okay. There was a time I couldn't jump back in and complete that distance; I'd have to start back at a single mile, or build in walk breaks. I'm proud of the progress I've made, and I know I'll be running longer distances soon.
We have seven school days left. I can't believe we've made it to this point! This year has flown by, but it's slowing to a crawl with the end so near. (Funny how that happens!) Next week is going to be absolutely chaotic, but I know it'll be worth it in the end. It always is.
Ever had a fabulous, suck-tastic run?
What do you love about the physical effort of running?