Yesterday was my first run in over a week. It took me 6 days to get over the worst sinus infection ever (or the worst I’ve ever experienced) and have energy just to leave the house, so I knew that my run wouldn’t be stellar. But for some reason I went into it with high expectations. Maybe it’s because my last run–6 miles Wednesday of last week–was a really good tempo run. But lo and behold it turned out to be one of those runs.
You know, the type of run you have every now and then where you just feel dead. Your legs feel like lead and you feel like you are really struggling just to move. These runs happen to every runner, experienced or newbie. You just don’t feel fresh. You want to give up. Beginning runners experience these runs much more often, which helps to explain why so many people have tried to take up running but give up. My run yesterday certainly brought be back to when I was just starting out with running over 7 years ago. It took me at least a year of consistent 3+ mile runs to break through that obstacle and for running to feel natural and easy.
Admittedly, I probably came back too soon after my illness and should not have expected much, but I have no patience and want to be exactly where I was pre-plague. I should be happy with the distance that I covered yesterday, but somehow I’m just not.
I set out to complete the 10 mile run I had planned on last Saturday (I am now almost a full week behind because of my illness). Right away I felt lethargic and tired. I almost gave up at mile 3 but told myself that it’d be better to slowly slog through the run to get the mileage (as long as I wasn’t hurting myself). Overall I was able to get 9.5 miles done in an unimpressive 1 hour and 37 minutes (just over a 10 min mile pace).
I usually do my weekly “long slow runs” at around a 9:20-9:30 pace so this was a good 40 seconds to minute slower per mile. And even that felt hard yesterday! By the end of the run (around miles 7-9.5) I finally started to loosen up and bit and got down to about a 9:30 pace, which felt much more natural.
So I just have to chalk up that run to one of those bad runs. I’m going to try to focus on the positive instead of the negative:
1. I tried out a new energy gel flavor/brand, Clif Chocolate Cherry Shot Turbo, that my friend Skylar gave me. Skylar is a bad ass who just completed an ironman in Mexico. You can check out his race recap here. Here he is displaying his well deserved hardware
I liked the chocolate cherry flavor and the chocolate tasted like dark chocolate (my fave).
It seemed a bit thicker than the GUs I normally take and I had to rinse my mouth out a few times, but that could just be because the gel was on the colder side. I compared the nutrition facts with my GUs and there are a few differences: the Clif Shot has more sugar (12 grams compared to 5 grams in the GU), which could be good or bad. Good because more sugar=better glycogen stores in your muscles. Bad because a lot of sugar tends to upset my stomach in distance events, which is why I can’t drink Gatorade while also taking GUs. I didn’t seem to have a problem yesterday so that’s good. Both gels also differ in regards to sodium (Clif has much less sodium than GUs, which have 125 mg). This could also be good or bad. I think I can incorporate both into my energy management plan and they will work well together 🙂
2. The weather was amazing here yesterday! 60 degrees and sunny. It’s not even the middle of January and I wore a tank top and arm warmers 🙂
3. Because it was so warm I got to wear my favorite compression capri tights, my 2XU capris. I’ve had these since September and love them (I know, I’ve talked about them ad nauseum). You can get the same ones here.
First off, I love the 2XU brand. It’s my go-to for triathlon wetsuits and gear and it offers some really amazing compression gear for runners. Unlike other compression tights, such as the CW-X Stability tights, you can actually run in and recover with these babies. You have to be careful to run in certain compression tights because they can change your gait and actually lead to injury (thus negating their potential benefits). After researching different tights and brands, I came across the 2XU tights which I can wear both while running to facilitate blood flow and prevent soreness the next day (perfect if I’m going for a run after an extended period off, like I did yesterday) as well as after running to speed recovery. And I love to wear them with my CEP Progressive Running socks.
4. The weather was also perfect for my favorite running combo: a tank with arm warmers. This combination is perfect for me because it allows me to be warm and cool at the same time (weird, huh?). Yesterday I got to try out my new Brooks arm warmers that I got while at the RnR LV Expo, which are definitely a step up from my usual cheap ($12) Asics ones.
4. Finally I got to have a nice post-run snack/drink with my Horizon Organic Vanilla milk. I’ve been buying these lately because they have basically the same nutritional value as the yogurts I eat everyday (well, a bit less protein) but are much more portable.
So here’s to hoping that I just had one bad run and my runs next week will be much better!! I’m leaving for St. John (U.S. Virgin Island) very early tomorrow morning so I will be sure to post some updates 🙂 I’m also going to try to get in at least 2 runs while I am there.
Gotta run to pack!