For two solid months I have been running (or not) and not feeling like myself. As you know, I’ve been battling both IT band syndrome and peroneal tendonitis in my right leg/foot. These mild injuries have made me feel out of whack on my runs, but they haven’t been the only thing making me feel ‘off’.
In the week leading up to Providence, I remember that out of nowhere, 9:00 min/mile pace stopped feeling easy. I would look down at my Garmin and expect to see a pace around or below 8:30, yet 9:– would be staring back at me. It was weird. And disconcerting.
Even more disconcerting is the fact that that feeling of off-ness has persisted, even up through my long run this past Sunday. I managed to get through all 11 prescribed miles, and Lina and I even managed to surpass our overall pace goal for the run (we were aiming for 9:15 pace and averaged 9:07), but literally every step was draining. I remember doing long runs at 8:40 pace this past winter and feeling totally comfortable, yet there I was, digging deep just to pull off a 9:04 mile.
*Read Lina’s post about aforementioned 11 miler here.*
I wouldn’t have been frustrated by that (it was hot and humid, and we all have occasional bad runs) had I not been consistently experiencing the same thing for the past two months. This phenomenon with my pace has discouraged me almost as much as my leg/foot pains have, and recently it has discouraged me more so because with my leg/foot I’ve actually started to see great improvement. With my pace, this has not been the case.
Today I ran 6 miles at an easy pace and as it turned out, that easy pace was 8:26 min/mile. The route I ran had some mild-but-long rolling hills, so 3 of the miles were roughly 8:35 pace and the other 3 were roughly 8:17 pace. I didn’t run each mile with negative splits, but I ran the second half faster than the first, so negative splits overall.
I am elated.
The numbers themselves from this run are nothing to write home about, but I felt like my old self for the first time in months today. My gait felt right, I had a spring in my step, nothing hurt, and my lungs felt full. This run gave me hope in my recovery and hope for the remainder of this training cycle. It is for those reasons that I had to share today’s run.
On a different note, I realized today that we have reached that point in the summer when my headphones will only stay in my ears for 1-2 miles. I sweat profusely when I run (as evidenced, sort of, below), and I have yet to meet a pair of headphones that will stay put through this time of year. Last year, I bought some Yur Buds, which are supposedly slip-proof. While they may just be the best damn headphones out there in terms of slippage, I will never know. My tiny ears (also shown in the photo) are not amenable to ‘one size fits all’ headphones. No sir. My ears ache just remembering those things. I think if Yur Buds comes out with headphones for kids I might be in business. Until then, my baby ears and I just have to deal with music-less summer runs.
That’s more hardcore anyways, right?