Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Running commute

That has got to be one of the hardest runs I've ever done. I struggled terribly for the first kilometre. Right from the beginning I didn't feel as though I had any energy. I didn't understand it, as I'd gotten myself ready for the run quite happily. I knew it was hot, I had my water, I was wearing sunscreen and aeroguard, I had my new shoes on, I'd remembered my Garmin. The only thing that wasn't working was my body. Lifting my feet was such an effort.

Now, I'd felt blergh on Monday, so I'd skipped going to the gym in the evening. (I'm not sure how to spell blergh but blah just doesn't do it.) This morning I was supposed to be at the first session of the Group Outdoor Fitness Challenge, but I was still feeling a little off colour. I packed my gear for running, although I did wonder if I'd be up for it this afternoon. By the end of the day I was looking forward to running home.

The only thing I was worried about was my knee. It was tired today, even though I didn't run on Sunday or exercise on Monday. I finally bit the bullet and made an appointment with a sports doctor to get it checked out. I don't really know how to describe how it feels because it doesn't usually hurt as such. I guess I'll have to find some words before the middle of December, which is the earliest appointment I could get.

I'm pretty sensible, so I did myself a deal that if my knee was hurting, I'd bail and catch the bus the rest of the way home. Once I'd decided I was going to run I found myself really looking forward to it. I'd been disappointed that I hadn't felt up to this morning's session and I would have been more disappointed if I'd cut out my planned run.

As I said earlier, I was really happy as I headed off on my run. Within a few minutes I was running along the path, wondering how I was ever going to get to the other end. My knee wasn't hurting at all. I just didn't feel as though I could pick up my feet. I found myself walking a few times, but I managed to get myself running again. I told myself I'd make it to the road, which was about 1 km, and then walk the rest of the way. I told myself that it didn't matter how long it took me as long I was covering the distance. I told myself to run more slowly. I was giving myself all sorts of advice.

As I struggled along, I tried to work out what was wrong. It was hot, but I like the summer and I had plenty of water. I wondered if it was nutrition. I've been eating badly lately. It's that time of month, but that doesn't normally knock me around much. Before I got to the road I checked in with how I was feeling again and discovered that I was starting to run more smoothly. I figured I'd see how I went and I managed to run the whole way home. Not only that, I started to enjoy myself.

I headed out to the road instead of going around behind the War Memorial today, so the run was only 4.7 km. It took me 40 minutes. My splits ended up being 8:19, 7:53; 8:08; 8:07 and 5:54. My knee is more tired than it was before I started but it's not hurting.

I read somewhere that there is no such thing as a bad run and I've decided that I agree with that idea. Given the way I was feeling at the start, I could say today's run was awful, but part of what I enjoyed about today's run was that I didn't give up. I now know that I can run even when I don't think I have the energy to lift my feet. That's an important lesson for someone who's going to run a half marathon next year.


kathrynoh said...

Well done for keeping going, it's hard sometimes.

jojo said...

agree with kathryn..when you make those tough runs..it is very satisfying

Jaykay said...


A run is a run I say no matter how easy or hard.

You were out there, which is better than not being out there!

Krissi Brewster said...

Hey Kathy, Please don't despair....
EVERYONE has days like this or even weeks. Not sure why, could be hormones, bio-rythyms, diet, weather or hydration but it just happens. Even when you feel good, sometimes the message just doesn't get to your legs.
I had an day like this last week at the Cross Country Club meet. I was running out to the 2.5km mark to marshal 15 minutes before the race start and I thought the front runners were going to catch me, I felt SO heavy and slow.
you're right, blah just doesn't describe it ;)

Em said...

True, unless you have been injured there is no such thing as a bad run, even a so called crap one is still contributing to your fitness.

Don't forget how much harder it is when it is hot too.

Andrew(ajh) said...

We all have runs like that, getting through them is a great reward though isn't it. Sounds to me like it could have been just a combination of factors contributing to the bleugh feeling.