Today’s long run was really, really difficult for me.
In all honesty, I blame myself for many of the factors that led to today’s confidence shaker. My initial plan/hope was to run 12 miles. As you know, I’m training for the National 1/2 Marathon, which is on March 26.
When I woke up this morning — feeling groggy, tired and, honestly, hungover — I knew 12 miles wasn’t going to happen.
In my mind, I settled on 10 miles. I’m not concerned about my mileage for this race, I just want to get comfortable with a solid pace that will bring across the finish line in less than 2 hours. Ten miles would definitely be sufficient.
Still, I had no idea just how tough 10 miles could feel. In the past few weeks I’ve run 11 and 12 miles at a time with no problems at all. Imagine my surprise when I was completely winded today at mile two.
Here are the reasons I think today’s run was so difficult:
1. I ran yesterday morning — and again last night. Overkill? Probably. But it was so gorgeous out last night that I just couldn’t resist getting outside and enjoying it. All week long I’ve been pushing my body to the limits. I haven’t taken enough rest and recovery time, and when I started running today, my legs felt incredibly heavy. Tomorrow will be a rest day.
2. I didn’t eat enough for dinner last night. Rookie mistake that I’m not proud of. I ran, then while getting ready to go out for the night, I was snacking on cheese and crackers and baby carrots. I never had anything more substantial. I’m a firm believer in strong carbo-loading, and that didn’t happen last night. My body felt weak and not sufficiently fueled while I ran this morning.
3. I went out last night. I stayed out late and had one too many drinks. I’m honestly not upset about this factor. I have friends in town and had an absolute blast with them last night.
It was nice to catch up, and I felt great after two glasses of wine. So why did I order a third? Bad decisions, Ali. That last one hurt a bit.
As a result of drinking, I didn’t sleep well last night. Sure, I passed out when I got back to the apartment, but my body still woke up at 7 am. I tossed around for a while, eventually getting up at 9:30 am. I didn’t feel rested though, just awake.
4. I was dehydrated. Duh, right? I hardly drank any water while I was out last night. Usually I’m much better about that and I’ll alternate between alcoholic beverages and water. Not last night. Oops. I got a few major cramps mid-run and I blame it on the dehydration.
So that’s how I sort of planned my own downfall. I understand that even the strongest, best-trained athletes have off days. I know that one bad run doesn’t mean I’m doomed. I’m also glad I can pinpoint exactly what went wrong and I can learn from it.
Until the race, I will try to ease up on the Friday evening activities — or I’ll at least be sure to eat dinner, drink more water and pass on that last round.
Of course, there were a few other factors contributing to the rough run. Namely, the weather. It was crazy outside today!
I could hear the wind blowing from the minute I woke up. The 40-degree temperatures were great, and the sun was shining. But the majorly strong wind gusts were enough to knock you ever.
Running into the wind was exhausting — like pushing a truck. And running with the wind behind me was terrifying — like I was going to get knocked over.
Still, Central Park is always stunning, and I’ve got proof for you:
Oh, and at one point, while I was running around the Reservoir, it started to snow! Crazy, right?
So while most things were not in my favor today — and I had to stop several times along my route to stretch and give myself a mental pep talk — I am proud of myself for sticking with the miles I had planned and adjusted to.
Needless to say that once I got back and showered, ABS and I went out for a massive brunch. I ordered an egg, ham and cheese crepe. Sadly it wasn’t that good, but hours later I’m still full from it.
Time to attempt a nap now!
TELL ME: How do you cope with running off days?