Although it’s possible to run a successful 5k race with very little training, do not expect an easy recovery after using muscles that have laid dormant for months. Yes, I’m speaking from experience. Although I’m still PUMPED about my 19:33 last weekend and my dominance over the boys, I’m still feeling the pain. I think the mistake I made was not allowing myself proper recovery. After the race, I was on my feet all day. The next day, I ran 12 miles at an average 7:40ish pace. I was still on a high from the race and pushed the pace more than I should have. My legs were achy for the first few miles, but they eventually warmed up and I flew through the second half. Consequently, I was sore up until about Wednesday of that week---even my abs hurt! I was hoping by Thursday to feel good enough to get in 5 miles at a 6:50ish pace. I would love to run the CLE ½ marathon at this pace in two weeks, butttttttt I'm not sure it's looking particularly possible. It ended up being near 90 on Thursday, and I just could NOT push the pace. I ended up waaaay over-paced, a 7:20ish mile, but it was as much as my tender legs would allow in the heat. Plus, I didn't cut back at all on my cross-training last week and hadn't had a day off since last Friday...so I was literally running on "E." At this point, all I can say is WOOOOOOOOOOPS!
Friday, I took the day off but was more tired than usual. I skipped Happy Hour, struggled to keep my eyes open until bed time, and was just feeling crabby. Saturday, I had 13 miles on the agenda. It was a gorgeous day in the 60s, and I was hoping to relax and enjoy it. Unfortunately, my legs were stiff the entire time and I just could not click into autopilot. I had to focus on every mile to prevent my pace from dropping. I had a heavy breakfast in the morning, and needless to say, milk was a bad choice! Although I ran about three hours after my breakfast, I could still feel it churning away in my stomach and I had some issues with cramping mid-way through my run. I felt dehydrated the entire time, tight, and excited to get it over with it---not MP style at all! I ended up averaging right on an 8:00min/mi, which is slower than most of my recent long runs. I usually finish the last 1.5 miles strong—around a 6:40min/mi—but my body only gave me the last .5 miles strong. I was definitely disappointed with my run—BUMMER!
Today, my gym is having a 5k. I contemplated putting myself through a bit more pain and running it to support their cause. Considering I have the ½ marathon in two weeks and had a lame long run yesterday, I decided this morning to skip it. My legs need time for decent recovery if I want to give myself any chance of being competitive at CLE, primarily because I’m really not sure what I’m capable of at this point. Back in September, I ran a 1:30:08 at the River Run ½ Marathon. My mileage was much higher, I was in full swing marathon training mode, and I had a ton of confidence going in. Now, that I’m in my “La-La Run as You Please” training mode—I’m not sure! I feel like I can break 1:30, but I’m unsure if this confidence is coming from what I want to do or what I can REALLY do????