The muscles are sore, but the head is clear

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Today’s run almost didn’t happen. When I got home from work, I had no intention of running even though it was part of my plan for the week. The legs were still sore from Monday’s 3.2 mile run, and I just didn’t have it in me. Or so I thought. As I took off my sport coat, I saw my running shorts lying where I leave them during the week (on the edge of the hamper), and then my eyes looked over to my running shoes. They were calling me. Without much thought, as I took of my trousers, I put my running shorts on. Then my running socks, t-shirt, and shoes. The next thing I know, I’m pulling up my running playlist on my iPhone, connected my bluetooth headset, and walked out the door.

Once outside, I figured I’d at least run two miles. I haven’t run less than three in months, but again, my legs were sore. As I started, I used a 4-4 breathing pattern: four steps for inhaling and then four to exhale. This kept my pace decent and I felt really good at the end of the first two miles. I decided to go ahead and continue on to complete three miles. After 1/4 mile into the third mile, I found myself oxygen starved, so I switched over to a 3-3 breathing pattern, and it was like a boost of energy. My body was getting more oxygen, and as a result, I was able to keep my pace up and I was able to finish the three miles without a hitch. Well, from a cardio standpoint, at least. My muscles are pretty pissed at me, and even my Garmin Fenix 3 watch is telling me that I have a 24 recovery time after this run (for the record, it told me to wait 51 hours before running again on Monday that I ignored by running 48 hours later. lol).

Now, my muscles are sore. Not bad pain, mind you, but sore. I brought my pace back down to a decent 9:25/mile average for the three miles which is close to the 9 minute/mile goal I typically have for myself. Sub-9’s are better, and sub-8’s are a long-term goal for me, but considering I haven’t run in two weeks and had only one slow run before this one, I’m very pleased. I feel like I accomplished something.

I look forward to being able to do push ups again before my runs some day. I had to skip them again because the pain in my left elbow persists.

The final thing I want to say about this run is that I now realize how much running helps clear my mind. I’ve been sort of a mess these past two weeks and couldn’t quite put my finger on why. Now I know. I need to run. I actually enjoy it, and it helps me clear my mind. For that reason alone, I will continue to run for as long as I can.

First Run in Two Weeks

Due to a non-run related injury I sustained while standing up from the dinner table in a restaurant two weeks ago, I have been taking a break from running to allow my knee to heal. I hurt something in the back of my knee which was causing me a lot of pain and the more I ran, the more it hurt. Taking the past two weeks off was hard psychologically, but I was finally able to get back out on the pavement last night, and it was great! I decided to run it easy: four steps breathe in, four steps breathe out. It worked. It was a sloooooow pace, but it was comfortable, and I was able to do 3.2 miles with relative ease. Sure, the last mile was tougher than the first two, but not so tough that I considered stopping. To the contrary, as I finished, I almost contemplated going a bit further, but decided against it as the last thing I need is to re-injure myself on my first run back.

Pace: horrible. Feeling: great. It’s good to be back at it again.

The only down spot for me is that I am still unable to do push ups. I have a hurt tendon in my left elbow that is not getting any better. In fact, I may be seeing a doctor about it soon. The pain comes back from doing mundane things like bending my arm or lifting a pen. Something is definitely not right in there. I need to get that fixed ASAP because I have an APFT coming in April, and April will be here before we know it!

All in all, I feel good. My weight has responded very quickly by dropping a solid 3 lbs from the morning (partly water, partly stool, and partly just eating right). I’m very close to my happy zone in terms of weight, which also makes me happy. I look forward to Wednesday’s run. I won’t be doing anything toward pace or speed; I’m actually going to work on increasing distances for a while before I start working on speed. Now that the weather is getting cooler, I can spend a bit more time outside running without fear of negatively impacting my health.

Taking a break from running

I’ve had to take a two-week break from running due to a recurring pain in the back of my right knee. Good news: that break ends tomorrow. After work, I will hit the pavement and run a gain.

The bad news is that the pain in my right elbow is still pretty bad, so I’m going to have to forego push ups for a while. That hurts me psychologically, but it’s the right thing to do: let it heal. So, starting soon, I’ll be posting my post-run reports again.

I can’t wait.