Sunday, October 19, 2014

Lessons from a Short Run

Today, I ran 4.3 miles at an 8:43/mile pace.  What a difference from yesterday.  Yet, I learned a few things.

(1) The little aches and pains I had after the run yesterday had all disappeared this morning.  Little issue in the right knee--gone.  Little issue in the right ankle--gone.  Right thigh tightness--gone.  Everything felt like it should.  Which brings me to...

(2) There really is an important difference between a tired muscle and a sore muscle.  After running 22 miles at a 7:41 pace my muscles should have been tired.  And they were.  And my whole body was after an incredible day.  But it was just tired.  Up a little later than planned.  Dishes to wash.  And I got out a half hour later than I'd expected.  So I cut my 7 miles down to 4.3. Which brings me to...

(3) I can tell whether I am well on my way to recovery from a long run in just a few miles.  To run 8:43 average, I started above nine and went faster in each of the next three miles.  No, not at the same speed as the day before.  But it was all there.

(4) I am beginning to learn better what my body needs to take in after a run.  I used to eat a ton right after a long run.  (When I BQ'd I finished off a double burger at Red Robin not long into the afternoon.)  These days the hunger isn't immediate but comes the next day.  This morning I woke up feeling like I almost had a hangover although I'd had no alcohol yesterday.  Just exhaustion.  And something wasn't quite right.  I had sought salt right after yesterday--eating kale chips that my 15 year old had prepared and adding extra salt.  And my search for salt continued today.  I finally feel like I'm back in balance.

After walking 2 miles or so in Chicago today (work), I have tomorrow off.  Then it is the start of a less intense week--just 37 miles.  Today's miles put me at 1793.3.  That puts me just outside Santa Rosa, NM on US 54.  The Catholic Church in town, not surprisingly is St. Rose of Lima.  Interestingly, the story about her on Catholic Online talks about her wanting not to make use of her beauty.  It is interesting that my running was originally to show that I could do something other than academics and thinking big thoughts.  But in the end, my life is about how to integrate thinking and running.  Neither one nor the other but both together are what makes my life go round.

Life is good.  Life is full of lessons.  They will never end.  And when you are only doing something for the 7th time in life (5 marathons and this being the second workout this length) there is still a lot to learn.  The last time I did a workout like this the pace was 20 seconds slower.  And it was as fast as my last Baltimore marathon meaning I had only run faster than that pace for more than that distance three times before.

There will always be more lessons.   

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