Some days when you get up and run, it feels like the legs just GO. They are a machine; they turn over effortlessly, and you want to run forever. And when I look at my Garmin, my pace is always too quick and I have to remind myself to slow down. Pace yourself. It is a marathon, not a sprint (that is the cliche anyway, even if it is only a 6 mile run.) I picture like the the Road runner cartoons, where his legs move in wheel-like circles, like a locomotive, with puffs of dust coming up:
But sometimes, not so good. Feel like legs are made of lead, and how on earth am I going to make it through this? And, the heart rate is always too high, the pace too slow, and I just hope I don't feel like this on marathon day. Feeling like this:
That was this morning. I actually got up and ran before work, with the idea I would run a relatively fast tempo run. I know that I ran 15 miles on Monday at 8:06 average pace; I figured I could run 7 miles at 7:30 pace, no problem. I signed up for a half marathon this weekend, and NYRR proudly displayed my best per mile time in a long race 7:06 per mile. This morning I felt "How on earth did I ever do that?" And, the outside of my right shin and knee has been stiff (not sore like joint pain, just weirdly stiff), and it hurt too.
One mile into the run, I never hit the rhythm. It never felt right, and I never hit the groove. This run was a constant push for me. My normal running route has a bunch of hills, with a 250 foot hill at mile 5.5. Today, cruising up that hill, my heart rate hit 174 (at least that is what I saw when I was running -- I haven't reviewed all the Garmy data yet). That is high -- nearly 95% of max. I know the point of a tempo run is to push yourself, but when I made it to the top of that hill, I was done. Not sure how I made it all the way home, because I had no energy at all.
I ended up running 7.2 miles at 7:31 pace, with a 6:59 mile thrown in there for mile 4-5, running down a gentle slope. I hope this makes me stronger come race day. And I have to admit I feel pretty great right now at work, having my workout out of the way.