I started feeling pain in my achilles tendon around mile 8, but nothing so bad that I had to stop. It got progressively worse during the run, but I was determined to finish my 15 miles. As soon as my brain registered that I had reached my goal, it sent a message to my foot saying, "Mission accomplished. She needs to stop now," and my tendon promptly tightened and I wasn't able to run anymore. I had to walk the mile back to my car.
It was during my return that my arches also starting hurting, particularly in my left foot. I realized that my feet are not yet strong enough to run long distances in my minimalist shoes. I pushed them too hard too soon, and they weren't too happy about it. I should have iced them as soon as I got to my car, but for some reason, that important detail slipped my mind.
So is this really a bad run? I set a personal best by running 15.3 miles, but I'm still paying for it more than two days later. Did I do well or did I do poorly? Was my awesome run really awesome, or not?
|View of Lake N. from one of the trails|
After spending a good part of yesterday trying to answer this question, I realized the answer is YES. My run was awesome because I pushed myself farther than I ever have before, AND because this run taught me a lot. My goal of running to become a better runner means I should really be asking the question: What did I learn from this run? Because thats what this is all about: pushing my limits, but in a smart way. This run provided me with great reality (aha!) moments and helpful reality checks:
Reality: I CAN run 15 miles! I felt great the whole time. I was mentally engaged and loving every minute.
Reality check: I should have given myself more time to adjust to my minimalist shoes. I can do 10 miles, no problem, but I should have gone up to 12 miles rather than jumping immediately to 15 miles.
|Perhaps I'm being punished by the running gods for my poor fashion taste? |
Or for the fact that I tie my shoelaces like a 3-year old?
Reality: I LOVE running in the morning. Provided I can get my butt out the door, once I'm breathing that crisp, cold air, I am in total heaven.
Reality check: I am slower than I thought I would be at 10+ miles. No big deal. Just means I have to adjust my goal for the GW Classic 10 miler this weekend, from sub-9:00 to sub-9:15.
Reality: I LOVE talking when running. About everything and nothing. I am a strong introvert, and have mastered the skill of standing awkwardly in the midst of any conversation. I am horrible at small talk. But get me running, and I will gab your ear off. If no one is around, I will talk to myself.
Reality check: Transitioning from road to trail was much more challenging than I thought. I ran the first 10 miles on paved surface and the last 5 miles on trail. As soon as I stepped on to the trail after having been running on hard surface for almost 2 hours, my feet practically freaked out. Every root felt super sharp (!?!), every rock felt like it was out to get me. I think this drastic change is part of the reason why my feet hurt so much the next day.
Reality: I LOVE running and I AM a runner.
|The "river" I need to "forge" on my run. A few yards down I could just jump across, |
but running across this log is so much more fun. :)
Obviously, I took yesterday off, and I will take today off from running too, focusing on core and doing yoga (or at least trying to; I am horrible at yoga). Hopefully I can run again on Tuesday, but I'm going to play it by ear. I really want to do well this Sunday, so if that means resting for most of the week, I will. But at least you'll know why I'm cranky. ;)