This morning I complete a long run of 7 miles and maybe teared up a bit at the end. I set out for a 7 mile run this morning, but I honestly thought it wouldn’t happen; I figured I’d be sidelined with knee/IT band pain by mile 5. Apparently I’m having a very emotional year and like to cry over everything, but nothing beats the joy of a good run after enduring an injury for months.
I am now cautiously optimistic about my running (I feel it’s deja vu saying this). I feel like I had a solid base week of running, combined with the strength training and yoga that I’ve committed to for July:
Total of 18 miles ran, 2 strength training days and 1 yoga class.
With the advice of a coach, I was shooting for 5miles, 6miles and 7miles this week, which you can see I accomplished! Monday’s 5 mile run went flawlessly. It was hot, but I got out early (6:30am ish) and just sweat through it. Honestly, as long as I don’t experience muscle/joint pain these days, I will endure the heat with little complaining. After Monday’s run my knee was feeling a little sore, so to be safe I took a few days off from running.
Friday I got up early for a 6am run with Ashley. I was verging off of my plan and shooting for 7miles instead of 6miles because I wanted to get the “longer” run out of the way. Our route took us up 2nd Avenue and then across the Queens Borough Bridge and then back down 1st Avenue.
This is my 2nd time running over the Queens Borough Bridge and I feel confident in saying that this bridge is no joke — it’s basically just running up a hill, and then back down. Twice (out and back). At 6am it was already hot out, I’d say about 78 degrees and sunny, but with a hat on and water in tow, I was actually feeling fine. By the time we hit the bridge my legs were just about warmed up and I was ready to take on the incline. I hate running hills, but there’s something about the climb of the Queens Borough Bridge that doesn’t bother me so much. Sure, I’m breathless while trudging up it, but something about 1) being able to see the top and 2) the serene views make running this monstrous bridge almost quite peaceful. Maybe after the 10th time running it I’ll be singing a different tune, but for now me and the Queens Borough Bridge are buddies. Heading back down 1st Avenue I was getting a bit tired, but the end was in sight for me so I just set my mind on getting home. My knee/IT band felt completely fine the whole run right up until about 5.85 miles. I tried to slow down, with hopes that the pain would stop and I could still finish my 7 miles, but I had no luck. For the first time…maybe ever…I did the smart thing and stopped. I was 1 mile away from my goal of 7 miles, but I knew that one mile was not worth the outcome of messing up my knee again. I, slightly sadly, walked the rest of the way home and rolled/iced the cranky IT band. I was only slightly sad because I knew I had done the right thing AND the week was not over, I still had one more run left to complete my 7miler. After a little ice and foam rolling love, my leg actually felt fine again.
I was torn between letting my legs rest for a few days, or trying to finish out the 7 miles on my schedule for the week. I emailed my running coach and he said to go for the 7 miles, so I went with it! I’m not good at making decisions anyways. I decided I’d try for 7 miles and if anything started hurting earlier int he run, I’d simply stop. Sunday morning at 6am my body naturally woke up and I laced up to head out. Luckily it was still a bit cloudy from the thunderstorms the night before, but the heat and humidity had not broken at all. I was basically drenched in sweat after the fist 10minutes of my run. I headed to the East River, down towards the Brooklyn Bridge and back. Towards the end of the run my knee was feeling achy and I was fighting back negative thoughts/fears, but I made it unharmed. Oh and to top it off, I finished the 7 miles at a 9:48″ pace, only 8 seconds slower than my half marathon pace! I have to say, this whole strength training thing has really paid off.
This week I’m not sure of my running mileage planned just yet, but I do want to get in 3 days of strength training vs. two. Building my core muscles is what is going to keep me going longer and farther.