Day 93: A Lackluster Run

I got up early this morning for my customary Saturday morning run. Shortly after 7 I was pounding the pavement with a 10k in mind. The idea was to run 1 slow mile, 3 mid-tempo miles, and then 2.2 easy miles back to the van. This is the same basic run I’ve completed the last several weekends.

Nothing felt right today. My legs felt heavy to start the day and just got heavier as the run went on. I never felt like I found my gait. From a cardio perspective, I felt fine, but my legs just felt shot. It just wasn’t my day.

As a result, I struggled to pick up the pace after my first warm up mile. I had hoped to target an 8:30-8:45 pace during miles 2, 3, and 4, but was only able to muster 9:44 for the second mile and 8:49 for the third. Finally, I pushed hard and delivered a quick fourth mile.

While today’s run wasn’t a rousing success, there are three things I take away today as positives:

  1. I ran a little over 10k without any joint pain. I felt some muscle strain, for sure, but my knees, ankles, and hips all felt solid. That’s never something I take for granted.
  2. I finished 10k in under an hour. These days, I expect to finish 10k under an hour, but that wasn’t true in the relative recent past. So I’m marking it in the win column.
  3. While I struggled to pick up the pace for three miles as planned, I was able to churn out one fast mile in the middle of my run, completing the fourth mile of my run right at an 8:00 pace.

Why Wasn’t it My Day?

I’m not sure why my legs felt so heavy today. There are a lot of possibilities.

  • I had a really hard leg workout on Wednesday. I mean really hard: iron mikes (jumping lunges), side jumps, squats. I’m still working through some residual hamstring soreness from that workout.
  • I spent 7 hours in the car yesterday and then spent several more hours kneeling on the ground last night putting together bookshelves and nightstands.
  • I’m sure my dinner last night of pizza, ice cream, and beer didn’t help anything.
  • I got to bed late, sometime around 12:30 AM, and was up to run by 6:30 AM.

The thing is, I don’t know which, if any (or all?) of these things contributed to how heavy my legs felt today. I really don’t think the last two played a role. It’s not that unusual for my Friday night and Saturday morning to look like that. That makes me think that one or both of the first two factors are really to blame for how heavy and slow I felt today.

In any event, there’ll be days like today, and that’s ok. I still got in a 10k in less than an hour without joint pain, and that alone is worth tallying another mark in the win column.

Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “Day 93: A Lackluster Run”

  1. Any of those 4 factors would have hurt my performance for sure. For me the food thing could really mess up a run. There’s just so much moving around that if I haven’t eaten well it will throw everything off.

    Great work sticking with the workout though. Are you doing anything to warm up before the run? Leg swings, etc?

    • I have a pretty basic warm up. I walk the dogs first, which means maybe a half mile walk and then I do just a few high knees and butt kickers right at the start as well as probably another one or two time during the first mile. Nothing too formal

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