November 3, 2010

They can't all be PRs

Superman and I had a date scheduled with the neighbors yesterday, so our standard Tuesday run was bumped to today. This also meant the run was in Superman's hilly territory. I appreciate what hills do for my run. Really I do. I know they're good for me, in the same way drinking enough water and eating a lot of vegetables is good for me. For some reason I find it difficult to like that which is good for me...
I started the day by stretching and rolling out my hamstrings, which have a tendency to get and stay tight. I'm convinced my tight hamstrings exacerbate my planar fasciitis, so have been working toward relieving them, as well as the tendons in my feet. What I did not focus on were my ankles, forgetting I'd worked them to exhaustion on Saturday's 11-miler. 

I had trouble tonight right from the start, with the knee pain that always accompanies tight ankles. I originally wanted to do 6 miles, but was concerned I wouldn't even make it 2 as we pushed uphill in the fading light. I've become accustomed to running at night, and in the rain, but am still uncomfortable running on piles of leaves, where I don't know what the sidewalk looks like underneath. I've been caught up in hidden sticks, as well. 

I also learned an important lesson tonight. Running before dinner, but at the dinner hour, I chose to have a snack before we left. Popcorn seemed quick and easy, of the choices in Superman's larder. Popcorn is of course laden with salt, which is apparently the key ingredient that cramps my stomach when I have sports drinks on the run. I of course experienced that effect tonight. Now I know, no salt before a run!

It was a good 2 miles before my ankles finally loosened up enough to relieve the pounding on my knees. By then we were coming up to the big intersection, with a long slow downhill just around the bend. I actually enjoyed feeling I could finally run, as we practically flew down that hill. We hit the turnaround, started back up, and suddenly it wasn't fun anymore. My legs were tired. My knee was sore. I found it difficult to lift my feet, and actually tripped at one point. I didn't faceplant, but the recovery wasn't good for my knee either. I'd bruised the ball of my foot at my Dad's Monday, and tripping started that bothering me as well. 

This is where I decided I didn't have 6 miles in me, tonight. I could take the knee pain earlier because I knew it would eventually go away as my ankle loosened. Continuing on refreshed knee and foot pain did not seem prudent, as I do not want to injure myself with a race coming up. 

Yeah, that's the ticket...
We took the turn that made the route 4 miles. 4 has become my new standard, the short weekday run, so I am ok with 4. We were able to cross the main street without stopping, and made it up the hill. The last time we ran this route, I was not able to run up that last hill. I ran it tonight, past Superman's house, until Jog Log announced 4 miles. 

In the end, we still ran that 4 in 11:55, which is below race goal pace. I have another run scheduled for tomorrow, which I can't bump to Friday because of a standing date with friends. I hope tonight loosened my legs, ankles and anything else that needed loosening, so tomorrow's run will be better. Not that this was the worst run ever. I just always want to aim for better. 

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