I squeezed in 30- to 40-minute runs during my holiday travels to Florida and Colorado, using every available ounce of energy to avoid stopping on hills, which are not only steeper out west, but harder thanks to the oxygen deficit at altitude.
Once I got home from two weeks of travel on a Tuesday evening, I forced myself to attend a group run just an hour after getting off the plane. I dragged my butt to my group run that Thursday, too, and was so worn down, my regular pace group had to run backwards to collect my exhausted self — embarrassing!
I skied last weekend, then cycled 45 minutes and did core/strength work on Monday, only to find myself totally, completely wiped out by Tuesday night — so much so, that I actually skipped my group run, which is a total rarity for me.
But you already know that. The long preamble is simply to set up the really lovely run I had yesterday, and uncovering the reason I had a rough one last week: I was just completely worn down. I woke up yesterday morning feeling totally refreshed for the first time since I got home — seems like taking Tuesday night off was a good call. I ate some oatmeal with a banana mixed in (my new favorite pre-run treat), did some work while I digested, then headed out on a slightly longer version of the historic Seminary loop, the Pacers route I missed the other night.
I’m not sure what my pace was (is it possible to be addicted to my Garmin before it’s even in my possession?), but I can say that I felt stronger on the way back than on the way out, and that I finished feeling like I was building back up to where I was before the holidays. It hadn’t previously occurred to me that I was worn down. But it turns out, even though I hadn’t slacked over the holidays, I think I needed a good solo run to get my groove back.
Another minor revelation: I follow the FIRST program, which calls for three days of hard running and three days of cross-training. I’ve been working out nearly every day, but the advent of ski season has made me lazy about my weekend run. Note to self: Three days of running means three days of running, not two.
Next up: More skiing to break in my pretty new boots this weekend (Yay)! A return to speedwork sometime in the next few runs (Gulp).