Well, being as I have less than a week to my FIRST EVER 10K, I decided to run 10K (6.3 miles) this morning. I have only tried this one time before and it went pretty good.
Well, this morning was a different story. I mapped out a different route. I get bored doing the same routes over and over. And though the route was okay, it was so hot out there. I didn't start running until almost 8:30. I wanted to get started around 7, but with the time change, it didn't get light until 8. Through my whole schedule off. And the sun was HOT.
I'm learning that the first 2 miles are my hardest. Up until I reach the 2-mile mark, I feel like I won't be able to go on. I think I get a little over zealous that I start running a little harder and it wares me out faster. My heart rate stayed in the mid- to upper-170s for those first 2 miles. I had to stop and walk at the 1st mile marker for about a half a minute. Then again at the 2nd mile marker.
But after the 2nd mile, I started doing just fine. I settled into my pace and didn't want to stop. That is, until the 5 mile marker. That's when I hit a brick wall. All of the sudden, without warning, my legs started knotting up. You know when you get a toe cramp or a calf cramp when your muscle just locks up and won't let you move it? That's how my thighs and calves started feeling. They felt solid as a rock. I almost couldn't continue. So I stopped running and when I did, my left knee started hurting. Just below my knee cap where the tendon connects to the cap to the shin. I thought I was done.
I didn't even think I was pushing myself too hard at all. I had felt fine up until then. I didn't want to injure myself, so I decided to walk for the last 2 miles (my route actually took me 7 miles rather than 6.3). I walked for about 15 minutes and started feeling refreshed and no aches or stiff muscles at all, so I started running again. I was able to run, comfortably, until I got to my cool down lap around my community.
All day long, my legs have been so tight. My knee didn't give me any trouble until the evening. Now it's sore again. I'm definitely taking it easy this week. An injury is the LAST thing I want. That's the main reason why I run so slow. I want to be able to run for years to come. Speed is not my goal. Slow and steady is. Heck, I've only been running since the middle of December. I'm not ready to push hard yet.
On the flip side, I burned over 2,000 calories! Wow! I don't know if I've ever burned 2,000 calories before. I figured I could have a little heavier breakfast once I got home so I fixed real bacon with real eggs, obrian potatoes and toast. Was a GREAT breakfast.
I still stayed within my points for the day, though. I had a very light but thoroughly satisfying dinner and popcorn for my evening snack.
On a somber note, one of my childhood icons (and I'm sure alot of yours too) dies last week. Paul Harvey was 90. Wow! 90! How amazing is that! I sure hope I live to 90. Paul Harvey meant so much to me growing up and listening to his show. I seriously looked forward to his show every week. "And that's... the rest of the story." Those words are so precious to me. I'll never forget him. His son still tells the rest of the story on radios across the world. I wish he had a podcast, I'd love to be able to listen to him while I was running. But I still listen to him on the internet on his website when I can.
UPDATE: Monday @ lunch time: My legs don't hurt at all today. Whew! I was so afraid they would be aching. My knee's fine too. No soreness at all. I'm going to go running again tonight, but only 3 miles. I don't want to take it too fast. Slow is better for me. :)