Phew! I know I have been doing my fair share of complaining about the weather on this blog this winter. I have a love/hate relationship with old man winter. When it is serene, sparkling white, and clean with a fresh coating of snow it really is beautiful! However, the strong gusts of harsh wind and the cold arctic temperatures that accompany it have me hating this season that just seems to want to over stay its welcome!
Yesterday morning’s run was no exception. And it was a tough one for me. All I have to say from the get-go, is thank God for friends! I would not have pulled myself through 14 miles yesterday if it hadn’t been for the company, the shared complaining at times, the sporadic laughter, and constant chatter. I met Marzia, Rob, and Brian at Water Works Parks for an out and back on the Bill Riley Trail. It started out great. I was laughing and enjoying the run, even with the barren trees dotting the landscape (still no spring green popping up dangit!). The first half of the run seemed to drag on, as it usually does for me on an out and back, just waiting to arrive at the turn around point. That point actually ended at a Casey’s gas station in Clive, where we stopped for a potty break and a water refill. Immediately after stopping running, I felt light-headed and slightly out of breath. More than what would be usual for me. Brian commented that the wind and the cold would do that. And, we had been running 7 miles into the wind at that point. So, I enjoyed the short stop, caught my breath, and felt ready to go again as we started off back down the trail, towards our cars. My legs started to feel like lead. Looking at my watch, I noticed we were and had been running faster than what I had planned on taking my long run pace at, so I slowed slightly to where I was comfortable, while still able to listen and contribute to the conversation. As we continued down the trail, my legs just felt heavier and heavier. It became both a mental and physical battle to keep going. Even as I was counting down the miles and we were getting closer and closer to the end point, I was fighting thoughts of wanting to stop and walk. Now, walking is NOT an option, which helped push that thought out, but for some reason, it kept circulating through my head. I wanted to stop, frequently. Thankfully, running with a group a people kept me going, without stopping. At mile 11 1/2, my left IT Band started to cramp up. I’ve been very lucky as a runner to never have IT Band issues. This was new to me. And it sucked. I started to slow to around a 10 minute/mile pace. And that sucked too. The more I thought about the pain, the worse it got. So, realizing this was mind over matter, I put the pain and the cramping behind me and concentrated on keeping up with the group. It worked for about a half mile. At mile 12, I told Marzia to go on ahead of me and just finish- I’d get there, but I needed to work through this cramp and take it easier. My breathing felt labored. My chest felt tight. All of this was new. I finished and Marzia immediately commented that I was limping as I walked towards them. Wonderful news post run :). I knew a good soak in epsom salts and foam rolling would be priority when I got home.
I had noticed mid run that I was cold. My legs were cold and my toes were frozen, to the point where I couldn’t feel them. I didn’t realize how cold I was until I climbed into the hot epsom salt bath. I had filled the tub with water as hot as I could stand it and sat for 10 minutes shivering. Even as I soaked, my legs were cold to the touch. I kept trying to add more hot water but nothing helped. Finally, after I had warmed up, I got ready and finished up with stretches and foam rolling. The left IT Band definitely needed more attention than it had in the past and I spent more time focusing on it, but it wasn’t painful, thank goodness!
As the day went on and I was out and about running errands, I noticed my chest still felt tight. Now, I had been in bed feeling like crud early Friday night, err, Friday late afternoon, rather. My ears were thudding and my throat was raw. So, maybe the less than perfect run was due to the fact that I’m coming down with something again (thanks old man winter)! Or, maybe it was because my health insurance decided to switch the type of inhaler it would cover for my exercise induced asthma and this inhaler was preventing problems as well as the old one is. I’ll go in to talk to a pharmacist about that this week. Or maybe it’s because I treated my body like crud this week, eating whatever I wanted and allowing myself to indulge in some red wine Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights- which is very unusual for me! Or maybe it was simply because of the cold weather. Who knows.
I got a good night’s sleep last night and plan to put myself to bed early again tonight to start the week off right. I “plan” to get back on a normal diet for me (I’ve been saying this for weeks, ugh!) and just take better care of myself in general. My “rest” time is over and it’s time to get my head back into running and training for the Drake Half Marathon and the Deadwood Marathon before I fall off the side of the trail somewhere in training :).
Cheers to the start of a new week and new possibilities!