Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sucking Wind

That's how I felt yesterday, like I was literally sucking wind. My legs felt fine, but my cardio was terrible. I could barely breathe. I have no idea what was going on, but it doesn't bode well for my half marathon on Sunday.

My husband is working out of town, which severely limits my running. Yesterday, both kids were in preschool, so I wanted to get in a quality run. Instead of three miles that I had scheduled, I decided to do the tempo work scheduled for today, since it might be the only run I get in all week.

My plan was to do one mile warm up, three miles at race pace, and then a mile cool down. The warm-up felt fine. My legs were feeling good. I was running right around a 9:20 pace. At the second mile, I picked it up. The next mile was hard. My chest felt tight and my breathing felt labored. I tried to relax and get into a groove, but it wasn't happening. I did that mile in 8:27, which is right around my race pace, but for the first tempo mile I wanted it closer to 8:20.

The next mile was horrible. I ran about a half a mile at tempo and then, for the first time that I can remember, I stopped to walk. WALK! I was so mad at myself, but I really needed to catch my breath. I was starting to wonder if a 9-minute mile is more my speed. The average for the entire mile, with some walking and jogging, was 9:54.

So I decided to pick it up again. The next mile still felt labored. I pushed myself. I still only averaged 8:36. That pace will bring me close to my PR, but not much under it. I actually had to walk again after I hit the end of that mile. I walked for .18 and picked it up one last time. I told myself that I needed to do another half mile at an even faster pace, just to show myself I could. I ran a half mile at 8:08. Thank GOD. It wasn't easy, but at least I did it.

I have tried to figure out why I struggled so much. Here are some of the thoughts that went through my head:
  • It was hot and humid and the sun was beating down. [But that one doesn't make much sense, since it really wasn't that hot. It was pretty darn humid, especially for here, but it was still a bit under 80]
  • I forgot my iPod [I hope that has nothing to do with it. I should be able to run five or six miles without music, for crying out loud]
  • I drank too much water [I am not sure about this. I brought my handheld filled nearly full and drank a good portion. I only took one Endurolyte before running. I did sweat quite a bit. Hmmm]
  • I didn't eat enough protein the day before [I haven't read much about the importance of protein the day before a run. I thought about what I ate the day before and it was pretty high in carbs without a lot of protein. There was some, however. I had a big salad for lunch and then flatbread with mozzerella, carmelized onions and balsamic glaze for dinner. That shouldn't have affected my short run the next day.]
I just hope that whatever caused me to have such a crappy run is gone by Sunday. I need to find a way to get in another run before then, just for my confidence. I think I might take the kids to the track tonight and let them run around the infield while I try to run a couple of miles. I just hope that my "friend" is not there!

11 comments:

Laura said...

Definitely a good idea to analyze some potential causes, but if you can't figure it out, don't stress too much. I find that some days I just suck at running, with no rhyme or reason to why.

MCM Mama said...

I had a race like that in June. I was panting the entire 6 miles. It was warm and really humid and I had eaten something that wasn't sitting well. It hasn't happened again since, so I'm chalking it up to just one of "those" runs.

Hope that's all it is for you!

Marlene said...

Aw, try not to let a crummy run fill your head with doubts for your race. Hopefully it was just an 'off' day.

cami said...

So you had one bad run, big deal! Just let go of it and don't let it affect your confidence on race day. Get plenty of rest and imagine yourself finishing at a great pace. It'll happen! Best of luck and have lots fun on Sunday!!!

Irene said...

It WAS humid, even though the sky looks clear in areas. We're getting overcast skies well before the sun goes down in my 'hood. I've been having breathing issues as well, even without running.

I'll be at aid station #1 near Cabrillo elementary on Sunday. I'll probably be handing out water. :)

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

aren't you supposed to be tapering? take it easy. just a short easy one. maybe what you need is some more rest. ??

Marathonman101108 said...

You're too hard on yourself. It's 80 degrees and humid, and you're having trouble running?! So, big deal! It's probably due to the weather and you pushing yourself too hard. I wouldn't stress over it. Also, I agree with what Lisa and cami say above.

Southbay Girl said...

you will do GREAT on sunday!! Great!!!!

jillwillrun said...

I think Laura's advice was great... while it's good to look at possible causes, it is very possible that you just had an off day. You'll do great and whatever happens on race day happens. You can't control everything but hopefully you've got some good performance goals to get you through as well!

HUGS!! You're an awesome runner, just remember that!

Amanda said...

I wouldn't worry much about your bad run. Just relax, take it easy the rest of the week and kick some booty on Sunday!

lindsay said...

i like to think that a crappy training run = a good race day! i tell myself that i've slogged through my share of crappy runs and now it's time to have a great one on race day.

those do sound like good explanations, but don't get too caught up in overanalyzing it. relax, rest up and get ready for a great race!

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