Sunday, October 23, 2011

Plagues and Plateaus

Last night I slathered the bottom of my legs with Icy Hot in hopes that it would help my legs feel better.  I think it did.  Since I didn't get my mileage in yesterday, it was up to me to get the run in.  I had planned on running with Kelly, but things didn't work out, so I had to go it alone.  If I could make it to six miles, it would be the longest run I have done solo.  My legs had been bothering me, so I promised myself I would at least do four and see how it went from there.  I decided to do 2:1 intervals.  I also told myself I would not worry about speed and just concentrate on getting in the distance. 

I went outside to spray myself with Off.  Since Friday, the mosquitoes have been awful.  AWFUL!  My friend, Angela said it best when she said they were plague-like.  And she is right.  As I was spraying myself, there was an entire slew of them trying to land on me.  It was disgusting!  As I walked to the trail head to get started I was still shocked to see that I was completely surrounded.  It was like a wall of mosquitoes right in front of me, and I wondered if I would make it.

Luckily, once I started running, it was harder for the mosquitoes to land on me.  The legs did hurt but not as bad as yesterday.  I slowed down a little, careful not to push it too much.  As I rounded the corner, I saw a family of squirrels and I thought of Angela since she was attacked by one last week.  Seriously, a squirrel jumped off the top of a tree and landed on her ankle.  Freaky, right?

Luckily, the squirrels were too preoccupied to notice me running by.  I had the music low so I could still hear all the wonderful nature sounds.  I thought of my fellow Road Runners, many of which were running in a half marathon this morning.  Sometimes when I'm running, I wonder what the hell I am thinking.  How can I possibly think I can do such a thing?  I am barely getting to the third mile, and I'm tired!  How in the world will I make it through a half?

Those thoughts are courtesy of the mean girls in my head.  Sometimes it's hard to shut them up.  But somehow around mile three, my legs stopped hurting quite so bad.  I think maybe they went numb.  But the running was a little better.  I was running in a new part of the neighborhood, so I wasn't too sure of the mileage and where I would end up since I didn't map it out.  But I was just trying to enjoy it as much as I could with the damn mosquitoes.  The Off started wearing off around 4.5 miles, and when I slowed down, they were landing on me.  It didn't help that I was closer to bushes and fences at this time because this is where they were much worse.  Once I got away from them and closer to the park, it was better.  I made the loop there, stopping once to refill my bottles from a water fountain.  They must have installed some since the summer.  This is good to know.

I realized that although my run was slow, (averaging about 15:30 pace) I was feeling pretty good.  I made the last lap back to my house, and I had to come inside to do my cool down walk because the mosquitoes were just too much to handle.  I stopped the Garmin and the mileage was 5.75.  Perfect!  With yesterday's magic mile and 1/4 mile warm up, this makes a perfect 7 miles for the weekend.

And to make things even better, I stepped onto the scale.  It seems as though I have finally broken through my three-month-log plateau!  Yipee!  I hope it continues because that sucked!  Maybe this is the boost I need to re-step up my game.  It's hard not to get discouraged.

But in the words of Coach Dan, "...it's not supposed to be easy."

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