No one ever said running was easy. I not only get that, I embrace it. It's one of the many things I love about running--that dig-deep-gut-it-out-get-it-done feeling that comes with pushing myself through a really hard workout.
But something's wrong. I've been struggling with my runs lately, even the easy recovery runs. Where normally I loosen up and hit my stride within the first mile, lately my legs stay weighted throughout the entire run. My lungs are fine but my ankles, of all odd things, are killing me. Both of them. They're stiff and inflexible and ache with each step.
There are a few different things that could be affecting my running:
- I pulled a hamstring a few weeks ago and am still babying it. Maybe I've changed my running form to accommodate the hamstring and it's throwing everything off?
- The humidity showed up. It's possible I'm feeling like crap on my runs simply because I'm not yet acclimated to doing hard runs in the heat.
- I changed my diet. I went back to vegetarian so maybe the loss of protein is hindering me? It's possible to get just as much protein from a plant-based diet as it is from a meat-based diet, but you do have to be more conscious about it. Maybe I'm not eating enough beans/dark green plants/eggs, etc.
- I need new running shoes.
- I'm burned out on running and this is my body's way of telling me to back off and try other things.
- I'm a wuss.
Let's hope it's not that last one. :)
I suspect a combination of all of the above, with the diet and humidity being the main culprits. There's nothing to do about the humidity except to keep running in it until my body adjusts. I can play with my diet and see if that helps. It's just frustrating to go out and want to enjoy an easy 5 miles and still be struggling at the end of mile two and thinking about quitting by the time I get to 3.
Marathon training begins mid-July and I'd like to get whatever this is resolved by then and enjoy some long, easy runs because I WANT to run them and not because I HAVE to run them.
I did some HIIT training (high intensity interval training) on the treadmill today as it's raining here. Legs were like lead, but I got through it. You know why?
Because I AM NOT A WUSS.