I spent last weekend in Ohio for a wedding — and I'm still feeling its effects.
Nope, it's not the world's worst hangover. It's muscle fatigue that makes me feel three times my age, thanks to Saturday night's exuberant and orthotics-free dancing.
My knees and ankles ached most of Sunday, and my calves were still so tight Monday morning that I could barely stumble down the hall to feed my cat. Wait a minute, I'd squandered a nice day and motivation to run on Sunday afternoon in favor of recovering ... and this is how I felt?
A shockingly smooth and easy 4.5-miler brought me brief relief. After averaging 9:24/mile, I thought the rest of the day would be limber and comfortable. I thought wrong, apparently.
But to the point of this post: It could have been worse. I could have started Saturday out with a five-mile run, which is what one of my hotel buddies had suggested we do.
Emily's getting ready for the Hot Chocolate 15K on Nov. 4, and last weekend being the halfway point of her training plan, she wanted to get a five-miler in ... even though she was on vacation. Nice dedication!
One friend shook her head in envy at our motivation; another scoffed at our decision to go out on a chilly, blustery day. We were not deterred. Maybe we wouldn't get five miles in, but our track date was still on.
And 10 minutes later, it was over for a grand total of 1.05 miles.
What happened? Well, at the time I thought it was a solo runner's naivete — I hadn't asked Emily how fast she normally went, so I didn't realize that I was pushing her at a 9:30 pace. (In fact, I'd thought: "Wow, she's speedy for a recent runner!")
Over my profuse apologies, though, Emily pointed out that the benefits of short, fast workouts aside, an abbreviated workout was probably best for the calves and feet that would take a beating over the course of a raucous wedding reception.
As my calves continue to stiffen if immobile too long, 48 hours later, running a single mile suddenly doesn't seem so silly after all. It seems like a good way to loosen up muscles pre-emptively and the culmination of a rare chance to be excited about running — on vacation, no less.