I have run over 1,600 miles since I began in March 2012… I just found new muscles in my legs.
Last weekend I ran a new course as I mentioned in my post yesterday. We were visiting Chattanooga for the weekend and I had to find somewhere to run. I decided it would be fun to run in a place called “Riverwalk”. The biggest difference between Riverwalk and my neighborhood was its flatness. It had some hills, but for the most part it was so flat that I couldn’t tell if I was going up or down hill except for the feeling in my legs. This is opposite from my neighborhood which is all hills.
I ran on Saturday and had a really good time. I pushed myself. I thought that this path might be a good comparison to what our marathon will be like in September. The Lehigh Valley Marathon is a relatively flat course with a net 240′ drop. Saturday, as I said, I pushed myself. Sunday I had a much harder time. I felt tired and lethargic. I didn’t want to go out running in the morning. When I finally got out and ran, it was okay, but I finished it feeling discouraged as I completed only 8 of 15 miles (partly due to time restraints and partly due to feeling poorly). My thought as I drove back to the hotel was, “How am I going to run 26 miles in 10 weeks if I can barely make 8 today”.
Now for the new muscle part. I worked yesterday and it was a normal day. I sit at work since I do a lot of programming. However my job makes me get up a lot to go help others with IT needs. Yesterday afternoon as I got up from my desk, I felt something I hadn’t felt since last year. My legs were really sore. This wasn’t just my normal running aches and pains, this was soreness.
I now realize that my runs this weekend were using different muscles that what I use in my neighborhood. Since I was running on a flat surface I had to use muscles that I don’t normally use. This was an “aha” moment for me. I need to run in a flat area to get ready for the marathon rather than the hills in my neighborhood. If I am this sore after 16 miles in 2 days, what would 26 miles feel like?
I am fortunate to have a track nearby that is made from asphalt. Though it isn’t perfect, it will at least be a level area to run some miles to get my body used to that type of running.
Go figure. I run hills for 16 months and now I am sore from a flat surface. I guess I should have realized that would happen, but better figuring this out now than in 9 or 10 weeks. 🙂