Ever since I started doing my easy runs at a low heart rate, I've really enjoyed running. I know I wrote about this before, so I don't want to be redundant, but it makes such a big difference in how I feel about running. Today was my long run, and even though it was crazy cold outside (12 degrees with a "real feel" of 5 degrees), I was looking forward to a nice, slow, long run outside.
When I saw that it was 12 degrees outside, that actually sounded fairly warm after all the single- and negative-digit winter days we've had for the last few years. I wore Cold Gear running tights and two long-sleeved tops. In retrospect, I underdressed.
I wore my last pair of Brooks Adrenaline 13's. When the Adrenaline 14 model came out, I tried it and didn't like it at all; so I bought several pairs of the 13's on clearance online. I had one pair left in the box, so I took those out today to break them in.
I headed out for an out-and-back, and the first mile was awesome. I felt SO good today! The new shoes were nice and springy, and I was running at a low heart rate, which was nice and comfortable. It was at around mile one that I realized I'd underdressed--by a lot. I had a headwind, so I just told myself that when I turned around, I'd be warmer.
At mile three, I normally turn left, but this time I took a different road. I hadn't gone down this road since I got my stress fracture, and the change of scenery sounded nice. I wasn't sure if I was going to turn around at mile four or mile five. I decided double digits would be nice, so I ended up going out for five miles.
At around mile four, it started to snow really hard. It was hard to keep my eyes open! I probably should have turned around early, but I could see the end of the road (it's straight and flat, so you can see for about two miles), so I just decided to keep going. I was SO COLD. My hands were really stiff--I had them in fists tucked inside of my sleeves (I was wearing gloves, but not great ones).
The snow was blowing into my face because of the headwind, so I was glad to turn around. But, I'm not even joking, as soon as I turned around, so did the wind. I was super bummed that I didn't get any relief when I turned, but my pace was good for my low heart rate (high 10:00's), so I just focused on getting home. Not even a mile after I turned around, I stepped on a patch of ice (there wasn't much ice at all! I don't know how I didn't see it) and my leg twisted. I didn't fall, but my knee started to hurt pretty badly.
By mile seven, I was limping while running, which is really bad. I finally decided to take a walk break and maybe stretch it out. I walked a few steps, then just stopped and rubbed my knee, stretched for about 10 seconds, and tried to run again. It felt totally back to normal! I was so relieved. A quarter mile or so later, I started to feel the pain again, so I immediately stopped to stretch again. And so it went, for the last three miles--I had to stretch probably 6-8 times. Each time, the stretching fixed whatever the issue was, but then it would start to come back.
When I got home, I used the foam roller on my IT band and the back of my knee (where I felt the pain), and it felt better after that. I really hope that I didn't injure it. By stepping on a tiny little patch of ice, of all things! I'm going to take tomorrow off completely, even if it feels fine.
Despite the cold, the run was going really well until the ice incident. I am used to my pace being in the 11:00's now on easy runs, but my heart rate was 143 bpm on average and my pace was 10:55. It felt very effortless! Love runs like that.
I mentioned this on social media, but I'll write it here as well. A few years ago, I did a segment on my blog for "Reader Q&A", where readers emailed me questions (not a particular topic--anything was game) and I answered them on my blog once a week. Since I've been feeling writer's block lately when it comes to my blog (I feel like I'm always writing the same things over and over), I thought it might be fun to bring back the Reader Q&A.
So, if you have a burning question for me, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I may answer it on a future post. Jerry said he is game, too, so if you have questions for him, he'd be happy to answer them. I'll keep your name anonymous, unless you specify that I can share it.
I hope everyone had a great weekend (and Valentine's Day, if you celebrate it)! It was a super cold one here!