Well, I didn’t wake up sick yesterday, so that was a plus. I did wake up with my back and hips still creaky, which was a minus. I didn’t have any coffee today, so I can pat myself on the back for that. Just a mug of chai tea and two pops! (FYI I do drink water too, I’m not solely subsisting on caffeinated beverages.)
I thought a bit about my overall soreness situation yesterday while trying to loosen up my muscles at work via sporadic stretching in my chair. At the beginning of the day I was fairly certain I was going to have to either take another rest day or just walk on the treadmill in order to minimize stress on my poor old lady joints. I absolutely do not want to get injured. It would be incredibly stupid to get injured by pushing too hard while running at a 16:xx pace on the treadmill. There’s nothing more ridiculous than over-training while running mediocre times. Of course, I would like to actually run times that would be considered mediocre, but that doesn’t mean I can’t roll my eyes at someone killing themselves trying to run some crappy-yet-still-faster-than-me time.
I decided, based on no medical knowledge and just how I feel, that I’m not in danger for injury just yet, but I do need to be careful. So I ran for an hour (with a short potty break halfway through just because) and while it didn’t feel great, I don’t feel worse. Yet. We shall see.
I also have some theories on the causes of this soreness.
1. I am running more slowly, so I am on my feet longer to run the same distances.
This is not such a big deal when I’m on the treadmill, because I can cut the time short if I’m feeling fatigued, but it will be a problem if I haven’t made much progress by the time I can run outside frequently again. (And that time is coming soon! School starts this week, and I’ll have afternoon time to run during the week!) I am going to have to continue to focus on time rather than distance and be careful not to increase the overall time I spend running by too much from week to week.
2. I am spending too much time on the treadmill and not enough time on varying terrain.
Running on the treadmill is repetitive, so I’m stressing the same spots on my body over and over again, rather than making little adjustments along the way as I would on a trail or even road running (since a flat, even stretch of road is hard to come by in Duluth). I also think my posture is different on the treadmill, but I don’t know how I’d verify that beyond someone watching me run or take photos of me running, and I don’t want either of those things to happen. There’s not much I can do about this now, like I said above, I just need to be mindful of my mechanics and get outside whenever I can.
3. My core muscles are not strong enough.
This is an obvious one. I need to start doing at least a little strength training in order to progress. Yes it is dumb that I was not doing it already, and I’m obviously paying for it, but I started yesterday! I did a groundbreaking regimen of sit-ups and push-ups. Real push-ups, not fake ones with my knees down. I didn’t go hog wild and try to break any records for consecutive push-ups, but it’s a start.