Let it be known that I’m not the brightest bulb in the world.
Case in point – yesterday was to be my slower recovery run, given that my previous two runs were sprints. Normally my recovery runs follow a longer run, but this week I thought I would let my legs rest given that the sprints had left me a bit on the bad side of knackered.
That’s not a complaint. I’m actually glad they left me knackered – if they didn’t, it would have meant that I hadn’t offered everything for those sprints. Fortunately the effort was well worth it – as my first sprint had an average pace of 4:12, the second a pace of 4:10. While an improvement, the latter pace is still 10+ seconds off the pace I require to reach my run 5km in under 20 minutes goal. Still, the result are promising and I couldn’t be happier.
But back to the point – I’m not the brightest bulb. As yesterday was supposed to be a recovery run, the goal was to get out and do a 12 km run at a slower pace. I was joining up with my friend Kyle and his friend Ian near Riverside Park. The goal was to start there and complete a 10 km jog (5 km out to Guelph Lake, 5 km back). Given that we’d be running trails covered in snow, I assumed that would slow us down enough to call this a recovery run.
The trouble was getting to Riverside Park. My first thought, naturally, was to run there. So I Googled it. I can only assume that my eyes – being as messed up as they are – combined with the bad side of knackered level of exhaustion I was feeling, were to blame for what happened next. After Googling the route from my home to the park, I had in my head that the distance would be about 2.5 km. The total route therefore would be 12.5 km (if I decided to walk home or grab a cab); 15 km should I run there, do the 10 km with Kyle and Ian, and then run home.
Now, I’d like to think that in normal non-exhausted states, I wouldn’t make such a stupid geographical mistake. That is, if I had stopped to think about the 2.5 km distance that I had in my head, I would have realized that didn’t make any sense whatsoever. You see, I know from experience that running from my house to a point just over half way to Riverside Park is 3 km. Why I thought 2.5 km made sense is beyond me.
Anyway, because I had this geographical-mind-freeze, Kyle and Ian opted to start running the trails with the intention that I would catch up to them. They of course had no idea that I was going to be so late because they had no idea of how dumb I was.
The result of this ridiculousness was that I met Kyle and Ian as they were entering kilometre 6 or so on the way back to the starting point (I had just hit 9.5 km). Instead of carrying on so that I would cover the same trail they had just finished, I turned around and returned to the starting point with them. This put me at just over 14 km by the time we reached the end of their 10 km run.
This is where I could have decided enough is enough. But what’s another 5 or so km when one has already run just over 14 km? So, in my infinite wisdom I kept going. As a result of this decision, I ended up running 19.25 km instead of the intended 12 km. The first 9 km were completed with a 5:24 pace (which hopefully is my upper pace for the marathon), the next 5 a bit slower because of the snow. The last 5 were brutal due to what we runners like to call runner’s runs. Running is so glamourous.
Moral of the story – my legs today are really, REALLY tired. But I’m so happy that I kept going. The weather was beautiful, the run was fantastic, and I ended the day feeling even more exhausted than when I started, but also feeling like I could take on the world.
In case you were wondering, I opted to make today a true recovery day. It’s not that I don’t think I could run today, I just want to make sure my muscles get the time to rebuild so that I move towards becoming a faster, stronger, injury free runner with an even greater endurance for distance. Tomorrow, however, that’s an entirely different story