I love running with the AREC (A Running Experience Club). Running with a group puts my mind in a "race" mode where I don't actually run a race pace, but I definitely run faster and harder than I do when I run by myself. And it helps tons because two times a week I force myself not to be lazy. Lately, though, my legs have been feeling really heavy and I don't know why. Whenever I feel slow I think about how I ate the day before and usually not enough food is the culprit. However, sometimes my legs just feel like they're full of lactic acid from the word go and, well, shit sucks. This is the thing that makes me nervous about running the marathon in October. Gonna have to zero in on the problem soon.
Kristen was in New York this weekend so I ran the Long Beach Wrigley River 10k yesterday solo. Didn't do as well as I thought I should have. But I screwed myself. Through process of elimination I've come to the conclusion that my hip flexors and abductors and upper glutes are lagging behind the rest of my body in terms of strength and endurance. I lift weights 3 days a week, but I don't like to do heavy lifting with my legs anymore. I used to do squats and lunges, etc., but then I'd be sore as hell for 3 days. That's okay if you sit at a desk all day, but I don't so it became a real problem at work. It also makes training hard doing tempo runs and speed work REALLY difficult. Regardless, I decided that I had to do a little lower body to strengthen the aforementioned muscles. Stupidly, I chose deadlifts. It is the best all around strengthening exercise, but it can tear you up bad. I even lifted what I considered light weights, but sure enough on Friday I was sooooore. I thought, "I'll be okay tomorrow for the run. This soreness will be gone by then. And even if there's a little residual soreness, I'll run it out." Wrong.
I woke up Saturday still hurting, cursing myself for not thinking ahead. Anyway, I ran the race, upper thighs bitching at me every single step of the way, and came in about 20 seconds slower than my last 10k back in February. Argh. There were two sharp turns followed by short uphill climbs that may have added a few seconds overall, but I know I was my own worst enemy. Oh well. I'll be smarter next time I hope.
Meanwhile, Kristen was back running again, but now her ca-nkle is giving her a hard time, swollen and achy. I think she was subconsciously trying to protect the healing hairline fracture in her foot and altered her stride enough to cause her ankle to get tweaked. Danger-prone Daphne, that's my wife. Don't know how long this one is going to stop her. Arrrrgghghghghg.