Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Aftermath

I learned a valuable lesson after the race on Sunday. Don't forget to stretch!! Being caught up in the atmosphere of the race and not in my regular routine, I didn't stretch at all, and didn't do much of a cool down other than walking around slowly. Monday I was sore, quite sore. I'm sure some of it had to do with the effort of the hills, but I know there was some tightness in my hip flexors that could have used some serious stretching. 

Monday was a rest day, and was actually my daughters' birthday. My wife and I went to school and read to both of their classes, then took them out to Cheesecake Factory for their birthday dinner. They love that place and because we were there early for dinner, the server had the entire staff come out to the table to sing them Happy Birthday. It was really cute. The girls are cute in that they know I can't eat any cheesecake and they almost feel bad about it, but in their eyes I think they realize it just means more for them.

This morning was time to get right back onto the horse. I was a little worried that I'd be fatigued or too sore, but once I got moving I felt pretty good. I did just over 3 miles in 39 minutes, so right on the same pace that I ran on Sunday. Today I did a full cool down walk and my full stretching routine.  That and a little Advil seemed to have kept the soreness to a minimum. My legs still feel pretty good considering. Tomorrow I'm headed out of town for a couple of days on business, but I'm bringing my shoes and I'll get my run in Thursday morning on the treadmill at the hotel. Then Sunday I'll be doing my next 5K. 

I'd like to be able to increase my mileage per week over the rest of the year until i'm doing 15-20 miles a week.  Right now I'm at just about 9. I could add another day running each week and slowly build the miles of each run until i'm doing 4-6 per day. I think that will carry me well through the winter and put me in good shape to tackle a 10K in the spring as well as have a launching pad for an attack on a HM next year. I just have to be careful not to do too much too soon, listen to my body and make sure I enjoy myself.  

I started out running as a way to keep accountable, to tie my exercise to specific fitness goals and help with my weight loss. That has worked but I've also discovered another unforeseen benefit. I know realize that I'll be able to run better and faster as I lose weight, so I'm being more careful about my nutrition to help drive my success at running. It really is wonderful to use the perpetual cycle on the positive side rather than the negative.


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