I had a GREAT 10 miler last weekend that gave me a boost of confidence. The route was even tougher than the previous week and I ended the run feeling stronger, which is always a great feeling. I felt like I could have finished another 3 or 5 miles and still would have felt OK. Unfortunately, I have come to the realization that I probably need to eliminate Patton Chapel Rd from my route, which somewhat limits my ability to reach other neighborhoods, but the terrain was really rough coming back and (thank God for Garmin) I ended up having to reroute myself off the road b/c not only did I not feel safe, but the road was BAD (I was hopping on and off the road, running with one foot in a drainage ditch and also at times having to run in people's yards!), thus affecting my gait and I really feared injuring myself if I had to stay on it much longer. I did really enjoy running in the Preserve though and may look into driving the 5 minutes over there and using that as my starting point this weekend.
As Matt and I finished up 3 last night (on my rest day but whatever), I was thinking that it was amazing that I had not had a bad day of running in 6 weeks. Of course, folks, tonight was the night. Honestly I think I was overtired, under-fueled and possibly under-hydrated. I was at work just after 6am (after being up until midnight working from home) and got home just after 6pm...no lunch break (grabbed half of a sandwich on the go) and had 3 meetings in the hospital today which adds up to a little over a mile each trip...in my 4 inch heels. I was HUNGRY when I got home but just wanted to get the 5 DONE, so I grabbed 4 sports beans (woo hoo) and headed out with a water bottle. My stomach got angry at mile 2, at 2.5 my stomach was growling audibly and at 3 I felt my blood sugar TANK. I almost called Matt to come pick me up I felt so bad, but I figured at that point I was "just" 2 miles away from home and could walk the rest of the way if necessary. Not to mention, I completely underestimated the hills on this route and my legs felt SHREDDED (from both the route and I think all of the walking at work today in those damn shoes) and I could NOT dial back my pace (I was seeing 8s, 9s and low 10s which is fast for me anyway and *really* fast for me given the hills) Not to fear, I would slow down when I was forced to walk every so often since I was feeling like poo. I finally got home feeling 10x worse than my 10 miler and then, being a glutton for punishment (and since I had promised, obviously not knowing how bad my run was going to be) I went back out for another 2 miles (walk) with Matt and the dogs (after grabbing gatorade and an apple). It sucks to have a bad run but at least I could identify what made it this way...I KNOW better and am usually very conscious about being fueled, etc...and I can be mindful of making it better the next time (tomorrow!). I think I'm heading to a FLAT and shaded trail tomorrow after work which should offer some nice respite for my legs. Do you run hilly routes even when you are not "hill training"?