All runs are not created equal. Sometimes everything just flows together; other times, it all falls apart, which is what happened today.
My new running shoes (which now don't look so new, having had to navigate the overgrown farm track that leads to the main road, giant puddles on the main road, and the Great Mud Plain that is our drive) are performing wonderfully so the problem isn't with them. My three runs earlier this week went well; I had forgotten what it was like to run without achilles pain and have even noticed that my stride is evolving into one that actually resembles running, as opposed to the shuffling shuffle that I had been reduced to.
Today's run was six miles along a very familiar route with lovely views across the firth. I was looking forward to it, but I knew within five minutes of walking up to the start of the run that this was not going to be fun. I felt like I was moving in slow motion and my legs were ignoring my attempts to get their attention. I know that hitting the wall is a risk on long runs, but surely it's not a good sign when this happens at the warm-up stage?
I gave it a go anyway but walked several times when my calves tightened up and stopped to stretch two or three times as well. I consciously slowed my speed and kept repeating one of my favourite running mantras: Something is better than nothing. I finished the six miles with happy achilles tendons and legs that had perked up a bit after about three miles. I can't say that I enjoyed it but I'm pleased that I did it.
So why did this happen? Well, this was the first week in months where I've been able to run three days in a row. I added in the leg machines at the gym this week. I didn't eat much yesterday (not by design, there just wasn't time). And there you have it, tired and weary legs. I can't believe I'm about to say this but, sometimes, even wonderful shoes aren't enough.