I can feel my legs. Ouch. Today I was still sore from the 3 Rock Repeats on Sunday, and I had my 10 mile tempo run coming up tonight with Shannon, so I went out this morning to do a couple of miles super easy to shake out my legs and get rid of some of the soreness. Or so I hoped.
As we headed out for our 10 miler tonight, I could feel my quads, but it wasn't bad. We started out at about 8:30 pace and kept increasing, hit a 7:57 on the third mile, and kept on going at a good 8:10 clip on the dirt road section. When we reached our turnaround at 5 miles, I was at about an 8:10 average pace. My legs were burning and we stopped briefly before turning around.
About a mile into the return, I could feel my quads getting progressively more sore and burning, and right around the 6 mile mark of the run, it was like someone locked them up. They were jelly on toast. I told Shannon I wanted to try walking it off for a few yards and then starting up again at the place where we stopped. I did that, and was able to continue, but at a slower pace. I was still sub-9.
A mile and a half later, at the top of the hill, I needed another walk off the burn break. Then we ran back to where we started. Not bad. In 10.6 miles, I got 6 miles at a little over 8 minute pace, and then managed to maintain sub 9s until the last mile, which was 9:12. Not the worst workout ever.
I was telling Shannon during the run that it's good to feel my legs like this, it's been a long time since they've hurt in this way. I never push myself hard enough to get anywhere near this point, not anymore, since I have been doing slow running for the past 5 years. It's a reminder that I'm working hard, and it will pay off.
But my quads burn like hell, even now, two hours after the run. I ate some extra carbs thinking it might help my recovery, in addition to some protein. I am hurting, but it's a good pain. Once this week is over, I'm doing a real taper. Only 17 days to my race! WooHoo!