If you follow me on FB, you already know that I consider my Saturday run a success. I finished a total of 11.1 miles with no knee pain (YAY!), finished strong, and felt awesome afterwards and throughout the day. It was sooooo much better than last week. But why?
I'm not an expert, but these are a few things that I think may have contributed to a successful pain-free run.
1) The massage on Friday.
She did more of a sports massage and was able to work out some tightness in my muscles. In addition to putting me in a very relaxed state, I could tell that my body was moving more freely afterwards. It was a good experience. I'm going to go back again sometime, just not sure when.
2) New shoes.
I wore my Saucony Triumph 6 shoes instead of my old 5s. I prefer the 5s, but I think it may be time to retire them. I've had the 6s in rotation for a few weeks, but this was the first time they went with me on a long run.
3) Better pace management
My running partner wanted to push the pace this weekend. I knew that would be a bad idea for me. So we went our separate ways. Actually we went the same way, but at our own paces. Hehehe. I started off about 15sec per mile slower than last week and held that throughout. It was a very sustainable pace for me and my body seemed happy. I felt great and picked it up a bit for the last two miles, a sign to me that my run strategy was 'smart.'
4) Less Stress
Last week we ran at a later time than usual. I was feeling a little rushed because it was getting later in the day and I had a lot to do before picking up my kids from their trip. When I am stressed, I get tense. This weekend, however, we ran at our usual time. No time pressure at all. Plus I was still relaxed from the massage. I can't help but think this is a much better mental & physical state to be in when running. Stress and tension must impact form, especially when one gets fatigued.
What do you think? Am I way off the mark or do these seem like reasonable contributing factors? And am I overanalying? It's just so important to me to finish pain-free, strong, & happy. I want to be able to do that over-and-over-and-over again.
We're three weeks out. Next week's long run is only nine, then six, then RACE!!