After being sick for more than a week I jumped back into running. My first week back I ran more than 50 miles and I felt pretty good. The following week I ran more than 40 miles and wasn’t feeling so hot. The week after that things went very badly. My pace was far slower than normal and I had pretty bad pain in my legs. I tried to cut back on my miles but things kept getting worse. I tried to do a tempo run and the pace of my tempo run was about what my easy pace had been last fall! It really should be faster than that but I couldn’t muster it. The last straw was my Thursday easy run. My legs hurt a lot and I had to go very slowly. I also had to turn around early and take a walking break. That run was my signal to take a break. I decided to take nearly a week off. What that really means was that I’d skip most of my normal runs and do just one or two short runs (5-7 miles).
Today, Thursday, is the day I get to do a short easy run. My legs feel good but I’ll reserve judgment until I get out on the road. I have an 8k race on Saturday but I’m not planning to go all out. I’m going to try to slowly ramp my mileage back up.
I think this downtime is the result of three things. First I piled on more mileage than I could handle coming off of my illness. Second my protein intake dropped significantly after my illness. I believe that my body couldn’t repair itself properly before I slammed it with another 10 mile run. Finally I think that the loss of quality sleep that I encountered when Cassie got sick (at the same time as the decreased protein) contributed to all of this. I have nothing to back this up but I think the body does the most rebuilding while you are asleep.