Sunday, April 15, 2012

Running Pains

This is going to sound really weird... but I'm (kind of) excited to have my first running pains. Not that I haven't felt like a "real" runner for the past 11 weeks as I've been training for the Susan G. Komen 5K, but this sort of makes being a "runner" seem more real to me.

Let me back up a bit. On Friday, I decided to challenge myself and run a 5K, even though my training schedule called for 3 miles. Afterward, I felt great, but my left knee was pretty sore, particularly when I stepped with that leg. Saturday, as I was hungover, traveling, and busy, I took the day off from exercise. The schedule called for 4 miles, and this was the second Saturday in a row that I skipped that 4-miler. I'm just not ready for that distance yet. Three miles doesn't exactly feel easy, per se, but I've come to be able to run it comfortably, increasing my speed and decreasing my time with each run. I've run more than 3 miles several times, when my schedule called for 40- or 45-minute runs. Four miles is still a (not-so-distant) future goal.

This morning, my training schedule called for the day off, but I'm used to transposing scheduled runs by now. I decided to challenge myself again, with a 3.5-mile run in 45 minutes. I didn't have any soreness, so I didn't think this challenge would be a problem. Wrong! I completed 3.5 miles in 44 minutes, 47 seconds. As soon as I hopped off the treadmill, my left knee was instantly in pain. Hence:
I don't know whether I should be heating or icing, or alternating heat and ice. The only methods I have of heating are in a bath or with a dryer-warmed towel. Fellow runners, can you help me out??
I do know that I should probably take a rest day tomorrow, or at least a brief hiatus from running. A friend recommended this as well, and she said that's what she does when she experiences soreness from running.
I'm thankful that I don't experience (or haven't yet experienced) persistent pain, shin splints, or torn or strained muscles. Infrequent soreness serves as a reminder that I'm pushing my body's limits without exceeding them.

If you have tips on treating soreness with quick at-home remedies, I'd be greatly appreciative! Have a very happy Sunday! :)

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