Every so often, I hear of runners who just have a week where nothing seems to come easy. That was my week, this week.
I ran on Monday (4 miles), Wednesday (5 miles, intervals), and today, Thursday (4 miles). It was very difficult to complete all of these runs. Usually, the first mile is normally very tough for me, since I'm running at 4:30 AM. But after I hit the one-mile mark, it's pretty much no problem from there. That wasn't the case at all this week.
In all 3 of my runs, it felt as if my legs were made of concrete. I run a very rolling course, and the uphills were torturous. My times were within my usual ranges, but I was really struggling.
I'm wondering if it was because I need a change of pace, so to speak. I've been doing the "3-mornings-at-4:30" routine for about 4 months now. Or, it could be that I just haven't been getting enough sleep at night?
Would a little shake-up of the running route and time be in order? It's as good a guess as any, so next week, I'm going to bag the early-morning runs, and instead do my runs during my lunch break. The W & OD Trail is much flatter than my neighborhood route, so that should give my legs a break, too. I'm scheduled for a light week, anyway, with a 10K scheduled for next Sunday, so we'll see how it goes.
On a side note, my stair-stepper sounds like it's in the beginning throes of breakdown. I use it now exclusively for my pre-run warm-up (5 minutes), and I'm just waiting for the day when it finally quits on me. I've put that thing through hell for almost 4 years - it owes me nothing.