Running is a great way to compensate for all the overeating that inevitably takes place over the holidays. Before festive gatherings, I like to go for a run as a way to a) work up a good appetite and b) not feel as bad about eating 10,000 calories worth of treats and savoury snacks.
On Saturday, I went on a great run in preparation for an annual friend’s Christmas party that I greatly look forward to. Not only because it is attended by all of my most favourite people, but because there is always a mountain of treats and I wanted to be at peak appetite to take full advantage of the festive spread.
I haven’t run much since the Scotiabank Half Marathon. A 5K here, a 6K there. Mostly slow, short runs. I set out to run 5 or 6K but ended up running over 10! At 5K, I was feeling amazing. Endorphins pumping, music blaring, I felt like I absolutely had to keep going. I got to 7K and thought, well, I might as well run 10! I got to 10, and honestly, the only reason I stopped was because I had to go home and get ready for the party. I truly felt like I could run 10 more kilometers.
Runs like that happen randomly and when they do, you absolutely must take advantage. It’s moments like that that reminds me why I fell in love with running in the first place.
My mind was totally in the zone. I was focused and happy and feeling excellent. The downside, however, was that my body was not on the same wavelength. As soon as I stopped I could tell my hips and glutes were tight. I stretched and figured I might be a bit stiff. That was the understatement of 2014.
As I gloriously stuffed my face with cookies, cheese, candied salmon, popcorn, lasagna, garlic bread, etc, etc, etc, I could tell my body was tired. My feet hurt and standing for long periods was painful. I kept taking a break from the food table to rest my weary legs. My hips hurt. My butt hurt. No position was all that comfortable.
The next day, I was crippled. Going from seated to mobile was a real struggle. I walked like Frankenstein wincing with every transition. I felt worse than after my half marathon in October. I may have even felt worse than after my full marathon in 2013!
I spent some time with a foam roller last night with little relief and today, I’m still feeling that so-called piriformis pain (aka butt pain).
Was it worth it? Yeah. I regret nothing. I think you enjoy food so much more when you actually work up an appetite. But I learned my lesson. Just because I once ran 21 or 42 kilometers does NOT mean I can double my average distance in one run. In fact, most training plans teach runners to work up to 10K from 5K over an eight week period. Oopsie.
Wherever you are, whatever you celebrate, I hope you have a great holiday – full of great runs and delicious food. And if you’re like me, I hope you also put a foam roller on your wishlist.