Why I Love Tired Legs

I’m not running as much as I’m used to anymore since we’ve been so busy with the house project. I’m lucky if I get in two runs every week right now. I do something mid-distance during the week and I try to get in a long run (except when I don’t feel good!) on the weekends. I was just mentioning to Lane this week that my legs feel tired after long runs now.

That probably seems like a crazy statement. Of course legs should feel tired after you run 14, 16, 18+ miles on them, but since I was training consistently for different races for almost ten years, while I might be tired after a long run, my legs were never really tired. They would bounce back really quickly. Now I notice that they are more achy in the evenings after a long run, even the day after a long run I can still feel a twinge of tightness that was never there before.

Part of me is a little frustrated because it is a representation of how far I’ve gotten from my previous fitness level, the other part of me loves it. Tired legs means I’ve made them work; I’ve put in a good effort and given them a challenge. There’s a certain amount of satisfaction in tired legs. I know I need to keep running and keep picking up my pace, my distance, the number of workouts I get in per week. I’d been doing the same thing for so long that it became my normal. It’s good to know that being able to run 26.2 miles isn’t normal, it’s a gift. It’s a privilege to push my body and to realize what it can do, being able to challenge myself, and my body, is a blessing, and one that I shouldn’t take advantage of.

Tired legs are a gift, one that I am able to give to myself. Just like putting in the work to do anything, there are aches and pains and things to overcome. It’s good to challenge yourself to different things. I love the reminder of what I’m capable of and why I love it.

How do you remember the things you love? Do you have to take a step back to remember what the journey was like? Do you love tired legs?

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