Walking in to a mechanic and saying "my car isn't running right" isn't going to give them the information they need to diagnose your problem. Its similar when you're running and your body is saying "I'm tired" but you can't figure out why.
I break down tiredness in a few ways:
- Mental Tiredness - usually from stress, being overworked. Its tough to stay motivated in these cases and your mind wanders. I find this is best dealt with by just pushing through the run, brief pickups, followed by just letting your mind wander for a bit.
- Exhaustion - from either running too much, not recovering from a run. You feel this in your muscles, and its probably a sign you need to ease off a bit to recover.
- Low Fuel Warning - not having enough fuel or bad fuel (McDonalds for dinner the day before?), sicknes - you can't do much about this on your run. Hold back, cut mileage, or even take the day off to recover. Try to eat healthier.
- Sleepiness - This one I constantly contend with on early morning runs. A small dose of caffeine can help if there's no way around getting more sleep. I find a good warmup prior to starting (jumping jacks, realizing your forgot things causing you to run up and down the stairs) helps with this.
- Boredom - My body seems fine, I'm well rested, but I just can't get into the run. Change up your workout if you can. Fartleks can be a nice change of pace (literally), so can a track workout if its been a while. Try running through more crowded areas or take a short drive to get away from your normal route.
After Five miles... I checked my watch... Turns out I wasn't much under goal pace. With two long lights, 47 isn't a bad time for me. I guess the moral is, sometimes your body is just out of touch with your mind - and that's when being able to track accurate splits can be really helpful.
In other news, last night I made an awesome protein packed dinner. Quinoa, Brown Rice, Tempeh,Onions, Shrimp, Yellow Peppers, vegie broth, peas and mushrooms. I topped it with some hot sauce - and while its not pretty, it was tasty and filling.