When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Or, at least that’s how the song and old saying goes. Yesterday, I had one of the hardest runs I’ve had in I don’t know how long. I was tired, hot and my legs were begging me to stop. It felt much more like I was running a half marathon than an easy 8 mile training run.
Runs that suck just happen. I think having them makes us appreciate the blessing that running is more. When we are out there and it feels we will never reach that finish line, or back to where we started (and where the car is parked), I know I feel tougher. Okay, so at the time, I just feel exhausted and secretly am praying for the ability to fly. But, when I’m done and I can look back at how much it took out of me both physically and mentally to get the run done, it’s a great experience.
NEVER regret getting out the door to run. I constantly remind myself that not only is it a blessing to be able to run, but that it takes a few bad runs here and there to better respect the good ones. We remember our great and “easier” runs much more clearly than the two or three ugly ones. Funny how I can’t recall the last ugly run, but I always recollect the good ones. And, most of my runs are that latter category.
I’m also thankful that I have a great group that I run with three times a week. We motivate and push one another out of our comfort zones regularly. The support system of these friends is priceless. Running friends just get each other. When I’m out there with them, I feel as though I can do more than I could alone. I believe because of them the motivation to get up early in the morning and hit the road when most people are still in bed is strong. It doesn’t matter if I don’t feel like I want to run (a rarity, but can happen), knowing they are waiting for me gets me out of bed and out the door.
It’s important to get back out there for your next scheduled run after a bad one. Looking back at what may have been the cause(s) of the bad run helps as well. Did you eat and hydrate properly beforehand? Did you get enough sleep? Knowing why the run may have gone bad can help improve future run issues. Or, maybe it was a mental struggle. Training is both physical and mental, you need to work on both areas. I know Saturday morning’s run was a combination of not getting a good night’s rest and the heat. I knew starting out the run that I didn’t have a good night’s sleep, so it definitely contributed big time to my tiredness. After over four years of being a distance runner, I have learned that I rarely sleep well the night before a long run, but I was a bit surprised I had issues sleeping before a run that wasn’t really “big.” But hey, things happen and we learn from them.
When was the last time you had a bad run?
How do you push through them?