Well, that run sucked. So what?

Today’s run is a fine example of why I write my training plans in pencil. I was supposed to run 14 miles today. I didn’t. I was supposed to run 4 miles yesterday. I didn’t. Have I felt bad about this? Yes. Have I felt like a failure? You betcha. But I’m choosing to re-write these feelings and look at this as a learning experience. I’m choosing to take the positives out of it rather than the negatives. Here goes nothing!

  • I got some much needed rest. Part of the reason why this run sucked was because I got started late and the temperatures were soaring high mixed with ugly humidity. I went to bed plenty early. My alarm was set for 5:30am. I got up at 6:30am. I have to remember that rest is just as important in my training as doing the work. So my body told me rest was what I needed this morning.
  • I did a warm up. Every time I have gone in for treatment of a running injury I have been asked if I’m warming up and cooling down properly. I will admit that I have let that slip. Today I did a 10 minute yoga warm up. In the end the heat got the best of me, but I am telling myself that I wouldn’t have lasted as long as I did or held up as well as I did without that warm up.
  • I held a consistent pace that was actually the long run pace I should be aiming for. I usually run my long runs closer to race pace or a little slower. Today’s pace was 60-90 seconds slower than my goal pace for the marathon, which is exactly what Hal Higdon recommends. Apparently I need mother nature to humble me sometimes.
  • I listened to my body and made peace with my decision to cut it short. Don’t get me wrong – there were a few moments where I was beating myself about stopping before I reached 14 miles. But when I started to get random chills and felt my heart rate absolutely sky rocketing, I knew I needed to cut it short before I ended up sick or worse.

At the end of the day, do I wish that I would have gotten up earlier and maybe beat the heat a little better so that I could say I finished all 14 miles? Absolutely. But that’s what is important about this run. It is important that I don’t beat myself up for what went wrong, but be glad about what went right, and take note of what to do next time to improve so I won’t have another sucky run.

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I’m sharing all of this with you because if you are a runner, you will probably have a run that just plain sucks. You’ll probably end up questioning yourself after it is finished and wondering whether or not you are really capable of whatever goal you are reaching for. You’ll most likely pick apart the run and find the negatives and overlook the positives. I hope that after reading this and knowing that you’re not alone, you’ll try to do what I did here and find the good parts. Keep it positive. Keep running. Embrace the suck.

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