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running sucks, being a runner is awesome.

I’ve been pretty pumped about the whole idea of running lately. This site is great, good ideas are flowing for GTRC, my buds are running, and I’m feeling stronger before, during and after my runs. However, I received a swift reminder this weekend that with any peaks, there are bound to be valleys.

I did a really nice trail run on Saturday. Some new terrain I’ve been wanting to try out, some good company, and perfect running weather. Super great. But, it was little shy, mileage-wise, of what I needed for my training. So I just figured I’d do a few miles on Sunday morning. Little did I know, those miles I would do on Sunday would be some of the most tedious, frustrating miles I’ve run since I stood up on my own two feet.

My pace was dragging, even though it felt like I was pushing it. The treadmill was rattling like crazy and loud as hell, which I’ve either never noticed, or just wasn’t bothered by previously. And the distance was just creeping up at a snail’s pace, like waiting for the bell to ring at the end of a school day… It was just horrible, and it was rather disheartening with respect to my attitude toward running in general.

Even now, a few days after, I have a hard time thinking of it as time and energy well spent. But I’m starting to realize, this has happened before, and with the amount of running I will do (and my, um, less than cheery attitude most of the time…) it’s inevitable that I’m going to have shitty runs from time to time. Which I guess is a good thing, right? Wait, wha??? Actually, all runners have shitty runs, at least based on everything I’ve read. There are going to be runs that drag. Runs that hurt. Runs where it feels like your legs are made of concrete and the ground beneath you is made of peanut butter. For some reason though, we all push through, and get back out there to do it again. And again. And again…

Each run, in and of itself, doesn’t have to be perfect, or fun even. They are part of a bigger, much more satisfying picture. A picture that is not just limited to one single crappy run. I read in a solid article today, “Training is about the process you undertake to generate a specific result later, maybe much later, the workouts of which are merely the constituents of the process.” For me, remembering that can help with getting through shitty runs.

Alternatively, maybe the point of those runs isn’t for the run itself to even be worthwhile, but rather, to make the time we spend outside of the runs a little more positive. Remembering the satisfying feeling you get for the rest of the day after finishing a long run first thing in the morning. Maybe focus on getting healthier, losing a couple pounds, and feeling better about yourself. Or focus on checking your favorite running blog and seeing how your friends are doing with their runs. Or maybe even focus on the satisfaction of overcoming the fear of wondering whether or not the next run you start is going to be as horrible as that garbage run you can’t get out of your head…

Hopefully something good can be taken from this. It’s meant to be uplifting. I wasn’t blessed with an over-abundance of natural running ability, so maybe I have a few more crap runs than others. I need to remind myself why I do this all the time.

7 Responses to running sucks, being a runner is awesome.

  1. Jeff O. December 4, 2013 at 4:49 am #

    Awesome post! One of the more intimidating things about getting back into running for me is the fear of the crappy runs… legs hurting, lungs burning, barely moving… all that stuff. I need to remember that some of the runs will just be crappy but most of them won’t and it’s those runs that will start to keep me motivated.

    Keep putting in the miles! (and I’ll start too…)

    • Larry December 4, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

      don’t let my crappy run put the fear in you! there are more good runs than bad, and we can always commiserate about the tougher ones over beers!

  2. Matt December 4, 2013 at 5:59 am #

    running does suck. it is really, really, really hard and time consuming. but if i don’t do it, my whole life is noticeably crappier. thanks, running.

  3. Clarke Forrest December 4, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    I thought mother nature was gonna finger me on my first run last night with the rain, but it ended up being super fun, very positive. Good to start off on a good note, but I’ll probably have to revisit this post a few times over the next few months (or just bitch at jon about running being hard, then blaming my shorts or something).

    • Matt December 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      running in the rain is one of my favorite things.

    • Larry December 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

      yeah, get wet, it’s good for the soul… or sole… or something…

  4. flightbypony December 17, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Shane once told me that someone told him (or he read it somewhere) that every good run you have completely earned; there are no fluke good runs. You cannot achieve those without effort, it is physically and scientifically impossible, so you are seeing the results of your efforts when you have one. Every every every every everyone has crap days. They don’t mean anything, really, except that it’s a flukey crap run day. Those thoughts have kept me moving in the middle of said crap runs. I like to use crap runs now to either beat out mental distress through sweat (since I’m usually in so much pain anyways, it all goes hand in hand), or enjoy pretty stuff I see as I hobble along. Cat spotting is fun, but old chinese man spotting is more fun.

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