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.