How was your run today? Did you feel light as a feather? Or did you feel like me, a bear that got shot with a tranquilizer dart?
I even got 8 hours of sleep last night! Okay, those 222 squats yesterday afternoon are likely a big reason why other runners (that I never saw) out this rainy morning definitely nicknamed me “old lead legs.”
My first run of marathon training, a measly 25 minutes, and it felt so, soooo hard! I hate running!
On my run, though, I was listening to an older Runner Academy podcast with Tyler McCandless called “Running by Feel without a Watch and Thinking Long Term” about how to run stress-free. (Tyler is a top distance runner and part of Newton Running elite.)
Incidentally, I was checking my watch every 30 seconds because everything felt so hard, I had no freaking idea how I was running. When my slow pace feels tough, that tends to throw me off.
The most important thing is that I finished my run.
The second most important thing is that weird disgusting thing that I think was a slug dangling in a spiderweb hanging from a tree branch did not actually touch my face.
The third most important thing is that I didn’t stress about the run. Even though my fast finish pace was nowhere as easy as I thought it should be, which frustrated me at first.
It was difficult to let go of staying in my prescribed pace, but instead of just quitting or forcing what would totally feel like all-out sprinting, I just tried to run by effort instead. Don’t get me wrong, I still checked my watch obsessively. My pace was all over the map each time, too: 8:45, 10:20, 11:05, 9:20. (Supposed to be 9:20-9:45.)
The prescribed run, a Fast Finish in my 80/20 training, was 5 minutes at slow pace, 20 minutes at long run pace and 5 minutes at tempo pace.
My run ended up being 2.32 miles in 25:44. An overall pace of 11:05. And, surprise! The last .32 was a 9:37 pace, so I was actually on point.
After work, I also walked on the treadmill for about .8 of a mile and 24 minutes while watching funny Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon clips.
On the podcast this morning Tyler also reminded me that we, and our training, are not defined by one run—whether it’s a shitty one or a fantastic one.
There are so many factors that can go in to how well, or not well, we run on any particular day:
- Sleep and rest
- MUSCLE SORENESS
- If your socks decide to stay up that day
- Your miiiiind
- Whether or not you have to pee
- And the list could go on and on
So, let’s not let one craptastic run ruin it for us, m’kay?
Also, this was by no means my worst run. I’d have to give it to that day in 2010 when I couldn’t bend my legs because my calves had seized up, thus prompting me to seek advice, which led to the discovery of my shin being fractured, resulting in my not running what I’d thought would be my first marathon.
In the end, though, that one run didn’t define my running or training. I went on to recover and became a better athlete than before. I’ve learned to think long term when it comes to running.
Besides, bad runs make for fun stories.
What is the worst run you’ve ever had?
Great post! As athletes we are often hard on ourselves when we didn’t perform up to par. I used to remember beating myself up after a bad game back in the day. One thing that changed it was my coach sitting me down and telling “It’s just 1 game,” there will be more.
I train using heart rate which can be HUGELY affected by stress, sleep, etc. I had one run where I was trying to keep a steady HR but had a lot of life stress going on. I couldn’t keep it steady because I was thinking about life stuff and then I would stress about not keeping it steady. It was a vicious cycle. I may have had a breakdown on the side of the road. Definitely top ten worst runs! But it makes for a funny story :p
Good post. When I was training for my full I had days where just 4 miles were super hard! But in the end it’s all worth it and you know from the first you did. Hey I just ran 26.2 with NO MUSIC. Now that’s a challenge.