Ever had a run that sucks? I mean, really sucks? One of those where you doubt your ability to run even one mile.
This was me on Tuesday – 7 miles with heavy legs running slower than I have for a long time. I wasn’t ill and I’m not injured. This run sent me into the dreaded downward thought spiral. Doubt. Fear. A bit of an existential crisis. Yep, it’s all there.
But over the last few years, I’ve learned a lot about how to deal with runs like this and try to switch my headspace from the emotional to the rational. It becomes a little conversation in my head and goes a little like this –
I can’t do this
Now that’s an interesting thought, ‘Why can’t I do this?’ – Do I need to tweak my training, my diet or is it just on off-day – everyone has them.
Who am I kidding running another marathon?
I remember marathon 1, a frigging disaster, but I finished. If I could get through that, I can get through this. And we’ve all had shit we’ve had to deal with in our lives, this is minor in comparison.
I’m so unfit
Hmmmm, how I love this one! Over the last couple of weeks I’ve completed a half marathon and a 16 miler. Yep, only a runner would think this way. It’s crazy talk.
This is a waste of time
Building up the miles is hard work and sometimes it’s going to suck. I’m doing this because I love running, though sometimes not so much, and everything and everybody it’s brought into my life. I can’t imagine my life now without it.
Just give up
Bugger that. I think this might be where my stubborn streak comes in.
This isn’t always so easy to do. On Tuesday I let myself be a real grump for a while, acknowledged that I was feeling how I was feeling and then went through this process. And you know what? Within a few hours after that I started feeling a little better.
Some runs suck and for me, it’s happening a little more often simply because the miles are building and I’m getting tired. That’s sometimes just the way it goes.
So if you have a shitty run, it happens. I’m sure it happens to all runners at some point. The important thing is how you respond – the most important is getting the next run done, the one after that and the one after that.
How do you deal with runs that don’t go to plan?