I learn something from almost every one of my runs and races. Today, Christopher and I set out for 7 miles—the long run in our first of a few step-back weeks in the training plan. And today, I struggled through about 5 of those 7 miles.
I struggled with breathing. Every blow of chilly air made me cringe. Every waft of smoke from a fireplace or cigarette made me cough. Every attempt to right my breath made me cramp up. It was miserable.
I struggled, too, with pain—in my ankles, calves and knees.
I learned, however, that the bad runs make you appreciate the good ones—the ones free of breathing issues, free of joint pain, free of side stitches. I learned, too, that the bad runs make you appreciate your running buddy (if you are lucky enough to have one)—the person who can tell by looking at you that you’re struggling and tells you everything will be fine.
Running is as much a physical feat as it is a mental one. I can understand physical problems and limitations, but I can’t figure out how best to deal with them and forgive myself for them sometimes.
I’m icing now. I can’t afford to be injured. I’m praying the pain goes away tonight.
I’m also on for a rest day tomorrow. Christopher and I are celebrating Valentine’s Day. We’ll be going out to eat (casual) and indulging in homemade cheesecake (recipe this week) and episodes of “Breaking Bad.”
How do you deal with a bad run?
Caitlin wrote an excellent post in September 2010 about coping with bad runs leading up to a race. I think my bad run is telling me I need to dial back the pace, cross train more seriously, stretch more diligently and rest more. I also think it’s telling me to not be a total couch potato leading up to a long run—to keep my legs loose.