When it doesn’t get better

I often find that I start my long runs feeling stiff and slow with fatigue and soreness from the previous day (or week)’s activities making it feel very uncomfortable. Generally I can shake this off within the first 10 or 20 minutes as I settle in and find a groove. It really sucks when that doesn’t end up happening!

My group met just outside of town this morning to complete our long run on a new route along some country roads. The change in scenery was fantastic and while we faced rolling hills the entire way, it was nothing unmanageable. We had a biting cold but clear morning with the sun bright in the sky. Other than numb hands to start and some slippery sections, there are no complaints about these conditions.

I started off feeling so-so as usual and was happy for the company – as usual. When we hit the 5K mark and I still found myself dragging, I got a little concerned. As it turns out, it didn’t end up getting any better. I struggled through almost every step of a three hour run, counting down kilometres by the tenths and relishing the walk breaks.

There were a few rare moments where I felt decent, but they never seemed to stick. I did my best to carry some conversations, soak up the scenery and enjoy the day, all the while whining on the inside (okay, on the outside too) about how crummy I was feeling.

runs-and-stuff-015-225x300In the end I made it through nearly 20 miles and could not have been happier to be done. You know how a little while after finishing a brutal workout or race, you can sometimes look back and think, “Hmmm, that wasn’t so bad”? That sooo didn’t happen today. I remember every painful moment all too clearly, but I also know that every painful moment made me just a little bit stronger.

Without bad runs, we couldn’t have good runs – right?


photo source: I ❤ to run


32 thoughts on “When it doesn’t get better

  1. I think every runner out there has runs like this. Even the amateur runners like me. But usually we turn around and call it quits but you stuck with it and that is what matters.

  2. Haha I had a run like that on Friday night. I’m doing interval training where I am increasing my intervals; this week I could feel it in my breathing. It was hard to push passed it and mentally go forward. All you can say in the end was you persevered and finished what you started. Way to go!

  3. Love the quote! So true! Way to get through it and sorry it didn’t get better! But you are right, without the bad ones, you couldn’t have the good ones. I had a great run Friday and then Saturday was not good! Ugh…oh well!

  4. I think it shows your dedication that you kept going and finished the run. There are other people (and yes I’m one of them) that would have shortened the run.
    Job well done Marlene, you can be proud of yourself.

  5. You do so much, don’t let this blip in the training get you down. Bad runs help us appreciate the good ones and after slugging through yesterday you’ve got a super run coming to you!

  6. I find the cruddy runs make the good ones that much better. You didn’t chuck it in and stuck with it.
    Sometimes that’s more a victory than flying through a run.

  7. Ha, that picture definitely says it all – these runs are the absolute toughest. You’re definitely stronger mentally And physically for getting through them, but it’s hard to convince yourself of that in the thick of the “torture”. 🙂 Seasoned marathoner, you know this.

    hope you’re feeling better today!

  8. I think I get one of those every marathon training cycle. The last 6 of my 18 last week were similar. Just kept telling myself that the next one will be better–and so will yours!

  9. Very tough indeed, but well done for finishing it like you did. I had a tough run like that on Saturday as well. I really believe in these bad runs. They make you strong mentally too.

  10. Saturday my run was similar – we got stuck in a blizzard that kept starting and stopping! Just when I thought we were out of it, the snow would start again. Hope you feel more rested now!

  11. that picture – your face – I’m sorry but I’m cracking up here! I’ve had runs like that, where I’m like, WTF, I just ran 15 miles, where’s my adrenaline and endorphins yo?!

  12. Pingback: Boston+ Training – Week 8 | Mission to a(nother) Marathon

  13. I am so proud of you for sticking it out through the entire run. I have had those days, and all you can do is truck through it. And the good thing is, these type of character building runs make the good runs that much better.

  14. Pingback: February 2012 | Mission to a(nother) Marathon

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