Thursday, October 23, 2014

11 Things to Remember During a Horrible Run

It happens to the best of us. We head out for a run and it sucks. Heavy legs. Bad attitude. Shortness of breath. Heart beating out of chest. The impulse is to stop, turn around 180 degrees and head for home. Why put yourself through the torture?

Just like we have bad hair days, we have bad run days. Without the shitty days, how can we truly appreciate the amazing days?

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In the midst of our most horrible run, what should we remember? That’s simple.

1. No matter how crappy you feel, you made it out the door today, i.e., you are doing more than those people sitting in the McDonald’s drive thru waiting for their Egg McMuffin (Mmmm….eggs).

2. Sucky runs are building your mental toughness. Sometimes the runs that feel the most amazing after the fact are the ones that are the most hard won. The next time you are challenged on a run you can draw on this experience.

3. 99.9% of the time a bad run is followed by an amazing run. This is a documented fact since 400 B.C.

4. This nightmare will be over soon and you have the rest of the day to not be running.

5. One bad run does not define you as a runner. Get over it and move on.

6. A horrific run is better than no run at all.

7.  There might be a donut available to you later in the day.

8. It’s either your thoughts or your body giving you grief. If your brain is psyching you out, simply tell it to shut up and ignore it. If your body is tired or achy, slow your pace a bit, stretch for a second and know that as your warm up you will loosen up. Every step forward is a step closer to the end of this agony.

9. If you are suffering because you are hung-over from food or drink, don’t stop. Often times running cleanses out some of the toxins and you will feel better afterwards.

10. Think (but don’t obsess) about why you feel the way you do. Are you overtraining? Are you sleep deprived? Does your diet suck? If you can pinpoint something specific, then address it. If not, then just know bad runs happen and this too shall pass.

11. Remember that even a bad run is giving you some sort of stress relief and is burning a decent number of calories.

 

When was your last crappy run? Last week. I felt like I didn’t have time to be running that day. My gut hurt. I was starting my period. But then I found a parakeet and felt better.

What helps you get through a horrible run?

SUAR

31 comments:

  1. Almost 2 weeks ago...my 20 mile training run. New location, higher elevation, didn't have my running socks, had to borrow earphones (that sucked), didn't drink enough, tried new fuel, didn't fuel enough, blah, blah, blah..and the first time I'd had to walk to finish a long run.
    I think it was my delirium that got me thru the last 4 miles (I might have "seen" a parakeet too). I cussed at traffic, laughed at people and chatted my sister's ear off, who ran the last 6 miles with me. I just knew I had to keep moving, and that I could take a nap when I got done. I fantasized about pizza too. Happy that it happened during training and not during the upcoming marathon.

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  2. My last bad run was yesterday. This is my peak week for marathon training, and I have a bad cold. So I ran on a new-to-me part of my favorite trail and marveled in all of the fall colors. Why would I ever want to leave Illinois when it looks like this, I wondered. Worked like a charm. 5 miles, BOOM.

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  3. #7 was the most motivational thing I've read all week.

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  4. YESTERDAY - 11 mile tempo - tried to do it in 88 minutes - went out too fast in the first mile - legs cramped and then the rest of the way was a fight. Took me 95 minutes instead of 88. It was cold and rainy and I could barely turn off my music when I got back to my car my hands were so frozen. Can't wait to get out there tomorrow :-)

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  5. Lately it feels like every run I do in the mornings is a bad run, where I live it has been getting really cold in the mornings and as I am just waking up it sucks to have to jump outside and embrace the cold. It is worth it though I tell myself that if I give up it will set my attitude for the rest of the day and I will find myself giving up on things throughout the day.

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  6. Love it! I needed this. One bad run doesn't define you, but sometimes in the moment I'm like "when did I become such a shitty runner?" These are all good to remember!

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  7. It's been a while...but I plenty of them this summer! I always tell myself the cliches: you don't have to run, you get to run AND even a bad run is better than no run.

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  8. My last bad run was about a week ago. It was supposed to be nice and easy, but turned out to be really hard and I had to stop early. Still happy I went out and did it.

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  9. I make myself promises. Like if you just get through this run you can...Eat a donut, eat cookies, go shopping, buy new shoes, whatever works. :D

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  10. 18 miler a couple of weeks ago. I tried a new sports drink and didn't read the label carefully. It contained Xylitol, Gut Enemy #1 to this runner. I finished the miles, but it was painfully slow with numerous pit stops. One week later, same distance, no GI issues, birds were singing, and I shaved over a minute a mile off my pace!

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  11. My last run on Tuesday when i rolled my ankle. It was an awesome run - 2 hours in the hills. I could have come away saying it was a bad run because i got injured but i learnt a lot about myself during this run. I'm glad i got injured it made shit real :) If i'm having a bad run from the start i'll motivate myself with the hot chocolate i can have when i finish.. Long hot shower.. Feel happy that i can physically run as some people just cant.

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  12. I would love to be able to have even a sucky run...but, my knees are messed up so I can't run right now. :(

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    1. Me too. Had a PRP injection to treat my PF and now I'm stuck in a walking boot. :(

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  13. Two weeks ago at mile 8 during my 2nd half marathon. Called boyfriend crying at mile 10 that I didn't want to run anymore. Kept running and finished without walking (proud), albeit 6 minutes slower than my goal pace (bummer).

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  14. One of my running BFFs always says that you're only one run away from a good run. When in the middle of a sucky run, I think of this and how annoyed I get at her when she says it. This usually turns into a reflection on funny things that have happened when running with my BFFs, and cheers me up.

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  15. Thank you! I've had a lot of lousy runs lately so I'll be printing this list and posting it where I can look at as often as I need to to get back on track.

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  16. I totally agree that without the bad runs you can't really appreciate the good ones when they happen. Also, there BETTER be a donut waiting for me afterwards. lol. :)

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  17. I've never really had a crappy run. I've come close once, where I had to stop and cross my legs, and then take a shortcut home.

    Some runs are tougher than others. I tell myself to give it 2K and if it's still feeling bad, I have permission to end it. Most of the time by the time I hit 2 K I'm warmed up and feeling better. On the longer runs when I'm in the middle of it, and no short cut home, and it's going bad, I just suck it up and keep going, with two things in mind. One - There are many people that would given everything they have to be able to run, or even walk, so I celebrate being mobile. Two - it's a HTFU day, and I embrace the suck. The tougher your training workouts are, the easier it is to get through races, and other workouts.

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  18. I'm slow....like, holy-shit-I-hope-they-don't-close-the-course-on-me-during-my-first-half-marathon slow. I didn't feel good on Monday but didn't want to lose a training day so I ran anyway. And it didn't feel very good so I walked a lot of it. Somehow at the end my pace was only a minute off my target pace. That made it better. But thinking of the Costco dog I go get after a run made it great. :D

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  19. Monday... I hit peak marathon training last Saturday with a 20 miler at 8:35 pace. I was then supposed to turn around and do 8- 800m intervals on Monday at a 6:46 pace with 90 sec rest intervals. I dont normally wimp out on runs unless I am afraid of injury in a sore spot, but I totally wimped out after 1 interval. My body just didn't want to go. Paces that are usually easy to me were tough. So I took as a sign for more needed recovery and ran sssssllllllooooowwwww and it still sucked. BUT i then turned around on Wednesday and rocked my tempo run. Two and a half more weeks of taper before marathon #3!

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  20. Fantastic post! Every runner has been there, that one run that makes you doubt your ability as a runner and makes you think that you aren't as fit as you thought you were. My last really crappy run was my marathon, but the thought of crossing the finish line, even if I had to walk most of it, kept me going.

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  21. I've forced myself to run hungover before and it sucks. Good to know that it helps and I'm not making it worse.

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  22. My last bad run was with a friend, thank God!!! She helped me though it and I bought her drinks later that week to make up for all my complaining and whining. Gotta love running friends!

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  23. Knowing that an AWESOME run is in my future (because that's the way it usually works!) is good motivation for me!

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  24. My crappy runs are usually early morning weekday runs. I'm tired, it's dark outside, ugh. But I'll think how fortunate I am that I am able to run and think to myself, "okay, what is everyone else in my neighborhood doing right now? They're still in bed!" The rest of the day is so much better after even a crappy early morning run.

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  25. I hate running early in the morning before work if I knew I couldn't get out at night. The one run that sticks out in horrificness was a run between farm fields when a helicopter started making passes back and forth spraying the fields! I had nowhere to go accept sprinting forward for a half mile trying not to breath! The crap they sprayed left me dizzy and nauseous!

    One other thing to remember when having a horrible run is that there are many who can't run who would give anything to run.

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  26. I needed this today. I"m a relatively new runner training for my first half-marathon. I had a 7 miler yesterday and it was slow and hot (texas is holding onto summer) and I almost quit after 2 miles. BUT, I finished it out (albeit, with a lot of walking) and am glad I made it - even if it was slower and harder than I would have liked. Reading running blogs today to try to stay motivated for this next week of training. I came home and ate banana, chocolate chip pancakes, topped with apple spice butter. YUM. Thanks for sharing these thoughts….I need to remember that not EVERY run will be a bad one. (insta: @kyleemarissa)

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  27. What gets me through a bad run is the fact that I'm physically able to run! Running is truly a gift and privilege. It's a huge part of who I am.

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  28. It was 80 degrees and humid. I had had a "snack" of warm grapefruit juice and mint M&Ms beforehand. Dis.Gus.Ting dry heaves, sweating out soup, shortness of breath, lethargic led legs. But I finished it. Now I fuel much better and smarter. Bad runs are great teachers!

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