I wonder if you do what I do.
You have a bad run, or a series of especially sucky runs, and you start to question everything. Why is this happening? What the hell is going on?
It is like an investigation into all of the factors that could be contributing to this horrendous situation (CSI for runners). Why? Why? Why? For God’s sake WHY???
I’m training for this ultra relay (September 11-12). I’m kind of stressed about it only because the runs are really tough with lots of vertical gain and altitude, and I am running 40 miles over the 24 hours on no sleep and weird food (well, probably existing on Clif Bars, PB&J and cheese sticks – not weird so much as not real meals).
I can imagine my stomach will revolt all over the trail at some point. I’ve been training hard – trying to get out to the trails and doing back to back longer runs on the weekends. Did I mention there are only five of us covering the full 170 mile distance?
The last two weekends of runs have sucked balls. It’s been hot and I’ve been tired. I’ve fallen (and gotten up), ran out of water, had horrific stomach cramps, farted a bunch, and tried my best not to complain. After all, these are goals I’ve chosen and dammit I’m grateful to be able to run. But, why is this so f*cking hard sometimes?
This is what I’ve come up with (some is physical, most is mental/emotional).
- I’m getting old. Well, okay I’m not ancient, but I’m older than I was a few years ago (see how smart I am? Yes indeed 48 is older than 42!) and this can make recovery tougher.
- I’m dehydrated. On the weekends I drink more wine than normal and forget to drink as much water. The weekends are also when I am doing my long and hot runs. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to know this isn’t helping my performance.
- I’m too hard on myself. I love social media for certain things, but other time it pisses me off because it make me feel not good enough (yeah, yeah, no one should be able to make you feel not good enough…but). This is really freaking stupid because I know everyone posts a filtered and ideal view of themselves, but sometimes it’s tough not to compare.
- I’m not eating enough before my runs. I was reading an article yesterday (can’t remember where, sorry – I was getting my hair done at the time so it must have been US Weekly – the source for all good running info) that said prior to a long run, I would need 5-75 grams of easily digestible carbs, like a bagel or oatmeal or something. I KNOW THIS, but I don’t always do it. I also know I should floss, but…
- I need to accept that pace naturally slows in the heat.
- Where I run. One run I do in particular is on Magnolia Road in the hills outside of Boulder. If you know “Mags” as it is called then you know this where Kara Goucher and the Univ of Colorado Cross Country team trains. And many other crazy fast and pro people. so, when I am out there huffing and puffing my ass off, struggling to keep a 10 minute mile on the hills and these shirtless/hairless cross country boys come bounding by with no water and hardly breathing heavy at all I seriously want to punch them in the balls. Yes, that is jealousy. It just is.
- I must have some bizarre disease taking over my body that I don’t know about and that is why I’m tired. Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks this.
- Running is hard. And then you die.
So, there you have it. I need to get behind myself and stop the negativity. I also need to pay closer attention to hydration and diet. We all get off track, no?
Comparison is the thief of joy, my friends!
The good news is I got out early today and had a splendid run. Here I am. I am bigger than a house.
And, I remember things could be worse because I could knowingly be running with my period and not using a tampon and be in the news about it. If you haven't heard this lovely and bloody story, go HERE. Apparently she did this to fight period shaming (PS). To that I say “WTF?”
This is one trend I will not be participating in. What’s next? Purposefully running when you have diarrhea to see what happens? Will someone do that to fight poop shaming?
When was your last suck-fest run?
What do you tell yourself when you have a bad run?
Would you run without a tampon to fight PS?