I wrote on Monday about my 16km run on Saturday that was both tough and mentally challenging. That was kind of putting it mildly. I woke up feeling rested and ready to conquer my nearly 10 mile route. I decided to take advantage of a freshly paved asphalt path near my neighborhood and overcast skies. The temperature was cooler and the fresh pavement meant less pounding on my poor aching knees.
That’s pretty much where the magic ended. I had a crappy run. No doubt about it. I planned out a new route (which I do as much for safety and for interest) and the first 10 minutes were bloody craptastic. To be fair, the first 10 minutes of any run are always pretty nasty. Everything hurts and it takes me awhile to find my rhythm. But these first 10 were downright horrible. Aches, pains and my legs felt really heavy and sluggish. The next 10 weren’t any better. The 10 after that, I was nearly in tears in frustration. I just wasn’t feeling this run. As I crossed over the footbridge that would take me out of my neighbourhood and on the path of no return, I was doubting myself. I could barely put together a ten minute lap and felt like I would fall over. I really had planned on giving up and turning around at the start of mile 4. I spent all of mile 3 telling myself that it was for the best because I didn’t want a bad 16km run to haunt me all week leading up to my 10 miler on Sunday.
I was doing a pretty good job of convincing myself when I caught site of two ladies running toward me going the opposite way on the path. They were probably in their 60′s and dressed the part (think sweat pants pulled up to the boobs…or maybe boobs pulled down to the sweat pants…either way…). As they approached, I could see that they weren’t just walking or casually jogging, they were running at a very respectable pace. I said good morning to them as we passed each other by and proceeded to give my head a good shake. Why the heck was I trying to talk myself out of a run, ready to give up because it was hard. I really wanted to smack myself.
I didn’t smack myself but I did finish my run. Every single kilometer of it. It didn’t get much better and I have blisters the size of grapefruits on my feet but I finished.
One thing I think I am very guilty of is forgetting that for every amazing run, there is always a crappy run lurking in the shadows. There are going to be days when my legs will feel like they weigh 100lbs each. There will be days when I don’t feel like lacing up. And there are many days when my knees are so stiff, I can barely get my legs moving after a walk break (don’t even get me started on the blisters!). But if I gave up after every bad run, I’d never get past the 100m mark.
People, it’s about understanding that we all have limits and we are all going to have those bad days. We just have to power through them and not let them overshadow the good runs (or swims, or races or WODs).
Have you ever been on the brink of throwing in the towel and then had a “moment” that snapped you back to reality?