“I haven’t been feeling well.” “I didn’t drink enough water.” “My dinner last night could’ve been healthier.” “I just couldn’t catch my breath!” “I should’ve went to bed earlier.”
Sometimes, you just have a bad run.
For me, that bad run was yesterday. It HAD to be on the final 20-miler of my marathon training. All of the excuses above ran through my head, along with “I shouldn’t have had that beer”, “I thought I was on better shape”, and “I REALLY hope I don’t feel like this at the marathon.”
I started out the run feeling OK, but not great. I’ve been battling some sort of sinus virus, along with terrible allergies, so I wasn’t expecting the run of my life. However, I was feeling much better that morning and pumped up to tackle the culmination of my training plan! 10 miles into the run, I started to drag behind my pace group and have a hard time breathing. We broke off into a smaller group at one of the turns, and I had to lead the way for 3 fellow runners who couldn’t remember the course. Around mile 13 it starts to get pretty hilly, and I had to stop to catch my breath after every hill. My group stopped with me and encouraged me; finally, around mile 14, they knew where they were going so I headed straight for the finish.
I spent the last 3 miles walking, running, and thinking. What happened to me? How do I mentally overcome this blow? Am I really ready for the Chicago Marathon? Should I push through and do the full 20, or just go in?
Then, my thoughts started to shift:
“My legs are feeling better on this run than the last 20-miler.” “Running 17 miles should never be considered a failure.” “I already got one 20-miler in.” “I am a marathoner!”
That’s when I finally realized: I had a bad day. It happens, and I was smart enough to realize I needed to take it easy. I’m not going to let one run define how I’ll do at the marathon. Sometimes, you just have a bad run.
How do you overcome your ‘bad’ runs?