While most of my posts lean towards the humourous side of training, I have to admit, it’s not always as fun as I make it out to be. Let me be the first to say that while I’ve had some awesome achievements in the past two weeks in terms of pace and goals, yesterday was just plain awful.
With it being Easter, and my birthday this weekend, I took both Saturday and Sunday off. I came, I saw, and I ate. I probably ate too much. With that being said, when Easter Monday rolled around, I rolled – LITERALLY – out of bed and decided to lace up my shoes and get my long run in. I also decided that I would oblige my 45 minute date with the pool. How nice of me.
How I felt on Sunday
As beautiful as it was outside, my run was anything but beautiful. From the moment I began running I felt like a piece of garbage. I was tired, I was cranky, and I just kept beating myself up for the entire 6km’s I clocked. Details of my thought process:
- Wow. This sucks.
- Woweeweewa, this really sucks.
- Oh my gosh, it’s only been a minute
- Don’t worry, it will get better at 3km.
- Wow. I’m really thirsty. AGAIN.
- My pace is slower than ever.
- Why are these families walking in a line that’s the entire width of the trail? That sign says, “share the path”.
- Oh my gosh, it’s only been 4km.
- Why am I hating this?
- Why do you suck so bad today?
- How am I ever going to run a half marathon?
- 10 more minutes. Make them count.
- Looks at watch – that was only 6km? Sweet baby Jesus, how did I ever run 10km? That felt like 100km of torture.
- I’m hungry.
I’m hungry is always my favourite. I failed to mention that I probably thought about ordering a pizza at least 50 times during that run. Ugh, but really, that run was probably one of the worst I’ve ever had. Despite wanting to quit several times during the run, I realized that run taught me something far more valuable about myself and about training that is simply priceless – perseverance. While the mechanics of that run were horrible, my mind battled it out. I overcame that nattering voice in my head that belittled me over and over again, and I didn’t quit. I chalked those mechanics up to it being a bad day – a bad day that wouldn’t define me. It was also a test. As I ran alone, and hadn’t done so for a while, it provided me with the chance to be solo and overcome that hurdle. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, running is far more of a mental exercise versus a physical one, and some days, I have to tame the beast.
As much as I didn’t want the bad run to define my day, my swim was also bad. I was just so tired and sluggish in the pool. I managed to get a km of laps in, but I am usually closer to the 1.5km+ mark. Maybe I am being too hard on myself, but as a person who is competitive with their own self, it’s really hard to accept less than what you know you’re capable of. Nevertheless, I reminded myself that even though I already had a bad run, and was feeling so terrible, I still put a solid effort in at the pool.
I think for me, writing this out put this awful training day into perspective for me even more than my thoughts about it yesterday did. As yucky as it was, I feel like I scored in the mental toughness department. I stuck it out and I saw a positive at the end even in the midst of all the negative. I also wanted to write about it as a lot of people have asked me what the recipe to my success has been, and when I’m asked that, I often feel like they think it’s been an easy ride, when really, it’s not always easy – case and point with my story above. Truth be told, this running adventure of mine reminds me of the movie Kung Fu Panda. There is no secret ingredient. I found something I love, and while the only opinion that matters is my own, sharing these stories with all of you helps keep me accountable. Thanks for always listening.