So I should be stretching right now, but I wanted to write up a quick post while I am still sweaty and still feeling the sting of being slightly frustrated during my run. That’s right, today was one of those days with running. I think it’s important to talk about the not so great days, because it gives me focus to see what I can work on and helps me to remember that I am just human after all. There is usually a reason for the bad run – not hydrating properly, not eating adequately or eating at the wrong time, not getting a good nights sleep, along with a whole myriad of other reasons. However, the reason I bring this up is not to highlight the fact that if you run long enough you will experience those bad days, but to highlight the mental consequences of these runs.
When all we look at is the achievements of other people it can be very inspiring; but it makes it hard to understand the process both physically and mentally of getting to that state. Which is why it is valuable to share when everything doesn’t just fall into place. This helps us to analyze the process, stop trying to explain away the poor performance and really learn from the mistakes which in turn makes us a better runner. Sometimes there is simply no reason for a bad run, other than the fact that it was bad run.
I stopped trying to convince myself that running is always fun, it’s not. I stopped trying to convince myself that running should be easy, it’s not. That’s right, I said it. You are going to have the days where you don’t feel like running, where you don’t meet the distance you set out to or when you stop midway in a run and just turn home. But it’s ok! We are all living bodies and we are not some machine that can be turned on and off when required to work. It’s just a part of life and we are all subject to life’s little hiccups, it’s what keeps it interesting.
Part way through my run today, I was feeling tired, my legs were heavy as lead and was I frustrated I couldn’t run up the hill that only last week I flew up. I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths and reminded myself where I was. Opening my eyes I could see the sun stream through the giant pine and cedar trees, lighting up the ferns blanketing the ground below, the sweet scent of summer leaves in the air. I could feel the sweat dripping down my face, my heart beating in my chest; which meant was body was alive and working. I was out there with all the health and vitality I could ever want and I was running. Isn’t that enough?