On Saturday, I had a really shitty run. I should not have run that day. I was so freaking tired and my legs felt like lead. Yet I had it in my mind that I was going to run, so I did. I planned to do 5 miles but ended up doing 6 at an 8:32 pace. It was pretty hilly and maintaining that pace was an effort. It was not enjoyable.
Some shitty runs just happen out of the blue. Mine was several days in the making. In fact, I set myself up for this shitty run....
HOW TO HAVE A REALLY SHITTY RUN:
1. Get horrible sleep for a few nights right before the run.
2. Go out to eat with friends at 11:00 pm the night before the run.
3. Drink a dirty martini...
4. ...and a glass of merlot.
5. Eat a HUGE grilled Rachel sandwich. So big, it's pretty much 2 sandwiches...
6. ... and a side of fries.
7. Stay out talking and laughing until 1:15 am.
8. Go to bed at 2:30 am.
9. Wake up at 7:00 am and toss and turn until 8:00 am.
10. Spend 3 hours on your feet with your parents making a garden in your back yard.
11. Finally run around 2:30 pm that day.
As you can see, there was no way the run was not going to be shitty. The only good thing about my run is what I ate afterwards....
I wrote about shitty runs before here, and I gave some tips on how to survive and learn from them!
1. First of all, if you are legitimately sick or injured, DON'T RUN! You will not get an award for your suffering, and the run will probably just make you feel worse.
2. Adjust your expectations and be okay with it. You may not run your normal pace or be able to cover your usual distance. Pick a reasonable goal your body can handle TODAY.
3. Break your run down into smaller portions by giving yourself a walking or stretching break. Mental games go a long way!
4. Try not to focus on the discomfort, but how wonderfully accomplished you will feel when you are finished!
5. After your Shitty Run, don't get down on yourself for not having a "good" run. There will be many more runs when you feel 100% and you will be able to challenge yourself the way you normally do.
6. Remember this run. Why? Because there will be more runs like it. And when a Shitty Run happens again, you can say to yourself, "Eh, it's just a Shitty Run. I've pushed through it before and I can push again!" Maybe you will feel shitty at the end of a race and the memory of your Shitty Run will motivate you to endure- because you've been there before and you know that you can do it!
How do you get through a really shitty run?