Unfortunately, it was not a very enjoyable run. That morning, I got my period, which meant for the better part of the day, I'd have lower back pain, mild cramps, and stiff legs. I shouldn't complain too much, because I don't always get these symptoms, and when I do, it's usually only for like the first 12 hours. I know there are a lot of ladies who suffer GREATLY during their time of the month, so I am thankful I'm only plagued with mild discomfort for half a day. Sometimes this affects my workout, sometimes it doesn't. Today, it most certainly did!
For one thing, I had zero energy. My legs felt so stiff and I felt like I was running sooooo slow... at least 9 minute miles. It turns out I was doing 8:14 miles, but it felt like a huge effort. Also, the whole time I was running, I just wanted to stop and bend over to stretch my back out. I didn't feel better as the run progressed, either.
I finished my run, though. I completed 7 miles and then my understanding hubby taught me some back stretches in the grass. But as I was running, I figured it would be great to write about the topic of "Shitty Runs", because not every run is going to feel good! There are just some days we won't have our mojo, whether it's because we're on our period, tired, a little bit sick, sad, whatever. We won't always feel 100%.
Here are some tips to get you through a Shitty Run!
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. (Example: Today, when I got to mile 3.5, I walked, stretched out my back, drank some water and took some pictures. It was nice to look forward to the break, and then mentally, it was like I went on two 3.5 mile runs, not one long 7 miler.)
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!
**Remember, a Shitty Run is not a run in which you are running
through a sickness or injury! That would be a STUPID run!**
(I've been on stupid runs before. No one is perfect!)
Did you ever have a Shitty Run?
What did you do to get through it?