Another title for this post could be “how running is a mostly bipolar experience.” Anyways, here’s how the last two days went down.
The theme of today’s run was “Ungrateful Brat.”
Wednesday was moderately hot and humid, with temps approaching 80 and maybe about 60% humidity. I had some qualms using the weather as an “excuse,” mainly because I grew up being told never to blame the weather as “it was the same for your opponent [tennis].” While I no longer have opponents, that mindset has stuck, leading me to believe if I was just a tad bit tougher, I wouldn’t let heat and humidity slow me down.
I felt pretty stiff and slow on my warm-up, but that’s pretty much par for the course for me. If I ever had a good warm-up before a match, I got worried.
The workout was 2 x 2 miles at MP, which usually is pretty low stress. There’s a break in this workout. I just had to focus on getting to the next break and I was golden. [MP for a 3:35 marathon would be 8:12, for a reference value. I usually round to 8:15 to keep it simple.]
Mile 1 goes ok. – 8:18. Mile 2 is when the negative chatter creeps in – 8:39. The negative thought train creeps in ever so slightly, then envelops me like one of those dementors in Harry Potter, sucking the running joy right out of me. I stop once during this mile in an effort to regroup, which is thwarted by the doubt demons. Mile 3 is when I start planning how I am going to write a “it just wasn’t my day” sob story in my log. I stop once again during this mile to try and redirect my thoughts, which was highly unsuccessful. Mile 4 goes the same as mile 3. Those miles were 8:22 and 8:24. I contemplate just quitting the workout and jogging home, but decide to stick it out. I do walk the cool down mile home. My hips are stiff. I’m almost certain I will have arthritic hips by age 40.
I look to my log to find some sort of answers. Am I overtraining? Not even close– 31 miles last week. Too little sleep? Nope, reaping the benefit of the last month of my research year, clocking usually 8 hours of sleep. Am I plateauing? Reached my peak? Need to accept that I just won’t be able to run any faster? I hope not, but possibly. Am I sick? Depressed? In need of 16 Handles?
I’m mad at myself for succumbing to the doubt demons. Mad that I’ve gone from the “thankful to run” place to “why am I so bad?!?” mindset so quickly. Mad that I’m not thankful in this moment that I can run and got to try that workout. Mad that it seems I lost every mental gain I made during my injury so quickly. Mad that I let one bad workout rattle me.
Fully intend on not running Thursday. Decided I sort of hate running, but more so my ambition to be a faster runner. Ambition can deter enjoyment. Yep, that’s my problem, too ambitious. Scale back the goals, Meggie . Don’t dream so big. Let’s get realistic here.
Fully intend on not running Thursday. A rest day should do the trick, huh?
Text from Erika- she’s back in NYC for the summer! Set up a run, midday, around 4 miles.
It’s a beautiful day, still warm, but the humidity is less palpable.
I do a lot of foam rolling, hip mobilizations, dynamic stretching, and a few PT/activation exercises before our run.
4.5 miles flies by, the run feels effortless, the conversation is fantastic (Erika has been away at business school – Harvard! – since August).
I tell her about the 5K revolution, and she agrees that the marathon is too long. She tells me about mergers and acquisitions and other fancy things she learned up there at HBS. (ok, not mergers and acquisitions, but those are the only business terms I know besides “private equity,” “distress debt,” “hedge fund,” and, my favorite, “exotic funds,” which does not mean accounts in the tropics, I’ve learned.)
I decide I don’t hate running so much after all. In fact, running is great. Maybe the sky is the limit again. Who knows? I don’t care much, all I know is that I had a great time.
EVENING OF 5/31/12:
Let all my feelings out on paper.
Devise a plan:
1. Must figure out a way to redirect thoughts in workouts. that does not require physically stopping – haven’t figured this one out, yet, and unfortunately I haven’t mastered the patronus charm yet (defense against dementors, duh).
2. Must remember to do PT exercises/activations/mobilizations before running. Must do more to warm up the engine before a workout.
3. Adjust expectations with conditions (thanks to RC/RCF for reminder on this one).
4. Must harness ambition and use it to fuel me without compromising my enjoyment, find a way to balance being driven to become better while mostly having fun.
There is so much power in pen and paper.
TELL ME: EVER HAD THE “I WISH I WASN’T SO AMBITIOUS” FEELING? BEST RUN YOU’VE HAD LATELY?
Today’s run was pretty great for me.
Until next time..