Saturday I did a 9 mile training run that went less than perfect. I couldn’t tell you what was wrong. My legs felt tight and heavy and, for nine straight miles, I never felt comfortable. Keeping a 9:30 pace that morning felt like the same effort it was taking me to run at 8:10 just a week before. I stubbornly trudged through every step of 9 miles and made it back to my door feeling less than impressed with myself.
My parents visited Raleigh this weekend en route home to Virginia from Florida. Both of them, Jeremy, and I had dinner Saturday evening and my Mom and Dad seemed impressed with the length of my run when it came up and said encouraging things like, “Wow, it’s no wonder you’re hungry!” Meanwhile, all I had been thinking was that my average pace was light years away from where I want it to be in just 6 weeks. It alerted me that I was having one of those hyper-critical runner moments.
Since when is running 9 straight miles, burning nearly 1,000 calories, or doing over an hour of solid cardiovascular physical activity something to be negative about? Wasn’t it just two or three years ago that getting through a nine mile run was a big accomplishment for me? I think that this is a struggle for many running junkies. In fact, this time of year (the middle of race training for many) it may constitute an epidemic because I have seen the same notion expressed by fellow bloggers and running articles alike this week. We are our own biggest critics. Instead of accepting that a run didn’t go or isn’t going as planned and simply appreciating the exercise and time outdoors, we dwell.
Our bodies are imperfect machines and therefore it is unrealistic to expect every workout to be perfect. I am going to sincerely try to do better at rolling with the punches and making each run a positive experience in some way.
Good luck with your training and other life endeavors this week, everyone! Keep your head up!