Saturday, March 23, 2013
Well, it had to happen sooner or later.
I had to have a bad run.
I had to have the kind of run where my body and my mind just betrayed me.
This morning was an eight mile training run on a local trail. The trail itself should have been forgiving, except, well crushed limestone may as well be cement when it freezes. Except, well, bike tire ruts don't do anything good for the knees.
Of course, complaining about the trail doesn't make my run seem so bad.
Truth is my hip went out of whack around mile 2. Then my brain started to fight with me. Then I had a man literally laugh at me.
I cried people.
I cried in the middle of the trail. I can tell you this - it is not easy to run and breathe and cry all at the same time. I didn't even run that much. I was dusted by the Galloway people. I felt humiliated and humbled and broken... and all I could do was run-walk. My hip was screaming and my confidence was broken.
It was so humiliating. For miles three and four all I did was cry.
I get to the water station - and I'm seriously broken. I'm thinking about asking to catch a ride back with the guy who was manning it. I'm thinking about just walking all the way back. Fortunately, the guy manning the station was warm hearted and said one of those cliches like "It's the bad runs that build character."
Well, I couldn't not finish then.
So, I had to build some strategies. I couldn't let that jerk win. I couldn't let my brain win. I couldn't just quit. I had four miles to figure it out.
So, I tried all kinds of things.
First I got angry - telling myself to punch the run in the face. I think that kept me running for about a quarter mile.
Then I started bargaining - thinking that if I ran until the next mile marker I could walk for a bit.
Then I got angry again - why was I walking, I can run ten miles!
Then I started having a little God-Talk moment - trying to figure out why I was just having such a crappy run - wanting just a little more strength than I had for myself. That got me about a half mile.
I spend another half a mile literaly trying to think of everything I like about myself. Then I start thinking about actual facts I know. I know my hip's sore. I know I have a blister between my toes. I know I've run ten miles.
I try to focus on anything other than how I was feeling.
Because I felt lousy.
And then I finished.
I am trying to think of the positives.
First, I finished.
Second, I had my first ever truly bad run.
Third, I finished my first ever bad run.
You know what this means, right?
My next run can't be nearly as bad.
That means I've won.