Hills and Valleys

Yesterday’s run was awful. I was planning on five miles, and thinking about even trying to keep a 9-minute pace for all five, but I think in the end I got in just over 4 miles in 45 minutes. I felt tired and beat down from the first step out the door, like I was running against the wind in a wind tunnel in a foot of clay mud with a gorilla on my back (yep, a gorilla). I more or less put in my miles, but it wasn’t fun, and it wasn’t fast, and it wasn’t pretty.

When I got back, everything hurt. My ankles felt weak, my toes felt like they were curled up forever, my head ached, my shoulder blades were tired, and I had my first blister on the bottom of my foot. I could have sworn off running and not felt bad about it for a second.

Surprisingly, this morning, I woke up feeling ok. By the time my evening run rolled around, I could see two options:

1) Run.
2) Hide in my closet from my children and pop freshly made chocolate truffles in my mouth one after another (in lieu of dinner) while watching an online episode of 30 Rock or Community.

Honestly, it was a close call. In the end, the run won out, only because I’m supposed to run my first race (a 6K) in two days and I couldn’t see how a stomach laden with chocolate truffles was going to help me keep from embarrassing myself too badly at the race.

And wouldn’t you know, today was one of my best runs yet. I worked on my form a little (I switched to minimalist shoes with this bout of running and am still not completely used to the idea) and managed to relieve a lot of the pressure I had been feeling across the top of one foot. The heat broke again and ten degrees apparently makes a huge difference in my attitude. In the end, I logged my first ever 5-mile run with every mile at a 9-minute pace, and I even felt good when I finished!

It’s amazing to me how easily I forget on the bad days that some days are simply better than others, and anything worth doing will still have rough days as you go along. I’m writing this all down so the next time this happens, there is a slightly greater chance that I won’t feel so defeated and pessimistic, and you shouldn’t either!

Ups and downs, ups and downs… I don’t know if we ever go forward but by the ups and downs.

Leave Better… Leave Happier,

Amber

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