It was the best of runs, it was the worst of runs.
One is one of those runs where you feel the endorphins coursing through your veins. Every mile feelings like flying freedom. Every step is exhilarating. The wind through your hair and the sun on your shoulders feel like heaven. Even the sweat dripping down your face is exciting because you know you are working hard and your body is loving it. You never want the run to end. Total freedom.
The other is hell on pavement. Every mile feels like eternity. Every step is agonizing. Pain spreads through your body and your muscles beg you to stop. You constantly glance at your watching waiting for the seconds to count down so you can finally put this horrible run behind you. All you want is for the run to end. Total agony.
I experienced both of these runs back to back the other week. All runs fall somewhere on the spectrum of wonderful to horrible. As much as I love running overall, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some bad, bad days. I have learned that it is important to focus on the good runs.
Perhaps it is a good thing there are good days and bad days. How would we know to appreciate those really great runs if we didn’t have the horrible ones to compare them to? If every run was amazing, wouldn’t it start to get a little boring? Also, progress requires failure. If it isn’t hard or painful sometimes will you ever get better?
So, I try not to ruminate on why a bad run is bad, but rather I hope that the next run will be better. I ask myself what I can do to feel better the next time I’m out on the road? Do I need to up my protein? carbs? Do I need more sleep? Did I stretch enough? Maybe this is just a bad day? Most importantly I celebrate at the end of the bad run. I pat myself on the back for sticking with it and finishing the mileage and look forward to the next great run.