Crappy Runs Have a Purpose

Sunday morning, I ran with my ipod (something I rarely do) for 8.5 lonely miles. I raced to the running store on my bike and was just a minute or so too late and was trailing everyone.

But it all worked out because I knew this short long run of mine would be slow going and I didn't want anyone else's pace dictating mine. The thing is, those eight miles felt like FOREVER. That run felt almost as hard as my 30 miler the previous weekend.

I know it sounds like crazy talk, but it was tough. From mile five on, I walked a minute or so every mile. My hip and glute needed it. Mentally, I knew I could finish the run, but physically I was okay with giving my body a break and taking my time.

These are the runs that truly make us stronger in the long run. I don't dwell on the crappy runs because I know they have their purpose.

These runs tell me:
- when I'm overtraining
- if I'm exhausted or sick
- when I need to ease it back
- if I have the kind of guts it takes to finish strong on race day

They don't tell me: that I'm a failure or that I'm always going to be injured or that my pace is destined to be X. They're just indicators of things I need to be aware of. And frankly, sometimes they just happen with no rhyme or reason.

So, if you're experiencing a less than pleasant run here and there, don't sweat it. Be confident in your training (but listen to your body).

I can tell you that I'm looking forward to another few strong weeks of training, getting a massage (you convinced me) and getting over this little cold that wore me down this weekend before it's MARATHON TIME!  <-- I can't believe it's almost here!


I agree that crappy runs usually ARE trying to tell you something! And they are great for you mentally!
I think this is a great perspective to have. My natural reaction is to beat myself up mentally when I had a bad run. But like you said, it's usually my body telling me something, and lately it's been telling me 'GET SOME SLEEP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD'. :)
Ericka Andersen said…
Such a good point, lady! I have had a few "crappy runs" lately but I'm also like almost ready to taper for the marathon, which means my body is worn out for good reason. Thanks for the reminder to "listen" and accept things and keep on keepin' on!
Liz said…
As crappy as crappy runs can be, I really do appreciate them. They force me to grow as a runner, and as a person in general!
Oh man... If I ever forget my ipod I just give up on the work out. I'm such a wimp!

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