Monday, September 22, 2014

Cutting Myself Some Slack


She she is fickle mistress, who giveth and taketh away.

These past few weeks, I have been focusing on my running. I have been increasing my mileage, while still continuing to strength train. I have been constantly lifting for the past six weeks now, and I have really seen a difference. I have noticed that I am tightening up in some areas, but I continue to feel stronger as I run. Turns out, all those experts were right. #Whodathunkit??

This past week, I put 21 miles under my legs, with a plan to do 12 on Saturday.

I woke up around 5:00AM on Saturday, and nothing inside me wanted to get out of bed and workout. I ALWAYS want to get out of bed and workout. Rather than give into the siren song of sleep, I got up, did my bathroom, play with dogs, water, more bathroom routine, and headed out the door.

It was one of those runs that was simply hard. I knew from the first step that I was going to have to slug my way through it. It did not feel good. It did not make me happy. It was a mental battle from the start. All I wanted to do was go back to bed, and then binge on donuts.

Again, I was ready to quit before I even reached the first mile, but I knew I needed to push my way through. For some reason, my body is very slow to warm up to the run. It takes me a good three miles before I feel like my legs are awake and ready to work. I kept telling myself to just get past the third mile, and things would change.

Mile 3 came and went and nothing magic happened. It just didn't click. I managed to power through 8 miles. A little after mile 8, I just quit. I knew that I could not mentally or physically handle 4 more miles.

When I finished and began to make my way home, the mental demons starting flowing. I kept trying to combat it by telling myself I had done a very hard and fast 5 miler the day before. I reminded myself that I lifted less than 24 hours before, including doing squats, which explained the leg fatigue. I reminded myself that I didn't fuel properly, so it was understandable that the run was a struggle.

Even with all those variables, for some reason, it didn't matter. I kept telling myself I was a loser, and that I was mentally weak. I was so disappointed in myself that I allowed myself to quit.

I finally made my way home, and P was standing in the yard with the dogs, and he could tell from the look on my face that I was disappointed. I told him about the run, and his response was "You are not superwoman, cut yourself some slack."

It took a while, but I realized that just because one run didn't go as planned didn't mean anything. There is an ebb and flow to running, and some days you just don't have it.

The good news, there is always tomorrow.

A few hours later, I made peace with my run, ate 3 sandwiches, and gave myself a stern talking to. Accept your defeats, accept your shortcomings, and gear up for the next run.

Next time, game on.

Can anyone relate? Do you tend to be harder on yourself that others are on you, or you are on others? How do you bounce back?


Denise said...

I ran four miles Friday, six on Saturday and was set to do six yesterday - well, six yesterday sucked! It was too much running back to back. Give those legs a rest my friend!!

Anonymous said...

I can absolutely relate. I've cried on a run like this. But you're right—there's always tomorrow. And after the run that made me cry less than TWO MILES in, I crushed my next one.

Things happen. The truth is, there is always SO much going on that can affect how you run from one day to the next. Like you said: leg fatigue, general fatigue, what you ate/didn't eat/drank/didn't drink, weather, what you're wearing... you're right to give yourself a break and cut yourself some slack. Ww can't be at 100%, 100% of the time, no matter how much we'd like to :)

Brooke said...

i completely understand!
my outlook is this - had you never attempted the mileage you would be a mental quitter. as it stands you are mentally strong. you pushed through, saw that it was in fact your body resisting and gave in. rest is mandatory.
its just hard to figure out the difference between rest and laziness sometimes. running always helps. if i want to stop, i let myself, but only after a couple miles to flush out the crap.