Saturday, December 5, 2009

Trying to get over a bad run...

On Wednesday I had a bad run. How do I define bad exactly? Well at this point, a "bad run" = "I walked part of it."

My workout for the day was set to be a 4 mile tempo run at 12:25 pace, with a warm up mile and a cool down mile on either side. I was slightly intimidated about the thought of running "6 miles" on a treadmill and worried that I'd get bored. I calculated that I'd need to set the speed to about 4.8 mph to hit the pace I needed to hit, and that freaked me out too. I usually run between 12-13 min/miles when I run outside, so I was okay with that idea. But I've never gone higher than 4.5 on the treadmill for some reason. I think being outside and having a running buddy (who has already done a marathon) gives me enough oomph to push myself a little harder than I would if I were alone and staring at a blinky screen telling me how fast (or slow) I'm going.

Anyways - I was only a couple laps into my warm up mile at 4mph (the slowest I've run in a couple months) and was really panting and feeling tired and weak. I kept it at 4mph and finished two miles. I had this huge mental battle about walking part of the miles, but didn't want to give in because "walking = failure" in my mind. Because it means that I've given up. Somehow I ended up walking and beating myself up for a half mile.

I made myself start running again and got another half mile into it before I was panting and getting tingly in the face. I checked my heart rate and it was over 180... what in the world?

So I decided to alternate walking/running long enough to get the 4 miles of running in that I was supposed to do according to the schedule. I kept an eye on my heart rate and tried to keep it on the chart.

Technically I ran 4 miles... but not all at once. I did 6 miles total. The whole thing took me 1:42:13... my worst personal record ever.

I talked to a couple friends about the run and realized there were probably some things that contributed to me feeling so icky;

1.) Two days before, I'd done my first Spin Cycle class... could that have warn me out that much?
2.) Two days before, I'd started a food journal and limited calories to 2000 a day... down from 3-4000 (I eat like an Olympian... lol).
3.) I had a coffee at midnight the night before the run and hadn't slept well (toddlers!)
4.) I put too much pressure on myself for a speed goal (the 12:25 was based on wanting to beat someone else's half marathon time)

So, I chalked it up to those things + letting it all get to my head, and have decided to brush it off and move forward. Maybe it will help to put a positive spin on it? Here's what I'm going to go with;

1.) I worked out for almost two hours... go me!
2.) On Monday I weighed 185.5 lbs... On Saturday morning I weighed 179.5 lbs.
3.) I put my miles in, even in the face of the temptation to quit

Now it's time for me to run out and by some nice warm running clothes. I've got 7 miles to go tomorrow morning and the weather man is forecasting it'll be in the mid 30s. BRING IT!

For those of you who run, how do you get over a bad run?


  1. Good for you! The positives of that run outway any "bad" thay may have come from it!

  2. Bad runs, thankfully, are just as important in your training regimen as really great runs. From a bad run we learn oodles about the importance of listening to one's body (when to do so, when not to do so) and about our limits. They serve as a valuable tool for future runs, because we can encourage ourselves with the memory of either "This run sucks, like that other time, but I stuck with it then so I can stick with it now," or "This run isn't going well, but at least it's going better than that one time." Most of all, bad runs are where we learn some of the biggest life lessons, both during and long, long after when we think we're not processing them anymore.

    How do you get over a bad run? You just do. It's not like you fell off the wagon or failed, so don't let guilt slip into the picture. Your body had an off day, and you stuck with the run anyway, so groan about how much the run sucked, let the disappointment sit for a little while, and then expect the next run to be a brand new opportunity. Maybe it will suck. Maybe it won't. One bad run has absolutely no correlation to the success of the next.