There are good runs.
There are great runs.
And then, every once in a while, there are runs which can be described as nothing other than
No matter how hard you've trained, how well you've slept, and how fresh your shoes are, once in a while your body will simply decide to give your mind the proverbial middle finger.
"Oh, you thought you were going to run 7 miles today? Ha, that's funny. I have other plans."
Those of us who have been running for a while realize this. We've experienced these moments where just a few minutes or miles into a longer run something happens. Something shuts down. While we're aptly aware that these days happen and our conscious mind tells us it'll be okay, we're still disappointed. However, we know enough that tomorrow we'll put our sneakers on again and get back on that horse. For a newer runner, however, these days can be heartbreaking.
Saturday was one of those days for one of my running partners. Having only become a runner in January, she's come exceptionally far. From struggling to run 10 straight minutes in February to tackling her first 5k in April, she was ecstatic to complete 6+ miles last week. So this week we thought, "hey, let's go crazy and try for 6.5...or even 7!"
However, it just didn't happen. Whether it was the exceptional humidity, the hillier-than-normal-course, or the fact that we started off in a "different" way, her body and mind weren't in agreement.
She was, understandably so, crushed. But to me, it was yet another lesson to be learned. While it was upsetting that she wasn't able to run the "desired" distance, the day wasn't a fail. We were out and moving for 5.5 miles, farther than we would have gone in March. We weren't sitting on the couch, yelling at our children, sleeping, or eating donuts. While there was disappointment, there wasn't failure. You only fail if you accept road blocks a finality. In my opinion, there's no such thing as a bad run...if you got up and got out there...you achieved and succeeded!
We all have those shit-tacular runs. And it's really easy to obsess on "why" they happened. But it doesn't really matter. What matters is getting up and putting on your running shoes the next day to challenge those demons again.
I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying.Michael Jordan