Something that few runners ever admit, or at least certainly runners who blog, rarely admit is that sometimes running just sucks. It feels like a dirty secret. I haven’t blogged for over a week because, if I’m honest, I’m loathe to write anything negative generally, and especially about running – I HATE introducing any kind of negativity into the running zone. But for the last week or so, running has felt like a chore – something that had to be done rather than something that I really wanted to do. Usually, my run is the part of the day that I most look forward to. I throw on the gear, pick out which shoes I’m going to wear, plug in the headphones and start my watch. I’m gone. I love that alone time where you can simply turn down the volume on all the craziness that might be going in your life at that moment, zone out and just run. Come the end of the session, I feel pumped, re-energised and ready to take on whatever craziness is waiting around the corner. But for the last 10 days or so, I’ve felt somewhat less motivated to get geared up and head out into the outdoors. It’s not that I feel particularly tired from training, it feels more like a slump or a kind of boredom. I’m just coming to the end of a base training phase so there’s been no speed work or interesting sessions for a good while which could explain these recent feelings but whatever it is, I don’t like it and I’m certainly not planning on letting those alien feelings stick around for long! The weather has also been pretty awful and uninviting recently and while it’s nothing like the North-East of the US have been experiencing, it’s been all gale force winds, rain and dark gloomy skies. Meh!
As a runner, I know that there are days when running just feels like hard work. There are other days when you feel like Peter Pan, zipping along the run route and feeling like you could run to the moon at a 7 mins mile pace. You accept the latter along with the former – in other words, you take the bad days, you endure them and keep powering through them because you know there are great days out there waiting to be happened upon. Like many things in life, sometimes you have to take the bad along with the good because you know that the good will be worth it.
Today was one of those days. My confession: I really didn’t want to do my 8 mile general aerobic session but postponing it to another day simply wasn’t an option because my training diary is full for the rest of the week and I really didn’t want to fall behind on my weekly mileage. I laced up, charged the garmin and headed out at lunchtime to get the job done. Once I got going, of course, I was fine and even though it was raining, very windy and I was a bit slower than usual, it felt great to get out and take in all of the fresh air.
I’ve been in a running slump before and have found that the best way out is… to run your way out. No surprise here, I guess! A good time to shake up the weekly training – switch up some run sessions with some speedplay, maybe some more swimming and cycling sessions and try something new…. like bouldering?!
This too shall pass… I know it will. That’s why I stick with it, because I know the good days are a’ coming.