When Running Isn’t Fun

There are many great things about running, but there are a few things that really suck about it. I love running for the freedom I get. I can zone out for miles and enjoy each step and cherish the moments of just being free. I run because it makes me feel strong (and kinda badass 😉 ). I run because eventually I won’t be able to, and I run because I am in love with it.

But what happens when running doesn’t seem to love you back?

…it sucks.

You experience an emotional breakup. You get depressed, you get angry, you want to throw everything in a trash can and burn it. Those medals you earned? Trash them, they mean nothing now. You become irritated at Instagram because all these people are having glorious, happy runs. But slowly you come back around and become a normal human and accept that this too shall pass. Everyone has bad runs. It is true, they do! Maybe they decide to not share it, or maybe they just brush it off with a funny caption (guilty).

This is a recap of how running has been for me lately, it will come off as whiny, etc. Just a forewarning. Last Tuesday I had a speed session. And man was it hard. That Sunday I had a pretty bad run and I was hoping to redeem myself with this one. I needed 6 miles, and it was prescribed like this: 1 mile warm up, 3 miles at 10:15 to 10:20 pace, 4 min jogging rest, 4 x 1 minute at 8:30 to 8:30 pace with 60 seconds rest, 1 mile cool down.  I started at the track and it was lightly drizzling  so I thought it wouldn’t be too bad. No. It picked up a lot, enough me for me to throw in the towel and head home to finish.

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The part that really sucked was that I was exhausted. My breathing was so hard and I felt like I could nap in the car. I had hit these paces plenty of times before, so why now was this hard? But I just brushed it off and drove home. I was literally speaking out loud to keep myself motivated to run on the treadmill. I managed to finish, and it was fine. But it was just ok. Nothing fantastic like all my other speed sessions, this just felt blah to me (but I made it sound fantastic on Instagram, because I was hoping it would make me feel better).

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My stomach started to hurt after this run. I thought maybe I just didn’t eat anything in time so I started eating lunch and my stomach blew up like a ballon and it hurt so bad. So now I was tired and puffed up. Great. I decided to just rest for the remainder of the day and possibly chill out on running for the next day or two. And that is what I did. I was trying to heal my body and I thought I had Sunday.

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This picture will fool you. I had just finished 6.44 miles and it appears I did a great job right? Wrong. I needed 10 miles. This run was terrible. I needed to finish strong. Instead, at about 3.25 my body decided to just give out. I had snacks, I brought dates with me, and I had plenty of water in my hydration pack.  None of that was working.  I was out of dates by mile 5, I needed calories and my body was starting to hurt. I just couldn’t find the strength to run strong. That smile in the above picture is because of my outfit. The weather was beautiful, I was so pumped for this run.

Yesterday I ran again. It was Tempo Tuesday and I was scheduled for 6.5 miles. 1 mile warm up, 2 X 2 miles at 10:05 to 10:15 pace, 4 minute jogging rest, 1 mile cool down. I again, was so excited for this, I am starting to love speed sessions. However, it just went to shit. This is what happened:

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4 miles instead of 6.5 and I was again, exhausted. I couldn’t get past how tired I was feeling. Once I started back up, I had this tickle of pain that was becoming sharp. I knew to stop. I finished at 4 miles and it left me like this:

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Crying in my car. Frustration couldn’t even describe how I was feeling. Even looking at it now makes me sad. And you’re probably asking why? Because I love running. It is more than a hobby in my life, it is a part of my life. It is something that is attached to who I am as a person. I know this post is becoming very negative, and kinda whiny, but I want to share that this does happen. And that it is ok.  This is part of the journey and process of running. Not everyday will be kittens and rainbows. I am just dealing with this more frequently then I am used to.

I texted Zach about what happened, and the last thing I said was “what is wrong with me?” And that was my answer. My answer is to see a doctor and have them figure out how to make me well so I can continue to run and train for races. I want an answer that will give me relief and energy. I want to know that this will pass and I can be back to where I was. And it will happen, it takes time.

I just want you to know that every runner has bad, terrible runs. And hopefully they don’t happen often to you. What is great about the bad, terrible runs is that you will always remember the great ones. The ones that make you fall back in love with running, the runs where you feel strong and free.

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