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The Week I Hated Running (And It Hated Me Back)

Posted Feb 05 2012 2:42pm
From a 5k in the fall
It's my "I'm going to cut you if you don't get that goddamn camera out of my face because I just had a bad run" face. It pretty much sums up my whole week.

For all of the awesomeness of  last week , I paid it back in full this week. I did not have a single good run all week. I don't know if that's ever happened. Usually I can squeeze some sort of enjoyment out of running, but this week I wanted to die every time.

From the beginning it was bad and my body rebelled. Tuesday evening I began feeling a twinge in my upper left quad that neither stretching nor foam rolling would diminish. Wednesday I felt the not-so-suttle reappearance of my shin splints. All this, plus no matter how hard I tried I couldn't push myself into any sort of fast pace. Mentally and physically I wasn't having any of it, but I forced myself to get it done anyway.

On Saturday Mike and I ran 10 miles of trails through the Wissahickon Valley. I hated it. The sky was grey. The trail was brown. I was hungry. I was tired. My body was hurting. Basically it was just not a good time. Sunday morning I had plans to meet Sally. Honestly if we hadn't made a run date I probably wouldn't have run at all, but somehow I forced myself out the door and ran 8 be myself, 9 with her, and 2 more on my own. Long run done.

I'm thrilled that this week is over, but good things can come out of bad week too. For the last few weeks I've begun to feel like I could no longer relate to a beginner. This is a bad thing because I really want to become a coach (as soon as RRCA brings a class closer!). How can I put myself in the shoes of someone running their first mile, if miles have become like pennies to me?

Then weeks like this come along and all of a sudden I'm reminded of how much running can suck and how challenging it can be. As a friend reminded me this week, the biggest obstacle a novice runner must overcome is simply the discomfort that comes with running. You have to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable. I repeated this on Saturday to my friend Amy, who I am coaching to run her first race ever, a 10-miler in May.

This week was a lesson in perseverance and I'm happy it happened, if only for the reason that it helped put me back in the shoes of a beginner. It's good to feel humbled every once in awhile.

How was your week? Did you have good runs or bad runs?


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