I had been saying it was a tough run, but I'm coming to acknowledge that it was just a bad run. I didn't want it to be bad, and I tried as hard as I could to have it be positive, but it's time to admit it: it was just bad.
It was 20 miles, though, and I finished it, and that's the positive take-away.
I think it comes down to the fact that there just wasn't much about the run that I truly enjoyed. The first half was fairly easy, and the weather was nice, and the route was fairly interesting. And of course, I love my running buddy. I'm not sure I would've made it through the run without Bob. I don't know what I would've done without him, really.
But, I never had that elated, soaring, amazing feeling that I usually get when I'm running.
Somewhere around miles 13-15, my legs just starting aching. From the balls of my feet, through to my hip flexors, everything just started hurting. And it wasn't any kind of sharp, injury-type pain. It was just the kind of pain you wouldn't be surprised to have after running for 15 miles or so.
As one might imagine, miles 15-20 were damn hard. Mentally, I just couldn't distract myself from the pain. It was all I could think about for about the last hour of our 3:40 minute run.
I had two mantras that I repeated a lot for those last, rough miles.
So where am I going with all of this? Where is the pep talk?
I was so down on myself, and then I started thinking.
You know, that was just a hard, bad run. There will be other bad runs in your life. And it's getting through those bad runs that take you to the next step. You learn from them, and you learn not to let them determine who you are or what you're going to do. It was a training run, and it's going to train you to be stronger.
I had this realization while walking into work this morning. The first half-marathon I did, was not a pleasant run. It was really freakin' hard. I got a stomach cramp about 1.5 miles in. It was also painful and hard, and I remember feeling desperate for the finish line. When it was all over, I didn't really feel a lot of joy at what I had accomplished. Rather, I mostly just felt glad it was done and a little disappointed that I had not enjoyed the experience more.
However, the second half-marathon I did was amazing! I felt great starting out, I felt great the whole time running. Sure, by the end, I was getting sore and ready to be done, but it was just a very different experience.
So, I guess my pep talk to myself is to take your runs in stride. Remember that, often, before success comes seeming failure. Acknowledge that there will be bad runs in my future, but know that they will make me stronger. Take those experiences and run with them.