I love running. That’s not an understatement or an untruth. I really do love it. I love the physical movement of running, the pounding of my feet, the feeling of moving swiftly along the gravel roads of the farm, or wherever my running steps take me – that feeling of moving quickly is wonderful. I love the thrill and challenge of setting a goal and attempting to meet it. I love it when those running goals come to fruition. Through weeks of training, dedicated time spent in my running shoes I meet my goals. Then there is a photo of me at the finish line or a perhaps a medal to hang up on our hat stand to show for goals met. I love every part of running.
Some runs are not happy. Some runs are hard slogs that take serious amounts of dedication to get me out the door and then to keep me running to the finish. Some runs are rubbish runs. Rubbish runs are just not fun. I haven’t had many really bad runs but when a run is tough from start to finish that’s what I call a rubbish run. The only fun part is actually getting them completed.
There is always something good and positive to gain from a rubbish run. These runs have taught me things…what was it about these runs that made them rubbish? Here are some of the culprits:
- Insufficient sleep the night before or perhaps a series of nights before
- Insufficient hydration
- Eating the wrong food or not enough food to fuel appropriately for the distance
- Allowing myself to indulge in negative thoughts you can’t cope with this 10km run, how are you going to cope with the next half marathon? And don’t even think about a full marathon, you are kidding yourself!
How do I cope when I’m on these runs?
- I switch off to my thoughts and instead tune into the sound of my feet pounding on the gravel road, my heart pumping and the rhythm of my breathing
- I tune into the surroundings – take in the views and think about where I am and what I’m looking at
- I smile – a smile on my face instantly lightens the load
- I start to count blessings – feet that can run, health that allows me to run
- I sing a song in my head and concentrate on the rhythm and the words
- And my all-time favourite, I chant a mantra. My mantras can be the funniest things like I’m a hill runner I can run up hills, I’m a hill runner I can run up hills or my very first one when I was trying to run a whole 1km for the first time was I’m going to be fit, fabulous and 50 and another one for when I’m feeling really blurrrrr is Be mentally tough! Be mentally tough! for this one I have to set a steely look on my face and have exceptional running form…in my head anyway!
There will always be rubbish runs, tough runs that make me question my love of running. These runs are not really rubbish though, they give me a taste of how to cope and keep running on regardless of how I feel. They allow me to examine what made them rubbish and try to be better prepared in future.
So really no run is a rubbish run, all runs teach us about ourselves and about running and provide one more run to help us get to our running goals.
Happy running 🙂
PS The Mother’s Day Classic on Sunday was awesome, will tell you all about it next!