After you've been running for a time, you're destined for the inevitable bad run; whether it's because of the weather, your own physical ailments, or just a random fluke, they happen without any regard for our preferences or agenda. I've had enough of these over the last five years to know that when they happen you just have to "embrace the suck."
Thus far in my marathon training things have been going along just fine and dandy. Sure, I've had some hellacious days fighting the wind and cold, but nothing that truly tested my resolve, until this weekend. Friday night before heading to bed I did my usual weather forecast check: the hourly showed snow, snow, and more snow for good measure, starting at about 4 am. Usually I'm more concerned about the temps and wind but I knew all that snow was definitely going to put a damper in our plans to head over to our beloved Kensington. (One loop around the lake is about 8.5 M)
I went to bed hoping for the best and woke up to a winter wonderland of snow flurries. Spike and I agreed that we could fight through it, so we suited up for the run. The 13* feels like 6* it claimed to be didn't really seem too bad once we got going, but the snow build-up made us slip with every step we took, just a little. We were moving along well enough, but the snow never let up and by mile seven we both agreed we felt as if we'd already run ten miles. By the time we looped back to the car we were both exhausted.
|Don't let it's prettiness fool you!|
In an effort to mix up the remaining miles we had decided to do an out and back instead of the entire second loop. It helped, but by the time we reached our turn around point I was over it. We had been slowing with each mile and my ITB's were screaming. I went through all my mantra's: "A strong spring is made in the winter!" "Embrace the suck!" "Fight, fight, fight!" "This is a character building run!" but nothing was working and by the time we made it to mile 15.5, I raised the white flag and Spike stopped the watch. We were done, on so many levels.
|I shared my true feelings about the run when naming it on Dailymile|
While I fell short of the full 16 miles I set out to conquer I still consider it a success because we fought our way through some tough conditions on an already challenging course. It was a bad run that weighed heavily on my mind, but later that night I reminded myself that they can't all be great. There will be other runs that suck just as bad, or worse, but I know that bad runs keep me honest, remind me that I have no control over race day conditions, and that I have to do my best to always "embrace the suck."
How do you embrace the suck of a bad run?