Tough runs happen. As much as I love running, some days the love isn’t there and the run just plain hurts. For me there are two kinds of tough runs. The ones that hurt while you still maintain your normal pace and you push through, and the ones that hurt and force you to walk some of your run or cut it short.
While both of these “bad runs” are hard, I think the ones that you end up cutting short or walking are the worst kind. If you run and push through a tough effort, you at least finished the distance, at a good pace, and feel accomplished at the end. When I am forced to walk or worse to cut my run short, I feel like somehow I was defeated. I wasn’t “good” enough.
The truth of the matter is, I got out there, and I gave it my best shot. My best shot that day, didn’t feel great but I tried. I have to remind myself that I’m not perfect, and not a perfect runner (duh), and that it is okay to listen to my body. Listening to my body makes me a smart runner, and being a smart runner is more important than always being a great runner. As long as I’m a smart runner, I am taking care of my body, and giving it the chance to fight again another day. If I always push through the pain, I not only could burned out, but I also could hurt myself.
I also try to remind myself there is no such thing as a bad run. As long as I am running, it is a good run. Every run is good whether I have to walk, stop, or push through some uncomfortable feelings.
All of this however, is hard to remember when I have a tough run, but I try to do my best to not get discouraged. Since with running you often just compete with yourself, it’s not always easy to give yourself a break, but you have to. I just tell myself, All Runs are Good. Can’t say I always am successful in persuading myself of this, but I sure try!
How do you deal with a tough run?