After 15 months there is still one aspect of running I struggle with. That is the enigma of the bad run. Or more correctly the inexplicable bad run. Some runs are bad because you make them bad. Going out too fast and the tanking, one of my personal favourites on race day. Running too soon after an injury. Not taking a break between races. Just a few great ways to turn what should be an enjoyable run into a torturous affair that seems to go on for ever and ever. And if you really want to have a bad day run and run and run without ever resting. It catches up. It hurts.
But what’s soul sucking, heartbreaking and totally demoralizing is the unexpected run from hell. They exhaust you, hurt you and rob you of all confidence. After a horrible run if you listen hard enough you can hear the run dragon from hell laugh as it rides off into the wind carrying the last bit of your confidence and dignity.
I don’t remember having any one particular bad run like this. I usually can find a cause and effect relationship. But sometimes the reasons remain subtle. Hidden. You never find a reason. You just have to accept that some days you are just going to have a bad run. And August 23rd I had on of these.
As hard as I try I can’t think of why this run was so miserable and painful. I panicked. Was this a sign it was a sign to go back to 10ks and halfs? Looking back that was panicking. At the time the fear was real. Was 29k the bridge too far? The end of the dream? In retrospect it seems dramatic. At the time it was real.
I crawled back on the proverbial horse and overcame the 29k dragon. These bad runs to have a good person. They humble you. They remind you to respect these distances. It’s important to me to finish this and post it. A reminder not to get cocky. A reminder to keep training. The more you train the less likely the dragons will catch you. And the most important reminder? You will have bad runs. Get over it, and get on with it.