I went for a run tonight and it was rubbish. More on that in a moment.
During last year’s Ealing Half I struggled to find a rhythm. I spend 21.1 kms battling myself to find a stride that I could, um, stride into. Well, I searched and searched for rhythm during that run and the rhythm just didn’t come. If I had spent any time in training dealing with this issue then it probably wouldn’t have derailed me as much as it did (at the start… although I struggled the whole race, I kind of got used to the struggle, if that in any way makes sense). So, after that I was determined to be a bit more of a hard arse when it came to not bottling out on training runs that weren’t particularly going to plan. So, that’s what happened tonight.
I ran from home to Neon Toddler’s nursery – it’s about a 6.8km run, and mostly flat. Oh my gosh, tonight it was just terrible. I felt like I was moderately pushing the pace and just not going anywhere (as in something in the vicinity of 20-40 seconds per km slower than my normal easy pace). My feet were hitting the ground in odd and unexpected ways, and going all over the place. Even when I was consciously trying to run ‘to form’ things just were not happening.
About 1.5 km in I stopped and took off my long sleeve, because I was just slightly too hot. I love the blistering heat when all I have to do is sit by the pool and drink a beer, but when I’m running I’d rather be a lot too cold than a little too hot (god help me if I ever decide to run a desert race…). So, off came the jumper, but the running didn’t get any better. So, on I struggled.
But, I didn’t give in (I easily could have stopped anywhere on my particularly route and taken a bus). And gosh my run was awful. But, it was also one of those days that – for totally no reason whatsoever, even in the face of an awful run – things were just good. Running was good.
And that was that. I guess ‘train through pain, to race through pain’ can also just as easily be ‘train through weird, uneven, nothingness to race through weird, uneven, nothingness’.
It all helps.