running ups and downs

Since coming back for the holidays, I’ve been having a hard time running. Some of it’s to do with a new schedule, new obligations, a new relationship – but most of it is because I had a bad running day.

Runners, you know what I mean? Two Wednesdays ago I was scheduled to run. It was raining, so I took a (lovely, lovely) nap instead. Thursday was beautiful; I worked (as a cook, on my feet – this is how I earn my keep these days) all morning and afternoon and decided to go for a run before dinner.  For the first time in all my training I just couldn’t do it. I was too wiped out, and I ended up walking almost the whole route. I remember thinking that I needed to be careful not to psych myself out about it, not to lose confidence, to think that one bad run means that I can’t do it.

Yeah. Uh, that’s pretty much exactly what happened. And now I’m feeling insecure and worried, and then I went down to DC for the inauguration (!!!!!!!) and didn’t run at all (although I calculated that I walked about ten miles a day the four days I was there), and now I’m nervous about my next run.

On the flip side, I had a great experience last week: I walked up a hill that I’ve walked a hundred times before, and for the first time I wasn’t out of breath at the top. Sounds silly? It wasn’t that being out of breath was terrible; it was that this was the first real indication I’ve had of improved fitness from my running. The running never seems to get easier, I don’t feel stronger, my clothes don’t fit differently – but I can do something that I couldn’t do before. Awesome. I want more of it. It’s enough to get over my running slump. I’m headed out tomorrow!

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7 responses to “running ups and downs

  1. Awesome! I’m a runner and the first few days back after a break are always difficult, but like you said, you should just expect that and not let it affect your confidence. Not sure where you live, but winter running always feels more strenuous for me, partly because the cold air makes it harder to breathe and partly because your leg muscles get tired quicker when they have to keep working to keep you from slipping on the ice and snow. I’ve decided winter is a good time for longer, slower runs.

  2. Getting back into it is hard for me, too, esp. (as with you) after a bad run. Usually the bad runs happen when you are coming down with something, or are overtraining. I think your body tells you to slow down, rest more.

    One thing I do to help myself get back into it is I schedule a run someplace special/pretty/different, like next to the water on the other side of town, or a new park or something.

  3. that is totally awesome about the hill! i know i’m not as healthy as i want to be because i get out of breath going up the tons of subway stairs i walk/run up multiple times a day going to and from work. you’d think since i do it EVERY DAY i wouldn’t get out of breath, but I do and it makes me angry. thanks for giving me more incentive to start that running routine i keep saying i’m going to implement!

  4. Well, I’m definitely not a runner (even as a kid when I was thin and in decent shape, I hated running) but I understand how great it is to do something you do all the time and suddenly find it no longer exhaustive.

    I’ve been playing DDR for exercise, and today I found I was able to go for about ten minutes longer then usual, and wasn’t out of breathe at all when normally I’m all but clawing at my throat for more air.

    Feels soooo good!

  5. Me again… what plug-in are you using for your Recent Comments? I am looking for one that shows the gravatars, like yours. The ones I’ve found that are supposed to don’t seem to actually do it.

  6. Just remember this: Trust your body. When it’s tired, rest it. When it’s hungry, feed it. But also trust your training.Your body did not loose all the running ability it has gained because you missed a couple of runs. Even if your mind is telling you that you can’t do it, your body can and will if you trust it, and let it do what you’ve trained it to do. Now put on your hat , go out and have a good time.

  7. Pingback: Recycling some old posts… « Fat Girl on a Run

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