My alarm went off at 5:30 and the house was shaking from the wind outside. I really, really didn’t want to get out of bed to run 18 miles – and yet, I was wide awake, without hitting snooze even once. So, why not?
Last Saturday, I had done everything “right,” but my 18 miles were (I’m willing to say, in light of today’s superior run) fairly miserable. This week should have been worse still, but I felt – and still feel – fantastic.
Last week – a full night’s sleep, fully caffeinated, well-hydrated, oatmeal for breakfast. I spent the night prior at home, working, off my feet, and had basic pad thai for dinner.
This week – four hours of sleep, three sips of instant coffee on my way out the door, hydration-by-sangria and no time for breakfast. I spent last night at a lovely dinner party with friends, in heels, snacking on Spanish cheeses, paella and devils on horseback (read: bacon). The applesauce that I tore into around mile five was moldy. Gross.
Last week, I may have walked more of my last six miles than I ran. This week, I could have kept going and not been too unhappy about the prospect.
All of this serves as an excellent reminder (just in time for my sanity, I might add) that sometimes, bad runs just happen. Bad runs are not necessarily indicative of poor training, or weakness, and certainly not of failure; sometimes, all of the “right” steps still don’t add up to running nirvana.
I realize this might seem like stating the obvious, but it truly does bear repeating, especially at the peak of a training cycle as the anxiety of a race or event draws near.
Some days, things just won’t come together. There’s always next week.