My run today kinda sucked.
It was a 4 mile recovery run, with a few strides at the end. It wasn’t a bad run, but it was harder than it should have been. I wasn’t really surprised. I’m only four days back from a trip to South Africa (and a grueling 16.5 hour non-stop flight home that left me stiff, tired, and jet-lagged). My calf was irritated from a Graston treatment yesterday. And I was barely into my run when I realized I’d forgotten to use my asthma inhaler before heading out of the house.
I’d had two good runs on Wednesday, so despite all the reasons why this run should have been hard it still felt like a set-back. I spent the first mile warming up, working out the pain in my calf, and wishing the run felt better. Even after I found my groove and my calf felt better, the run was still hard – my legs just didn’t have it today.
But somewhere in the next mile it hit me that runs like this one – the hard ones that make you dig deep – are the ones that make the difference. A marathon isn’t easy. There’s always a point where it’s tempting to back off, to let go of your goals, to give in. It’s easy enough to train your body with miles. But it’s as important (and harder) to train your mind to push through when it gets hard.
With that in mind, I spent the rest of my run working on my form, reminding myself that I’m stronger than my instinct to take the easy way out, and remembering what it’s like to run when I’m tired and it feels a little too much like a slog. It wasn’t fun, but it was better preparation for race-day than Wednesday’s easier, longer runs.