The hardest long run I’ve done in Europe so far

Yesterday, I had one of those horrible runs that make me question every little bit of progress that I thought I’d been making with running. I suppose it was inevitable; we’ve been blessed with gorgeous scenery and new places to explore on a weekly basis that I haven’t ever found myself waking up and thinking “ugh, I have to get this run in today…”. For the last few weeks, I’ve been hitting my paces and training pretty consistently.

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Oh, you mean I can’t run in Switzerland every day for the rest of my life? Oh.

But yesterday was a struggle from start to finish. My legs were tired as soon as we started and I started counting down until when I could take my first gel. What was so off about this run?

  • I think the stress of last week caught up to me.
  • I hadn’t been eating very well over the last few days.
  • It was that time of the month for me (less iron?)
  • It wasn’t a particularly pretty route and I think I had to stop and wait forever at approximately 2131432424 stop lights (the streets are extremely wide here so you can’t jay walk if you hit a red light).
  • It was my highest mileage week (ever) so I guess I was tired?

All of these things kind of sound like excuses to me, but I am trying to be more objective and talk myself out of disaster mode when certain runs just don’t work out. It’s fine if it’s a one-off, but I can only hope it isn’t the start of a pattern.

When I had about 5km to go, I texted Mike and told him that I was struggling big time and not sure if I could finish the run. Mentally, I knew I wanted to, but when I had 2km left to go, I felt a twinge in my left leg and finally threw in the towel and stopped. It wasn’t worth finishing the run just for the sake of hitting a specific number. It was so hard for me to stop  – I hate feeling like I’ve given up or failed. Yes, I realize this is just a training run and I did get a heavy dose of perspective last week when it comes to how important running really is (in the grand scheme of things: it’s not).

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This is what really matters. Health, and a man photobombing our couple photo.

The positive thing about being in Munich is the fact that Mike was able to distract me from my exhausted state by taking me to Hofbräuhaus for some brunch. Mike was still playing it safe and didn’t eat much, but we did walk out with a massive pretzel and I did take one for the team and have a Hofbräu Dark Beer.

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My love for soft, chewy pretzels is hard to explain in words.

 

By the time we got back to the place we’re staying at, I showered and then collapsed into bed for several hours. My legs were still tired when I went to bed and overall, I felt completely void of energy.

I’m still feeling a little bit drained today. It’s crazy how different this week felt compared to the last few. I almost wonder if I’m coming down with something but I hope not. Either way, I’m writing about this to remember the bad times as much as the good. Sure, it was a bad – horrible – run, but it wasn’t a defining one. I’m going to file this one away as a mental strength building run.

alison

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