The Bad Run

As our beautiful Saskatchewan summer finally pokes through, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that evening running isn’t going to work anymore.  A few days ago I went out after putting the kids to bed, and it was still 26C at 8:30 p.m. I don’t do well in heat, and I was literally drenched by the time I was done my 8 km run.

So, last night, I had great plans for today. I went to bed early in preparation for an early morning run this morning.  I set my alarm for 5:30 and planned to get in an easy 12-13 km before anyone else in the house even got up. Problem number one: my body isn’t used to going to bed at 10:30, it’s used to going to bed at 11:30. As a result, I couldn’t sleep and found myself still wide awake at 1:00 a.m.  My head yelled “Abort the plan! Abort the plan! You can’t run on four hours of sleep!” But I knew that it might take a couple of days (weeks) to adjust to a new schedule, so I kept the alarm turned on.  5:30 sucked, let me tell you that.  But my stubbornness won, thank goodness, and I dragged myself out of bed and out the door.

Problem number two: I’m allergic to dust and pollen.  Yesterday, I spend the majority of the day on my tractor pulling my six foot wide mower around our farmyard.  The yard had gotten away from me over the past couple of weeks while I was in Vancouver and then at the lake, and it needed serious attention.  As a result, I was coughing, sneezing, and generally stuffed up from the cloud of dust and grass clippings I spent the day in.  Canola is in high demand this year, and the selling prices reflect that, so there are tons of canola fields around our place.  They’re all flowering right now.  I was doomed before I even started this run!

Basically, I’m searching for excuses to explain why this was the Worst Run Ever. It was my slowest average pace with the most walk breaks in over two years. In barrel racing, bad runs do happen. The general rule is not to stew over it or over-analyze it.  We watch the replay once, twice at the most, to see if we made an obvious error that can be corrected, then we delete the video, forget about it, and move on.  In this spirit, my first thought was to write my mileage only in my training log and nothing more. Move on, forget about it.  However, part of the advantage to keeping a training log is to be able to look back at what worked and what didn’t, and prepare for future runs (and races) accordingly, thus minimizing the chances of a Bad Run. So, I wrote: “6:14/km avg pace. Felt awful. Allergies, general fatigue, poor sleep last night. Sunny, hot already at 6:00.” I’ve learned that it takes a while to adjust to morning running, and that I need to look after my allergies and asthma more carefully. I’ve also learned that while it was relaxing to take a week off after my half two weeks ago, and then run only three times this week, I can’t expect to jump right back in to where I was before. Now I will move on and forget about it. Bonus: it’s Sunday, which means I get to turn the page in my training log to a fresh new week and I don’t have to look at that entry any more!

Gotta run.

How do you get past a Bad Run? Do you over-analyze or learn and move on?

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