Today it was a good day, even though it was actually a bad day.
This evening was the ritual Tuesday Night Workout…I should really come up with a catchy, hip name for the Tuesday night runs, like, Tuesday Terror? Marathon Madness? The Jon Little Show? (kidding!)
Anyways, I’m always psyched for Tuesday nights, knowing I’m going to max my body out for some period or another, pushing my thresholds out further and further. All Speedwork / Endurance work makes me good, but Tuesday nights specifically make me that much better. I always meet Tuesday nights with anticipation, but tonight I couldn’t shake a few apprehensions related to fatigue and soreness. I wasn’t exhausted by any means, but I did have some sort of side stitch the entire day, which simply wouldn’t go away, even when we started the warmup as sometimes tends to happen. I think, due to the fatigue and soreness, my mental game was a touch off too, which is a bad combination for sure.
Turns out, tonight’s workout was a set of fast hill intervals, not something conducive to running through a side stitch and fatigue. Specifically it was 4 x 2k on a figure 8 loop of hills (with 3 minutes jogging rest in between), two long steep uphills and two long steep downhills…at a hard pace, cutting the time down each interval. I only hoped everything as far as my apprehensions were concerned would resolve itself as the adrenaline kicked in.
Not the case. We started the first interval and I felt stiff, but even more I felt the side stitch quite distinctly. Fortunately, I was able to run through it as a minor annoyance instead of a debilitating pain. I fell off a touch on the first interval, but stayed close enough to be happy. At the start of the next one I finally felt strong and loose, but that suddenly went away about halfway up the first hill. Who knows what was going on, but I fought to stay close to the other guys, unsuccessfully. On the third interval I fell off even more and although I kept fighting to stay close, I kept drifting further and further back, finishing that rep about 5 seconds back. I had no idea what was going to happen on the last one, but oddly enough, as we started the final loop I was keeping pace. For a moment I started to drop again, but focused on the power of my stride and went to my calf muscles I realized I was neglecting and all of a sudden I was with the group again. We started to ascend the final hill and I had enough physical and mental determination to fight my way to the top, hanging on the downhill to come in just a couple seconds behind the rest.
Now, despite the last interval, I was still notching that up to a “bad” workout, until I got to thinking about it on the cool down. In a past running blog post in another realm of the universe some years back I had made mention of “bad” days, the frustration of bad runs, but in the context that “bad” runs were ok. They meant something in the larger scope of running that isn’t easily noticeable when you are slogging through an uninspired jog. I’d like to say now, I’ve changed my perspective on that.
There is no such thing as a bad run.
If you are running, it isn’t bad, no matter how bad it feels. Sure, sometimes you want to run well and for an undetermined reason you simply can’t, but that doesn’t mean what you just did was bad. Even when you have a debilitating side stitch that knocks you down to a 10 minute mile pace, this doesn’t mean your run was bad….unpleasant maybe, but not bad.
Such as today’s run. Sure, it wasn’t effortless, but not every run is going to be. It certainly wasn’t bad, because at the least I was running. In no way did I sacrifice my fitness simply because I didn’t run at a maximum level, if anything I still aided my speed and endurance.
With that in mind, the only bad run is not running…and even that has exceptions. If you don’t run because it is an integral part of your recovery process, then even not running at all can be seen as a good “run”. It’s when you can run, probably SHOULD run, and are scheduled to run, but decide that it would be much easier to sit in front of the computer, or sleep in, or do anything but take an hour out of your day to run that you can consider that a definitively BAD run. Shame on you. 🙂
So yeah, sometimes things don’t go as planned, but guess what, you still got out there and put one foot in front of the other. That is NOT bad. So however things go, find satisfaction in the effort.
14 miles total. 3 mile warmup. 4 x 2k. 3 minutes rest in between. on figure 8 hill loop. progressive intervals. 4 or so cool down.
Breakfast – 2 pieces of toast w/ peanut butter and tofutti cream cheese. coffee.
Lunch – pasta w/ veggies, banana, potato chips, water
Dinner – rice w/ veggies, water
Snacks – Fruit dessert, Soy latte, Chocolate Soy Milk, ABC cookie, water, coffee