Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Where I'm at: A story of running AWFULNESS

Oh the workout last night. It was rough. To say the least.

Actually, all my workouts have been rough recently.

I’m almost embarrassed to blog about it – it was that bad. But it’s time for me to write something, so here we go!

I started the evening in a bad mood. It was awful outside. And it’s been awful. And I’m tired of it being awful. But workouts must be run, so off I went for a 10 minute warm-up (ha! warming up seems kind of ridiculous when it’s over 90 degrees. I think I would have been better prepared for the workout had I sat in a deep freezer for a bit).

Anywho, the workout was supposed to be 6x1200, but due to the aforementioned awfulness, Coach George shortened it to 2x1200, 2x800, 2x400.

There are plenty of excuses (with varying degrees of legitimacy) to justify my bad workout. It was hot out (true). The air quality was really bad (true). I was still tired from my lengthy weekend (maybe true). All these factors combined made it almost impossible to breath (true, which was weird. I couldn’t get enough oxygen in me and that’s never happened before!). 

But you know how I feel about excuses. The bottom line is that I’m out of shape. And upset about it. Because I know where I “should” be…I know how fast I “should” run…but that is nowhere near where I am. And not to be arrogant and proud, but goshdarnit I used to be good at running and now I’m not and it SUCKS. So I’m frustrated. And angry. But when my rage is directed at myself it turns into a giant implosion of misery…and that’s just no good. (Ok, temper tantrum over. Sorry about that. It’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to.)

I did the whole workout, ever so slowly and painfully (go ahead and look at my times in my Running Log on the left. Full disclosure - I may be slow but at least I'm honest). I’m trying to remember to be grateful that I can run. And I’m holding on to this one thing that I know to be true: If I make myself miserable enough often enough, it will eventually feel less miserable. And that is a fact.

I want you to know that I’m not telling this to make you feel sorry for me. Because a gi-normous Mollie pitty-fest (though fun) is not the goal of this blog. But maybe (1) you’re trying to make your own comeback. Or maybe (2) you’ve experienced this before. Or maybe (3) someday due to some circumstances you will not be able to run for a while, and you’ll deal with these same issues. Or maybe (4) you’ve never run before (you read Eat Run Read for the eating and reading parts) because every time you do you feel the way I do now, and therefore you just can’t wrap your mind around why some people like running.

So here’s the deal. The #1s are me. And I’m sorry. But we will get through this! The #2s are the survivors…any advice for the rest of us? The #3s should listen to their legs and run smart to avoid this situation entirely. And the #4s, if you’ve ever thought about running, try it and stick with it. I promise it gets better!


  1. I love every word of this post. Do not let it get you down! It has been hot (VERY) and coming back from injury is hard. We've all been there!

    And, isn't it amazing how it's so easy to be rational when giving others advice? I'm sitting here thinking about my long run mental rut and laughing at my inability to pull myself out of it. Speaking of, want to run Saturday a.m. from Roosevelt?

  2. Haha, I'm #2 (wait, did you plan that?)

    This post is exactly how I felt on Saturday night! ;)

    You're coming back smart, you'll be FASTER than you were in no time. (which is amazingly-in my dreams-fast girl!!)

  3. I'm a #1 and definitely feel your pain. I just want to be as fast as I was pre-injury and I'm tired of waiting.

  4. I'm a number 2, but as of even 6 weeks ago, I was a number 1. And it f-ing sucks and feels like it will never get better...and then all the sudden it does. There's no warning, just one day you feel like sh*t and then the next time you feel a little bit less like that, then all the sudden, you're running times you'd convinced yourself you'd never see again. In March I thought I'd have to give up running forever, so just keep plugging along. And come run with us on Saturday. It's totally weird that I've only ever met you in person once at something that wasn't even CAR related :)

  5. Ooh I'm a #2!

    A few points:

    1. You're doing all the right things. You KNOW you're doing the right things. Keep doing them.

    2. It's going to suck for a while, and sometimes it sucks for so much longer than you think it should. And it's really unpredictable - coming back from some injuries was so much more difficult than coming back from others.

    3. Lifetime miles count. You've been doing this for a long time, and that's still in you, in your muscle memory and your aerobic capacity and all of your other physiological systems. You are not starting from zero, and you will get fast again.

  6. I'm battling just to try to get into good shape. I've never been a runner, just an athletic girl. Your splits are faster than mine ever have been! Does that help? Ha.

  7. Thanks for all the comments! I knew I wasn't alone on this, and I really appreciate all your encouragement!

    I'll try to make the Roosevelt Island run this weekend - is everyone doing 6am??? (UGH that's early!)

  8. I'm a #4, but I keep plugging away. I always joke that I'm the slowest turtle out there, but I'm diligent and do it. Training right now for my 5th 1/2 marathon (the Woodrow Wilson Bridge 1/2). I wish I had anywhere near your times, but I'm content to just finish what I can.

  9. I'm doing 7. I figure I'm only doing 10, plus I'll be out late tonight.

  10. I'll be there at 7 too. Going to do the hill workout and save the long run for the cooler temps of Maine on Sunday. Hills are know you want to run them too!