Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Terrible Horrible No-Good Very Bad Run

I knew it would be a tough one when my son woke up at 4:25 (35 minutes before my alarm was set to go off) and needed help locating his beloved stuffed monkey, Mr. Wawa. Mr. Wawa is one of those small SIDS-safe infant stuffies that has a head and nothing but a soft washcloth for a body. He gets lost easily in Will's bed, especially because Will tends to stuff him into pillowcases. So I groggily located Mr. W and then stumbled back into bed. I didn't sleep again.

It was supposed to be a 7-to-10 mile goal pace run. I've looked forward to almost all of my McMillan plan's runs, but for whatever reason I just knew this wasn't going to be a good one. There are those who might say I psyched myself out of it. But I don't believe in that Law of Attraction stuff. This supposed "law" holds that if you just wish/believe, the things you desire/need will flow to you. Therefore, if bad things happen (such as a goal pace run that just doesn't work out), you clearly didn't want/believe it enough. There's a ramblingly-written book and DVD called The Secret, which was hugely popular at my library, that describes this idea and cites many people throughout the ages, from Leonardo da Vinci to some modern-day shyster who bills himself as a "metaphysicist" in the DVD, to back it up.

But really, in running and in everything else, this supposed law is just a large pile of horse doo-doo. Here are the reason why my run was bad. None of them have anything to do with me not wanting a good run badly enough:

1. I haven't gotten enough sleep this week. The relay set me back to start out with. My son has awakened at 4:30 or so for three mornings in a row--once for a Mr. Wawa hunt, once for a hug and kiss and once for a soaked pull-up. I didn't wish for those things (though I certainly had fun at the relay).

2. I ran the relay's 22 miles harder than I would have run them had I done them as a straight regular long run. My average pace for them was 8:55/mile. Nine miles of that was significantly faster since it was that cruise 1,800 feet down Vail Pass. I'm supposed to do long runs at 9:30-10:30 miles. I don't think this will hurt my marathon, but I do think it set me back for this week.

3. I chose a hilly route for this morning's run. Partly this is because I can't help running hills around here, but it also helps me justify slower paces. Hill work is speed work in disguise, right?

4. My trots hit me at mile nine, despite three trips to the toilet before I even walked out the door. What do you do? There's nothing you can do but hit the old gas station bathroom.

5. My Garmin was hinky. I thought I had started it *twice* only to find I was wrong.

6. My earbuds kept popping out on me. I think I may have to revert to my old-school phones for the race.

Those reasons, my friends, are why today's 7-to-10 mile goal pace run became a 9-mile slog with some fast miles thrown in.

I have one more hard run Saturday morning, a 16-mile fast-finish. I'm going to eat carefully and sleep well (if Will and Mr. Wawa allow it!). I'm going to do my best not to make the last real long run of this training cycle terrible horrible no-good and very bad.

No one wishes for bad days. But, you know folks, some days are like that.

(Apologies to Judith Viorst, whose fine book "Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No-Good Very Bad Day" is on my daughter's nightstand right now!)


  1. I think we have two copies of that book floating around here.
    I've had two of those no-good runs you speak of this week myself. But I'm trying to be grateful I'm running at all with my ornery hip.

  2. Yep, bad runs do happen and usually you can trace it back to some things like you just did. Fingers crossed for a great last long run -- always best when the training ends on a high.

  3. Oh man, Sorry! We all have those rotten runs once and awhile. The next one will be better! Hope you get better sleep these next few night!

  4. Sorry you had such a bad run! I find that the run after my really bad one is a really good one! I hope your next is a good one for you!

  5. I agree some days it's just not good.

    Wow...I don't miss those days of getting up with the kids! ;) I swear I didn't sleep a full night for 6 years.

  6. That stinks, but no worries. We've all had bad runs, and I bet you have too. Your net one will be better. I got one of those things for a girlfriends baby...I hope she likes it as much Will.