After weeks of steadily improving, having a crappy run is really, really unpleasant.
I'm not really sure what caused this one to be such a bummer... I'm sure it was some combination of having taken quite a bit of time off and warding off impending illness, or maybe it was just destined to be a bad day. A couple friends reminded me on Instagram that bad days happen, a lot, and to just roll with it and that will make you appreciate the good ones more. (As in running, such as in life. Profound, really.)
I knew I was starting to come down with something (I wasn't sure how it was going to manifest itself - a fever? The flu? A cold? The suspense was killing me) and by Friday I was down for the count. I lost a couple days during the week - my "getting back into the swing of things" run was on Tuesday and I can't remember why I didn't go run on Wednesday. Thursday I had a softball game (I volunteer coach twelve and thirteen year old girls every summer - which is possibly the most fun ever even though it does make me miss playing, a lot). Saturday I spent most of the day in bed, though I couldn't help but wonder if maybe, just maybe, going outside for some fresh air and a jog wouldn't make me feel better? So I made up my mind that I would go on Sunday.
Almost immediately, I knew it wasn't going to be anything like I'd hoped. My legs were screaming at me from the moment I started and every step was a struggle. I was ready to quit at five minutes, I was fighting for breath and every last bit ached. I forced myself to do ten and then I stopped. I sat on a park bench for a while. I begrudgingly walked home and stretched in my kitchen since the ground was still pretty wet from all the rain of the weekend. I took a shower and crawled back into bed.
I know that not all runs are going to be super awesome - I think I realized that when I did the 16 minute run shortly after my awesome 40 minute run. They are going to vary. It was just really frustrating to struggle so much, to feel like I'd taken a few huge steps backward. It was the type of run that I was used to; the type of run that had always made me hate it. One of the things I had observed earlier this spring was that while running wasn't particularly fun, I really enjoyed how I felt afterward. Stronger, more powerful, healthier. Even on my first post-Vegas run, which was "short" too, I felt pretty good afterward. I just felt cranky after this one. Cranky and uncomfortable.
I at least managed to cooperate with myself for my ritual post-run photo.