Close your eyes.
Envision the conditions on your perfect running day. Is it sunny? Raining? Drizzling? Is there a breeze? Is it cold? Chilly? Warm? Hot?
For me, it doesn’t get better than my 8 mile run last weekend in Michigan. 56 degrees and sunny with a low dew point (comfortable!). The only way it could have been better is if it had been partly cloudy (I like the reprieve from the sun) and maybe a little bit of breeze. But really, that’s just me being picky. It was perfect running weather.
And it doesn’t hurt that these guys were waiting to greet me when I got back 🙂I was really happy that I was able to fit in the 8 miler while back at home, especially because the bear incident forced me to miss an opportunity to run 8 miles outside and had to settle on a 6 miler on the treadmill instead a few days prior.
My second week of marathon training–actually, well the past week and a half–has probably been one of the best running weeks I’ve had since February before my PR at the Colonial Half. After my last long run of 13 miles (which wrapped up my first week of marathon training), I ran two 6 milers (both on the TM) and the 8 miler in Michigan.
And it was all capped off with my 14 mile run today. And guess what? No bear sightings. It might be because I ran with some jingle bells that I got from Michaels craft store (a guy at the local hiking store told me to get them and if they didn’t scare a bear off, they would at least let a bear know I was coming so I wouldn’t sneak up and agitate it)
So the run was sans bears, which = 🙂 The only problem? The weather was NOT what I would consider perfect running weather. I accidentally slept in so by the time I got on the road at 8am it was super hot and humid. But I was feeling pretty good so I tried to push the nasty heat out of my mind. I got to about 8 miles before the problems started. First off, I had some bad GI issues so I had to stop multiple times to go to the bathroom (ughh hate that!). Then, I started to feel a bit nauseous, just like I did during the Alexandria Half. It was basically walk-run between miles 10 and 13. By 13.1 miles I decided to throw in the towel. It was super hot, I really wasn’t feeling well and knew that going an extra mile more wouldn’t add much to the already flawed run. So it was a slow 13.1 mile long run for the week instead of 14.
Whenever I don’t hit a mileage goal I usually get pretty down on myself and today was no exception.
All morning I felt somehow that I had failed myself. But then I reminded myself that I am coming off a kick ass running week and a half marathon distance run really wasn’t the worst thing in the world that could have happened to me.
This is how I usually talk to myself
So it’s hard for me to recognize when there actually are legitimate reasons for why I fall short of a goal. Like today’s weather and whatever the hell is going on with my body to feel so nauseous when I run farther than 10 miles.
I would usually push up my long run by 2 miles next week if I didn’t hit my weekly goal (so run 15 next week) but I’m following my slow but steady strategy this time around so it’ll be 14 miles again next week.
What are the conditions like on your perfect running day?
Are you hard on yourself if you don’t hit your running/fitness goal or can you brush it off? (if it’s the latter, please tell us how to do that!!!)