April 9, 2013

Training Tuesday- A Really Crummy Run or Two!

We are normally very positive on this blog, but I thought it was important to point out that many runs are not the "perfect run" or the "run happy" run, or even a mediocre run.  Everyone has them, but few like to write about them.  When I think of some of my poor training runs, or races for that matter, there are two dates that stick out in my head!  The first was December 23rd, when I ran my last long run before the Goofy Challenge taper.  The second was this year's Princess Half Marathon.  I was not in shape to run just returning from a 3 week trip to Africa and despite planning to relax and have a fun time, it was not.

Let's take a trip in time back to December 23rd, shall we? My 24 mile run started off fine, but within the first 4-5 miles I already felt hungry.  My food and fueling habits for running are consistent and a tad OCD.  I eat the same food and drink the same fluids before every run, and more if I am going for a long run.  I carry plenty of fuel and have access to water in my neighborhood.  For this to happen so quickly annoyed me.  I took my first GU gel and carried on, but this continued for the duration of my run.  Christine was in town and she kindly agreed to bike the last 10 miles and keep me company.  When stopping at home to pick her up, she gave me the English muffin with peanut that she had fixed at my request. My bike basket was used as picnic basket and it held additional things such as cookies, fruit, Gu, and Gatorade. As I ran, I could be seen shoveling in some chocolate chip cookies (thank goodness it was cookie season!) and a additional banana.....it was crazy that I felt so hungry.  Finally the last mile ticked off and I could return home for an ice bath, stretching and some food.  Why yes, I needed more food so we went out for lunch and had huge hamburgers, sweet potato fries and cole slaw.

As for the Princess Half Marathon, it was not our finest race experience.  We woke early and had the usual pre race prep getting dressed, eating and eventually to the starting corrals.  The weather was hot and sticky, with humidity that had to be in the 90% range.  I was anxious with the uncertainly of possible rain and also not at all excited.  Even when running through Magic Kingdom, it was just okay.  Normally, I am so excited to be racing through the castle with all the cheering crowd, but no matter how much I talked to myself it just was not there.  Of course we finished and received our beautiful medals, but now I know what a poor race feels like.  Christine and I had no time expectations due to her not being in taper and me just back from a long trip.  We learned a lot from the race and can manage our expectations a bit better moving forward.
We did smile and enjoyed getting our medals!  Always a fun experience!

While I do not enjoy having not so stellar runs at various times, I do think they have made me a much stronger runner mentally.

Have you ever experienced a crummy training run or race?  Please leave us a comment and tell us about it.
(Pam)

22 comments:

  1. The princess half was the worst! Fun., but the worst weather ever!

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    1. Agree Kat. We never felt comfortable and it just was not as fun as we normally have at Disney races!

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  2. Of for sure I'e had crummy runs. I see it as getting them out of the way so the other runs can feel awesome!

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    1. Good thought Jenelle....I will think that way in the future!

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  3. I'm new to running, and while I'm not "glad" to hear about your less than perfect runs, it is at least encouraging to me. I am SO far from being a real "runner". I can barely run a whole mile without stopping, and that's really more of a jog than a run. I want to LOVE running. I want to be like y'all and the other runDisney bloggers I read. I kind of assumed real runners loved EVERY run. It's a relief to hear that it's normal to struggle sometimes.

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    1. Lisa, I think runners would not be telling the truth if they said they loved every run. While most of the time I am eager for a run, there are days that other activities would be preferable to me. However, when a training schedule is set and races are scheduled, I try to stick to my plan!

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  4. Thank you for sharing this. Even in practice, I can feel an ebb and flow of mood and enthusiasm. It's frustrating in the neighborhood, so I can imagine it's even more frustrating in an actual race.

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    1. Jennifer, Yes having a not so perfect race is part of the whole running cycle. Just look at the elite runners....they have bad days too such as Paula Radcliffe at the Athens Olympics.

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  5. When have I NOT had one or two crummy days??? Let's flash back to March 30, 2013 shall we? Can you say "looks like she's going to have to walk the last 5 miles (yes FIVE miles!) of a Half due to a couple of IT bands who seem to be feeling unloved and under-appreciated???" I can. Ugh!! However, I like to believe in what goes down, must come back up. Or something like that... Here's to hoping you have many, many more good days than bad!

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    1. Thanks, I hope you also have more good runs than bad. We all have the bad ones, but most people only want write or talk about the great runs or races.

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  6. Thank you so much for this blog post. I've been running since this past October and have suffered so many things getting started. First was runners knee...(the worse)...thank goodness for elliptical cross train...saved me...
    Now that that is healed....Yay! I started to have sharp thigh pain...this was when I wasn't running too. It would be at night, when I would get up after sitting for a long time etc....took 3 wks...to stop!
    Now I'm finally getting the change to stretch my runs more....I'm doing 4 miles during the week....and 5-6 long runs on Sat.
    Recently...I'd say this past few weeks...they have felt strange. My legs are heavy...if its not my breath...its just dead leg feeling...lol I only get small spurts of that run forever feeling...lol
    I'm hanging with it...and look forward to better runs. I need to drink more water...I'm trying hard to break my diet coke habit.
    But even with todays sort of ugh run...a bit uncomfortable....I feel wonderful after I'm done! :c)

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    1. Melissa, Getting rid of the diet coke should certainly help with feeling better. I gave up soda a few years ago due to poor bones and it has helped. Right now we have alot of pollen, and that definitely affects my runs. I have strong and weak periods during most every run so do not feel bad. It is all part of the training and learning what your body can handle.

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  7. Absolutely I have crummy runs! As I'm mentally forcing myself to suck it up, I try to go through what I've been doing the past few days to cause my legs to feel like bricks or just not being able to find the right "groove". Often it's that I'm sleep-deprived, just did rigorous strength training, or haven't been eating correctly. It's amazing how small changes can make such big impacts when running!

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    1. Katy, The healthy eating is sometimes a huge culprit for my bad runs. Obviously we all have them and it just takes work to make sure you do not have them too often!

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  8. I had a similar experience with the Princess Half. That was my first Half Marathon and I think the combination of traveling, waking up so early, nerves and heat...made it such a tough race. Looking back I can now see the benefit to having a not so great race day because I know what to expect and can better prepare myself. My next race is going to be local (Rutger's University Half) and I am doing a lot of things differently.
    Live and learn! :)

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    1. Karen, I just ran my first local half marathon and it was so much easier sleeping in my own bed, preparing food in my kitchen and driving myself to the race. There was much less stress and I ended up getting a PR despite less than ideal training due to life getting in the way. Hopefully you will have a much better race.

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  9. Yes, my last 5K was terrible. I started off way too fast and ended up with a stitch in my side that felt like an ice pick was jammed up in there. For the last mile all I thought about was how weird it would look if I just collapsed on the side of the road and laid there until the race was over. *sigh*

    Luckily we have more good running days than bad days, right? : )

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    1. Kristina, So sorry you had a horrible 5k. You are right though, we have many more good runs than bad!

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  10. I do have crummy runs occasionally. They are horrible and make me even more grateful for the good runs. I'm glad you had a good experience at Goofy despite a horrible final long run before the race!

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    1. Karen we all have them, but few people like to talk about the bad runs. I do really feel that they make you stronger, and yea no fun, but I was able to beat my goal at Goofy and that bad run probably helped alot. not sure I can have any goal for Dopey except to crawl across the finish line!

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  11. Funny that we both wrote about bad runs on the same day. I've had a couple bad races, usually due to my exercise induced asthma kicking in earlier than normal. I also remember one Rock and Roll Marathon years ago, when I needed to stop at most every porta-potty :-)

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    1. Oh how awful to have to stop numerous times for the port-potty....no fun at all. Luckily the bad runs/races are few and far between otherwise we would all be tempted to give it up!

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