What Goes Up, Must Come Down

9 Aug

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Last weekend, I rocked my 13 mile run. I felt confident, my self-doubt had vanished and I knew I could finish the marathon. Then this past Sunday happened. I kept my night before and morning before routines the same in terms of what I ate, drank, etc. The only factor that was different was that I did not get a good night’s sleep on Saturday night. I was up on and off most of the night—the heat is killing me here, so I haven’t been sleeping.

I started off my run and immediately felt “off.” I had trouble getting in my groove, and I wasn’t reaching that nice, peaceful zen state I normally do in the early miles. Although I detest getting up early, I like running in the early morning hours. There aren’t many people out, the weather is fabulously cool and I can listen to nature sing. I kept feeling more and more off, but mentally told myself I had to keep going and to push through.

I also needed a bathroom, and most of the stores/restaurants I normally stop into opened much later since it was a Sunday. There were no available bushes with privacy so I was stuck. I kept pushing, but was having a miserable time of it. My bad foot started to ache around mile 6 or so, which it typically starts hurting around mile 7. I normally ignore it and move on. But somehow at mile 7.5 I stopped. I had completely 100% run out of steam, and my foot was killing me. I was spent. There was no more energy, no more motivation, no more picking up the pieces.

Unfortunately I was somewhat in the middle of nowhere, so I had to walk another 3.5 miles to get to a shopping center where I could call my dad to pick me up. I had never quit on a run before. I always finished, even if my time was lousy or the weather was bad, I push through. I felt so discouraged. I was bawling like a little kid. But at the same time, there was nothing I could do about it.

Maybe it was not getting any sleep the night before. Or maybe I just had a really off day, and it happens to even the best runners. It just hadn’t happened to me before so I felt miserably depressed and discouraged the rest of the day.

I had my pity party on Sunday as well as a cup of gelato, and Monday was a new day. I’m ready to get back on the horse and push through. I do know that I can finish the race and do well. I know it was a fluke to have a day that bad. It’s all part of the experience, and it will all be worth it when I cross the finish line.

The moral of the story: if you have a really bad day whether it’s in the gym, at work or home, take that day to feel crummy about it. Indulge in a favorite comfort food (don’t go crazy, but have a little something) and then decide the next morning to pick up the pieces and start again. It’s a new day.

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