I hesitated to write this post because it is a bit negative. But, on the other hand, there are negative parts to even the things we love the most. I don’t start every run with ballerina leaps because I’m so excited, and I don’t finish every run with a huge grin on my face. Also, the bad runs make me appreciate the good ones even more. And there are important lessons to be learned from just about every one of them!
Sometimes running is a chore, or runs just don’t go quite how I’d hoped. That said, here are my five worst runs of 2014, in reverse order!
5. The 5 miler that turned into a 2.5 miler (March): I was out running with Athena and we were dashing across the street before the light turned. I took a nose-dive and whacked my head on the concrete curb. Nate was traveling, but luckily my in-laws live close by, so they came and picked us up and took us home. Then they came back to my house and took me to the hospital when I decided I probably shouldn’t drive there myself. I had a mild concussion and learned the hard way that if a light is going to change colors, it’s better to just stop and wait.
4. The poorly-timed 6 miler in (what felt like) hell (July): We started training for the Richmond marathon in mid-July. I thrive on cooler temperatures, and running in heat and humidity is my personal version of hell. Two days before the training schedule officially began we did 6 mile run on Saturday morning, and we left the house around 10 a.m., at which point it was already really hot and humid. I got so hot, I felt cold, dizzy and faint. I probably had heat exhaustion. It was a miserable run, and made me wonder if I was up to the task of training for a marathon, much less running a full marathon, if I could barely even handle 6 miles. It put me in a really bad head-space at a very inopportune time.
3. The post-nacho 5 miler (September?): I’d just gotten home from work and I knew I had to get my run in for the day. I was really hungry and Nate had just made a plate of nachos. So I ate a few nachos (with jalapenos and salsa), downed a tablespoon of peanut butter, laced up, and headed out the door. Wow was this a bad idea. I had terrible indigestion the whole time and puked in my mouth more than once. Not fun.
2. The 18 miler that turned into a 16.5 miler (September): I had a cold, and I decided I would do my long run anyways. To make a long story short, I ended up wheezing like I had asthma and could barely breathe. My legs could have kept on going, but my lungs weren’t having it. It was miserable. Oh, and at one point we passed a dead dog on the side of the road. I made Nate tell me a happy story so I wouldn’t burst into tears.
1. The 14 miler that turned into a 13 miler (August): This was the only run during which I just started bawling. Like, “Why on earth am I doing this, this is stupid, what kind of idiot am I?” negative, messy self-talk and tears. As I mentioned, I don’t do well in heat and humidity. I decided to experiment with a new type of fuel (Cliff Shot Blocks) on this run, which, I found out later, I wasn’t taking frequently enough. So I was sweating tons (it was dripping off my visor) and not consuming enough electrolytes. I felt like absolute shit. At one point I got a side-cramp and it hurt so much I shrieked. I was throwing a first-rate pity party for one, and it was bad.
All’s well that ends well, and in 2014 I had far more good runs than bad. I made it through the year without any major injuries and logged lots of great miles. I’m excited to see what running adventures 2015 holds for me!