Bad runs – perspective, putting heart in to it

This has been an interesting training season for me so far. I missed a long run (16 miles) because I was sick (as in fever, chills, aches and not moving from the couch or bed all day), and the runs on either side (14 miler before and 18 miler after) were poor runs – I just struggled with them. Before the 14 miler I was dry heaving. For the 18 miler my legs just weren’t peppy, and I bonked hard at mile 15.5. Ended it at 17 miles. First time ever I didn’t get in the mileage for the day deliberately. I wasn’t happy with that. Yeah – I am that obsessive.

So why all of this background? Because I was disappointed. I know – life could be worse. I am doing pretty well that my biggest bummer was a bad run. But at the same time…I pour a lot of myself in to this. I want to do well. I want to have fun. And, for the first time, I am setting personal goals.

I am human. I have emotions. And I was not acting like it was the end of the world. I know I am lucky to be healthy, have a body that lets me train, am well fed, and have a home that is warm. I have an extremely supportive husband and fantastic friends.

And still I grumbled, I sighed, I was a little sorry for myself for a short while: I was disappointed. After all – running is something I love to do. I was disappointed it wasn’t as much fun as I wanted it to be. I was disappointed I didn’t hit goals I am setting for myself. I put effort in to this. And, when it didn’t happen as well as I wanted it to….I was disappointed. Friends gave me friendly hugs and smiles, and gave their experiences and stories. I knew I wasn’t the only one this had happened too….but it is encouraging to feel camaraderie and to hear stories. I draw strength from the inspiration and efforts of my friends.

I wrote about it to Mary, and gained perspective as I wrote. Her response gave me insight. And the next time I went out for my next run I was better prepared and had a fantastic time. I was happy.

If I had kept it all to myself and squashed down the emotions because “I had no right to be bummed” would I have received the friendly reassurances, felt the love of my wonderful endurance sports community and gained insight to learn from it and had a fun run the next time? Probably not. Would I have had friends smiling and cheering (and Joanna singing!) at me the next run I had because they knew I was having a better run and smiling this time? Well – since I have absolutely amazing and supportive friends probably, but that underlying feeling of encouragement because they knew I had a bad run probably would not have been there.

I think disappointment, within reason for the cause, is fine. I feel it, learn from it, and let it pass. When I share it with friends I learn/am reminded that I am not alone – others have been there. And I have the reassurance that I have friends that care about me. And I know that each of them would tell me if I was overreacting.

Disappointment when people pour a lot of love in to something is normal it. And so is picking yourself up – oftentimes with a little help from friends and family.

And when something similar happens to one of my friends, I will be there ready to share with them, ready to let them feel a bit of disappointment, and ready to cheer when I see (or hear) that the next time they are having fun again.

 

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