This morning I had a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad run.
(If you’re thinking my last couple of posts have been a tad whiny – yeah, I do have bigger things to worry about than my 10k training and people being mean to me. It’s just that right now I’m blogging about the things I can control.)
I won’t bore you with too many details but: my 10k training plan said today I needed to do a warm up, then 6 intervals of 4-min ‘threshold’ runs and 2-min recovery.
I tried running at threshold pace (basically: run as fast as you can) for the first time ever a couple of weeks ago and found the experience amazing. I ran faster than I ever thought I was capable of, Platt Fields went past me in a blur, and I covered a mile in the first seven and a half minutes, which for me is usually unthinkable. It was one of those runs that reminds you why you run.
So naturally I was excited about today. Runkeeper said “First interval. Four minutes. Fast!” in my ear; I set off like I was being chased by zombies…and it was awful. After less than two minutes I was already slowing down to a jog. My legs felt hollow. I managed to keep going in some semblance of a run for the rest of the interval, then collapsed among the duck-poo, scraped myself back together and limped home.
It was a long walk, and I spent it berating myself. “Why couldn’t you do it? You did it two weeks ago. And you stopped keeping a running diary so there’s no way to go back and find out what you did differently – that’s stupid. It’s probably because you ate so much last night – why did you do that? You’re supposed to be following a healthy meal plan. What happened to anticipating the Blerch? Or is it because your self-confidence is still a bit shot from yesterday? Why would you let that get to you? Why couldn’t you just keep going?”
By the time I got home I was sick of this internal monologue so, like yesterday, I turned to A Life of Productivity for advice, and there I found tip #52:
Be mindful of when you’re needlessly hard on yourself. According to David Allen, who wrote Getting Things Done, 80% of what you say to yourself in your head is negative. Watch out for when you’re needlessly hard on yourself, so you can have fun on your journey to become more productive.
Click the link to read about ALOP’s interview with David Allen. He recommends combating all that negative self-talk by reminding yourself of your achievements. It’s good advice – this is why I lot of people keep a Done List – so I took a moment to record some of the things I got done yesterday over at iDoneThis, and had a look at some past running achievements on Runkeeper for an extra boost.
As for the bad run – I still don’t feel good about it, but I can learn from it. I’m going to start keeping a running diary again; I need to work on making run-friendly eating more of a habit. And since even without the diary I know I tend to do better at evening runs than mornings, I’m going to try and schedule runs for later in the day where possible. In the immortal words of Alanis Morrisette,* you lose, you learn.
*there’s another one for the Canadian productivity blog…