Yin and yang. Light and dark. Good and bad. Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift. You can’t have one state without the existence of the other.
How can you appreciate your good runs if you don’t ever experience a bad one? Hell, how do you even know you are having a good run if you’ve never had a bad one.
Yesterday was my next to last long run before the Portland Marathon. 18 miles. I joined up with my Team in Training teammates in downtown Portland. They were scheduled to do 18 miles and I wanted to make sure I hit that number. Figured at the very least they could pull me through it.
I actually did pretty good…for the first 14 miles. I was having a good time; telling jokes, interacting with people in town and trying to keep a positive attitude. In fact I was joking around so much I forgot something…fueling!
I fueled at about 4 miles, which is normal. But I did it only because I saw someone else do it. I don’t think I took my next Gu until mile 12…OOPS! I took another about mile 14 but the damage had been done by then. Once you deplete your energy so far it is very hard to play catch up. By mile 16 my body pretty much started shutting down. I continued to put one foot in front of the other as I still had to get back to my car but it was a brutally slow pace.
So even though I bonked a little, this was a win/win run. I got my 18 in (at an overall awesome pace of 8:30) and I learned a great lesson. It’s ok to have fun and enjoy yourself but it’s equally important to stay within yourself and stick to your game plan. For me that means fueling about every 4 miles.
Bad run…Good outcome!
So don’t be afraid to go out there and screw up! Hell, go out there and screw up on purpose to try to learn something new. Just do it on a training run and in a safe environment. You don’t want to do it on race day and you don’t want to get hurt.