They are meant to be elusive and stealthy things bourne of over training, general unwellness, fatigue, stress etc etc... but I seem to have one on an almost fortnightly basis. It's probably a clue that I've still got a long way to go to be able to call myself physically fit.
Well, thanks a crapload, body, as if I couldn't have worked that one out on my own!
My not-so-great runs that have me wanting to drop to the floor and start rolling around in an almighty temper tantrum usually come in two varieties:
a. My legs start to feel kind of stiff and crampy to the point that "running through it" just makes me start lolloping along in pain, legs rigid like I've got no knees.
b. My legs and lungs are doing fine, but my head has decided that it has better places to be. And not in the nice, dreamy, letting your body get on with it while you float off somewhere else kind of way. It's just decided that, despite all its desire to get me up and out into the world, it's now come to the conclusion that it's made a terrible mistake and must undo it by making every step feel like my whole being is just going no-no-no-no-no-no-nope-nuh uh-no.
As a result, I feel I can't do anything to prevent myself from stopping dead and walking back to the car with a face like a slapped arse despite the fact that my dejected legs are wondering what they've done wrong to my brain for it to not let them do what they want.
... I experienced the latter type of bad run today. And it was maddening. I was painfully aware that after 3 measly miles, I had essentially given up on the 'long run' I'd intended. I had been looking forward to a nice, long, slow shuffle around Swansea in the cooling drizzle. But no. Brain wanted to go back home and sulk for no good reason instead.
And what made me feel even sillier was the fact that I was wearing my Cardiff Half Marathon finishers T-shirt. Ironic, much? The evil gremlin voices in my head were telling me
"Oooh, I bet everyone thinks you've just borrowed your boyfriend's T-shirt, loser!"
Ridiculous. But that's how I felt. I know for a fact that I can get around 13 miles - I can do it and have done it! So why am I finding distance running suddenly so difficult since I've surpassed my expectations and achieved that?
I have my suspicions:
Bad runs seem to happen to me when I'm focusing on slowing myself down. I did this today because I thought I'd be going far and didn't want to over exert myself. Perhaps forcing myself to run at least a 12 minute mile has gone from being my average speed to something my body now finds a bit unnatural now that I'm a little faster? Is that a thing?
We'll see. But in the meantime, if anybody spots my mojo (I imagine it to be a two legged, yellow puffball thing with sunglasses on... analyse that one), please tell the little sod where I am!
How often do you experience a disaster run, and how do you get over the emotional niggles that go with them? I'd love to hear about it - if anything, so I don't feel quite so cack about myself!