Good runs/bad runs


By Susan Stetson, 


Sometimes it clicks, and sometimes it doesn’t! If you have been running for any length of time at all, you’ve had good workouts and bad ones.

Well, I had my first really bad workout one night this week. It was awful, with multiple ills. I started out ok, then, began getting stomach cramps and my shins started aching. I felt one sock pulling on a toenail and knew I could make it to the end of the run, and boy, was I sorry I didn’t stop and fix that, when I woke up in the middle of the night with a throbbing toe!

I kept on running, though, and tried varying my pace to stop the shins from aching. I drank water and stopped and walked to ease the stomach cramps. But, I knew the sooner I got to the end of the trail, the sooner I would be in a nice shower and relaxing with a good book! So, I stuck it out and finished that run, even though I wondered why on earth I was doing this to myself! (I never thought of myself as a glutton for punishment!)

On the other hand, we ran two nights later and everything just seemed to click! I started slowly and built up to a faster pace as my muscles warmed up. Then, it felt wonderful to be running, and I knew I could break my best time on the trail. I ran farther than I had ever run in one workout, and I finished about 30 seconds better than my best time, yet!

It helped to concentrate on trying to beat my own best time, instead of worrying about what my companions were doing. It also helped to focus farther down the trail, only glancing slightly in front of myself to check for roots or obstructions every now and then. Also, I try to remember to take in the scenery around me to take my mind off focusing on every step.

I vary my run every few times I do it. After running the same trail so many times, I know every turn, straightaway, hill and valley. I run the trail in opposite directions every couple of times to vary the scenery and keep it interesting. It seems to me that the bad workout made the good one even better!