|(Adorable bug splatter by ZAC Creative)|
It was an unseasonably warm day, and I felt "off" from the beginning. I made the first couple of loops in reasonable comfort and at target pace, but going into the third loop (of four), I started feeling poorly - no pain or discomfort, just hot, fatigued, and like my chemistry was just all wrong. When the phone rang around mile 13, I felt a wave of relief - I could stop! It was a client's daughter, and I wound up sitting for about 45 minutes talking her through the difficult decision to place her father in a dementia care facility. By the time we wrapped up, my head was 100% out of the game ... and my body wasn't far behind. I started back up, but after a mile was feeling very hot and grumpy. I slogged the last of that third loop, and after 15 miles, called it a day.
As I drove away, I was beating myself up for quitting, failing, you name it. I got home, ate an entire half of a leftover pizza (and this was no personal-sized pizza, y'all), took a long shower, and crawled into bed. I'm not a napper or an emotional eater, so I knew my body was talking to me. As I laid down, the mean thoughts crept back in - I blew an important run, I'm never going to qualify for Boston, blah blah blah. I imagined what I would be saying to any of my friends if they said such things to me after a crappy run. I would think they were being ridiculous - and I would be right. So I pulled the sheets up over my tired, sunburned body, said a few words of thanks to it for having made an honest effort, and let myself have a good sleep.
The challenge of training, and setting (and achieving) goals are important reasons that I run. But even more important is the love. Running makes me happy, and even during the toughest workouts, I enjoy being out there. I rarely lose that love, so when I do, I know I should listen.
The coda to this post is that today (Easter Sunday), I woke up feeling fine - and certain that if I'd pushed it yesterday, that would not have been the case. I took myself out for a fun and easy three miles, and in the spirit of celebrating resurrection, wish a joyful Easter to all who observe it.