Happy Tuesday Everyone!!
I’m still going strong, I’ve remembered how this whole blogging thing works, aren’t you excited?? LOL
This is the second post in a series dedicated to those areas in my training that I’ve had to work through some trial and error to find out what works best for me
Today’s Topic – Embracing the Suck!!
I’m going to start by addressing the elephant in the room. Running just flat out sucks sometimes!
I feel I’m still fairly new to this whole running community, but in the short time that I’ve been running I’ve made one huge observation about a lot of runners. Just to be clear, “a lot” of runners does not mean ALL runners. My observation has been, most of us come to running for some need in life. Need to lose weight, need to relieve stress, etc. Because of this need, there are overwhelming highs and accomplishments that we’ve experienced from this sport.
I wanted to talk through the other side of the spectrum. The dark side that occasionally engulfs us and really tests the person that we are. I’m not talking about the 5 mile run that isn’t going so well and we decide to head home early. I’m talking about that dark place that consumes you and has you asking yourself “why am I doing this to myself?!?!”.
For me this dark place consumes me on extremely long runs when both my physical and mental toughness are being put to the test. At my first marathon attempt, we were at the Rock N Roll Marathon in Vegas. For roughly 15 miles I was on cloud nine with everything clicking better than I ever expected. Then it all went downhill really quick. Lack of training and lack of fueling had me cramping and things got real ugly.
“H$#% with this, I’m done!”
“Why the h$#% is my body failing me like this”
“This whole thing was a waste of d@#$ time”
I spent roughly 10 miles over a 3 hour span walking to the finish line. I got lucky in Vegas, I ran into another guy who was cramping and we walked a lot of those miles together which pulled me out of that really dark place I was going through.
Fast forward 4 months and I was going after the marathon again. The self proclaimed “Redemption Run”. I came into the half marathon mark in a great time and I really thought I was being conservative and I could coast through the rest of the run. Once again, around mile 15 things went downhill. My left ITB stopped me in my tracks.
“Why the h@#$ did I have to stop, I would have been fine if I kept running”
“Maybe I’m not meant to do this”
“Mrs. Schlub should go get the truck so I can be done with this s@#$”
Once again I spent roughly 10 miles over a 3 hour span walking to the finish line. Again I got lucky, Mrs. Schlub was biking along the course with me and having her there eventually pulled me through the rest of this run. I got through those moments. It was a major hit to the ego but I was able to grind through and eventually get back to enjoying running.
This past weekend was the first time I can honestly say that I “embraced the suck”. Saturday and Sunday was brutally hot, my body was hurting, and my mental toughness was fully tested. This was the first time where I mentally started to understand that I need to dip into that dark place, kick it’s a@#, and come out stronger on the other end. As I covered in my recap, I just left my coach, got back to the truck to prepare for my final loop. I could have easily jumped in the truck, enjoyed the nice cool AC, and went on home. In that moment I made the decision, I’m going back out for that last 5 mile loop. The difference was knowing that it was going to suck and I just had to grind through it best I could. The discussion in my head was different this time. Much different from the two marathon attempts. I’m not going to say it was positive by any means, but it was accepting the situation for what it was. Not all these training runs and races are going to be the run of my life. Some of them are really going to suck. Those ones that suck are the ones that make those accomplishments SOOOOO much better in the end.
When was the last time you embraced the suck? What types of conversations do you have with yourself when things are sucking