Stressed Out

A little venting can be good for your mental state, right?

While my statement last week about my long runs being more consistent was true, what wasn’t mentioned was all the failed long runs along the way.    And they failed in spectacular ways.   Like I don’t know how I ever call myself a runner ways.   And I just don’t get it.

It’s not that I expect all runs to be sunshine and roses, I mean let’s be real here.   There is just something about these runs that just punch me in the gut and leave me pissed off.    So what is it?

The long runs where I fight my inherent laziness and get up in the morning have been pretty consistent.  Slow but that’s intentional, it’s the main point behind 80/20. It’s the midweek long runs that are kicking my ass.   I love getting my long run done before the weekend.    Every month I work a minimum of one Saturday.  That means I typically get a half day during the week.   Yay for extra running time!  I love getting the long run out of the way before the weekend; that way I only have a short run to fit in then I can be lazy the rest of the time.    However, this year, all attempts have just sucked.  Misery, straight up.

First, there was the slowest 10 miler ever in January.  February saw the 5.5 mile blow up- because sitting on the ground at a busy street corner is so normal.  Today- attempt number 3- 12 miles was the plan.   Reality saw 7.5, painful and slow miles.  Grrrr.

I was looking forward to today, I was so excited to leave work to run.  It was predicted for the mid 70’s, so I was thinking shorts would be perfect.   I’ve been sore and tight lately, so I also had compression socks on.  On an odd note- I was tight like this last year at this time-I swear it’s like an allergy.    My calves were painfully tight so I walked more of the first mile than usual.  Mile 2 saw more of the same plus stopping to stretch out my calves a few times.    They hurt but I was having trouble figuring out if they were hurting in a injury way or just more tightness.  Less than 2 miles in and I was hot, tired, hurting and having troubles maintaining any sort of pace.   I was walking more than running and felt like bailing.    I considered it but decided that I was just stiff and sore and needed to get better at toughing out runs.   By mile 5, I was pissed off and talking to myself, no way in hell was 12 miles happening.

I had 2+ miles to get to the car and slow running wasn’t getting me anywhere.   So it might not have been the best idea but I ran fartleks back to the car.  Oddly enough, I was holding goal half marathon pace for the same amount of time I had been running slowly before.  The walk breaks felt better too.  The only time things felt rough was when I looked at my watch and figured out I was running a sub 7 pace.  Oops.  Hello crazy, slow the hell down.   Yeah, it was only like a minute and a half and slightly downhill but it was a good minute.

The last 2 miles helped wash the sting of the first 5ish off but I just don’t get it.  Have I not adjusted to temps in the 70’s yet?  I made sure to eat breakfast and a small early lunch.  I usually run races on an empty stomach without fuel.   Was it the food that threw everything off?   All three of these horrible runs were run in shorts.  I am so self-conscious in shorts right now- like I wonder if I should burn them all.  Could that really make me so uncomfortable that I tank my runs?   I don’t get it!!!!  The more I stress about it, the more I freak out and the more the run sucks.  It’s driving me crazy!

Do I forego any more weekday long run attempts?  Do I get over my desire to not have to run long on the weekends I work and just do it?  Do I just make the weeks I work on Saturday a cut back week?   I can’t decide!

Also, I’ve been running slow for 3 months now and I feel like I am getting nowhere.  You would think an 11:something pace would be something I could maintain by now but no.  Do I keep putting in the slower miles?  Do I change things up while I have the time before marathon training gets really real? Or did I just need to whine it out?

If made it through this- thank you!

What do you think?

Happy Friday!!


20 Comments on “Stressed Out

  1. I wish I had some advice!! I wish I had a secret formula to share, but I don’t. I can tell you that my runs have sucked this week 😀 Like a lemon!! It’s been a pretty epic failure… and the week before wasn’t all that good either! But, we keep plugging along and trying again. It’s not how many times you fail, it’s how many times you get back up again, and I know you’ll get through this!


    • Wouldn’t a secret formula be awesome?! I’ll keep getting back up, it’s just that those 3 runs were so horrible! I’m just glad they weren’t all in the same week! I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a a rough few weeks too! We can do it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Honestly, if I’m feeling that way I usually just ditch the watch. I’ve been running more frequently without the watch and I just enjoy it more. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A SLAVE TO THE WATCH.


    • I have thought about ditching the watch. I’ve moved it from showing the average lap pace to current pace but it’s still too big of a focus on my runs. I just can’t bring myself to leave the watch at home. I wish I could just stash it somewhere I can’t see or feel while running. I need to cut the cord!


  3. Virtual hugs! I feel like it’s easier to say this to someone else than to yourself (at least I know it would be for me), but slow miles are better than no miles at all. That said, if these runs just aren’t working for you then maybe you should change things up? I wish I had good advice!! Maybe change things for a week, don’t do your long run during the week, say, and see how it goes. If it’s better, maybe keep trying that? And keep looking for the shiny! 🙂


    • I know what you mean, it’s easier to say slow miles are good than it is to believe it. I think 3 strikes and I’m out. Maybe I will just make the weeks I work on Saturday lower mileage weeks. It’s just hard because there is no pattern to the Saturdays I work. Surprise cutback weeks! That should keep things interesting!


  4. Boo, I hate feeling like this. I’d say just keep running what you’re running. Slower than you want is better than not running at all, and you may eventually notice a pattern or have some kind of breakthrough that will help understand what’s going on. I hope this suckiness passes soon!


    • Part of me wonders if really is my shorts. All my other runs have been in capris. Am I really feeling that insecure about my size right now? Just more to add to my food/weight post if I ever hit publish.


  5. A lot of it could be mental. I was “sort of but not really” training for a half last year that I really had no motivation but I would get on the treadmill and text and go on FB and was SO distracted and I seemed to get slower with every run and couldn’t go very far and all I could think about was what I would rather be doing. I would give up because of other things I needed/wanted to do. Now I don’t look at my phone and try not to look at my watch much and focus on getting it done and not thinking about anything that I need to do or who I wanted to text/talk to. I also hate making plans for right after my runs (or running close to when it’s going to get dark) because then I just feel pressured by the deadline that I have and what I need to do before and just end up quitting to go do the other stuff. I don’t know if this is useful, but just know you aren’t the only one. Plus sometimes running just sucks, and you just got to push through till it gets fun again!


    • I am normally pretty good about ignoring my phone when I am running. I have used it as a time out for these crappy runs. If I can’t get out of my negative head space, I take an inspiration break if you will. 🙂 I need to stop getting hung on pace- fast or slow. I am doing this no goals year wrong. Oops!


  6. Hang in there! Maybe you’re dealing with some pre-injury stuff? Or have you thought about giving yourself a week off, or just cross training for a while? We all have those I-hate-running phases. Dragging myself out there usually fixes it, but sometimes forcing myself to run makes me hate it even more. A week off usually changes my mindset and I’m excited to run again. Don’t stress, we do this for fun!


    • I’m only running 3x a week right now, so taking a week off seems like a cop out to me. Particularly when I was sick 2 weeks ago and only ran once. No matter how hard I try not to, I keep getting hung up on pace. I need to get out of my own head but that’s another thing easier said than done.


  7. Can I ask what, exactly, is making all of your long runs go so badly that you end up cutting them short so often? Is it pain, extreme fatigue, not feeling well, or are you just mentally giving up?

    Honestly, I wish I weren’t saying this but the long run never gets easier. I’m training for marathon number 3, and I still haven’t gotten to a point where it seems like no big deal to go out and run 16 miles. When I wake up on Saturday or Sunday morning and have to go out and run for 2.5+ hours I dead it so badly I could cry. But I just do it, because I have to. And once I’m out there, I figure, if I’m already running this much today I might as well just finish what I had planned.

    I think you just need to finally break the cycle of bad long runs. Go out there and force yourself to get one done. Even if it’s not pretty. Tell yourself you won’t come back to the house until you’ve done what’s on the plan of today. Get one done, and it will give you the confidence that you can do it again next week, and the week after that.


    • It’s not all of my long runs, the weekend ones have been fine, it’s just seems to be the long runs I try to move into the work week that suck. Outside of sickness a couple times, my weekend long runs have hit their mark. Something about moving it to the middle of the week isn’t working. I completed January’s albeit slowly and shortened February and this last one.
      That was the only one that hurt, otherwise it was all breathing issues and mental fatigue for lack of a better term. I think I just need to just stop moving them to the afternoons after work. I will just have to do them on Sundays during the weeks I work on Saturdays. Which doesn’t sound pleasant but it’s a better option than having a miserable, hot run these days.


  8. Oh Fallon – I’m sorry to hear that this is happening. Maybe it’s turning into a vicious cycle where you’re expecting it to be bad and then once it starts feeling unpleasant it’s a confirmation of that expectation, if that makes sense? My advice would be to go back to what was working before – weekends + capris and get your confidence back.


    • I considered that I am creating a self fulfilling prophecy. I just can’t figure out how to break it. I did head out again on Sunday, in the morning in capris and the run was great. Which helped with the diminished confidence but I so wonder what will happen my when my mid week runs hit 8-10 miles.


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  10. I know you don’t want to hear this, but when I’m feeling that way, I take a break from running. I forget any race goals and I stop running…until I feel the desire to again. And then I slowly build back again. You sound running burnt out. And that’s ok.


    • I really don’t think it is running, it’s just something about those 3 runs. I am pretty convinced it’s the shorts truthfully. Talk about a wake up call. If wearing shorts in public causes a panic attack, I think it’s time to clean things up in the kitchen. 😦


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