I hope that I didn’t come off as overly whiney in that last post. I realized after the fact that I probably sounded like such a spoiled brat! I honestly am very happy to have been able to run it, and goodness knows that I needed the practice. I was just let down by 2 factors that, in my mind, RnR races are typically known for and, in this case, were severely lacking. So, thank you RnR, for an incredible well-run race. Next time though? Live up to your name!
I’m not going to lie, I started and restarted and stared at posts last night and afternoon for a long, long time. Words just weren’t coming. Or words would come, and they’d be wrong. My head just felt a bit on the fritz–like I wasn’t all there. So I took a break, worked on some other things, came back.
And still, nothing. FLATLINE. You know what? Sometimes, it happens! And that’s ok. Just like my body, sometimes I have to give myself a break. I am so used to being able to “perform”–you know, to just write something at the spur of the moment, like I talked about last week. But there are times with nothing pops, or I can’t find the right words. I felt like that all day yesterday. Like my head just wasn’t attached to my body. I think part of it might very well be training–I’m running long distances, and I’m running them hard. Probably too hard, and I need to ease off the pace before I get hurt.
My problem is I like to plug and chug–set a pace and just go. That’s part of the reason that I try to run without my Garmin as much as possible. I know basically how far I am going (I’ve run these distances enough over the past year), and so I just go out and run. Even though I would say I don’t reallllly care about the pace, I am used to see particular numbers on its face, so I will adjust accordingly. That is part of the reason that I ran a great deal of my marathon last year with it on my belt, or with the pace setting not shown, so that I would just run, but I could make sure not to tear around like a crazy person.
My point is this:
Any time that we put ourselves into a structure, situation, or circumstance that forces us to perform, we can get performance anxiety because we expect a certain degree of performance from ourselves. Even if we know that we should be pulling back, and that it is ok, we are used to a certain number, a certain pace, a certain result, and we can force something that hurts us in the long haul. Whether than means letting your weight go up because it means you are building muscle, or you pace slowing because you are increasing mileage, or your mileage decreasing because you are increasing pace, some times, you have to remind yourself that a little regression is necessary for progression. Because it isn’t regression, if you are controlling it–think of it like pulling a slingshot back: sometimes you have to go back to sail forward.
That said, we cannot stay in safe, or pull back mode forever. It all has to do with intention and overall scope. I was forced to pull back for months this winter due to injury, but I made sure that the pull back was a controlled regression, and I made it work for me. I used it to strengthen, gather my thoughts, and work toward my goals even though it may not have seemed that I was doing so at the time.
So the next time that you have a bad head space day, have a bad run, have a bad eating moment, or sit down to do whatever it is that is usually so very natural you but it just won’t come, instead of trying to force it and getting your knickers even more in a twist, make it work for you. Make the situation adapt to your needs–I promise there will be plenty of times when you will need to adapt to its needs.
And see? You’ll have a post after all 😉
How do you approach your misfires or days when things just aren’t clicking? Do you beat yourself up? Let it slide? Or adapt and find another way?
What is the one accomplishment that is your Chupacabra? Ie that you wish you could do? I wish I could still play a musical instrument and could speak another language fluently.
I also wish that I could run without thinking about every damn step and warming up for forever, but that is what it is.