Good runs, bad runs

On the 5th Feb I ran the London Winter Run far better than I had any right to expect. Hooray! Yesterday I had a terrible run. Boo! I thought I would come and post on here so that those of you who are just starting out can see that bad runs still happen and they are nothing to worry about. It's a long post, though, so get yourself a coffee and settle down!

I started C25K nearly 5 years ago now, about 5 stone overweight and desperate that no one should know I was doing it. It took me 50 runs to graduate, not the standard 27, and I repeated whole weeks on occasion, but I did it. I've had months off because of injury, I've had massive losses of motivation, I've run some 5ks and a couple of 10ks and the one thing that has never failed me is the support from this community.

Let me tell you briefly about the LWR and yesterday, though.

The London Winter Run was horrible. I'm a solitary runner by nature. I'm slow, and had had this dreadful cold so hadn't run for about 10 days before the run itself, so wasn't expecting much. The crowds in the run were terrible, and their manners were worse. Loads of pushing and cutting in front of you - dreadful. Anyway, I managed in a much faster time than I had ever imagined, and in fact, taking into account my actual running time, seem to have achieved something not too far away from a PB. Wonderful!

I didn't run at all last week because I was working away, and then the weather was absolutely foul. Yesterday I thought I had better go for a little jogette just to shake the legs out, and thought that I should do at least 6k and 7 if I felt okay. It was cold - 3C on the temp - and windy, so I put my thermal leggings on, put a running vest under my long-sleeved running shirt, and found my running gloves. Off I went.

The first 2k went fine. Then I realised that it was a lot warmer than I had thought it was. I was overheating. Off came the gloves and up went the sleeves. After another 500 meters I had to stop because I was so out of breath and my legs were like lead. I realised that most of the problem was that I was too hot. But what to do? I couldn't do anything about my leggings. It was still too cold to run in just my vest - and I wouldn't inflict that on people anyway. If I tried to take my vest off a) I'd be stripping off down to my bra in public and b) I'd then have to carry it, as I couldn't tie it anywhere and didn't have a pocket. Fortunately, I run with a hanky safety-pinned into the front of my shirt, so I stuffed the hanky down my bra and scrumpled up my outer shirt, safety-pinning it so that it was twisted up over my shoulders (I must have looked a right fright!).

Off I went again. But... there was a hill. I was so knackered and lathered, I had to walk it. It's only a very small hill, and normally I'd plod up it fairly easily, but yesterday I just couldn't. Up to the top of that, then, and a downhill stretch - hooray! Aaaand... another hill. Walk. It just went on like this. Finally I reached a flat bit and managed another consistent 3k at a slow pace, but that middle section does not look good on the Garmin! I finally reached home and peeled my sweaty running kit off and flung it straight into the washing machine - and believe me, that shower was one of the best!

All this is just to say that no matter how long you've been running for, there will always be bad runs. They don't matter. Sometimes there's a reason for them - you might not have eaten properly the night before, or you might not be hydrated enough, or you might be worrying about something. Sometimes there seems to be no reason at all. I could moan about this run - I didn't do a decent 7k run. I did do 6k though. I was out there, getting the miles on the legs. Yes, there were some walking breaks, but so what? That route was where I first started C25K, and I ran over my first 60-second footsteps. And I said a little 'Thank you'.

Keep it up. Slow down. Keep trying. Come on here for support. Happy running.


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28 Replies

  • Great post Annie. Inspiring, encouraging, and even a wee bit funny. :)

  • Thanks, Anne. Bits of it were very funny - the looks I was getting on my cool-down walk, you'd think I'd just escaped from a film set somewhere :D But I remember being discouraged because I couldn't finish runs or had to walk, and now we know that it really doesn't matter.

  • Aw our lovely Annie, what a great post, you've said it all xxx

    I am so pleased you are part of our fab running " family " and long may it continue :-) xxx

  • I love our awesome running family :) Will I still be allowed to run with my zimmer when I'm 93? :D xxx

  • Ha ha ! Yes of course, I will chase you with mine ! :-D xxx

  • Ha - zimmer races :D xxx

  • I was once chased down the full length of a ward by an irate, very overweight and previously barely mobile patient who was holding her zimmer frame aloft!

  • That will be me! When someone has taken my coffee away because they tell me it's bad for me! :D

  • I had tried to persuade her to eat a piece of apple. Not Mrs Doyle "You will, you will" persuasion either.

  • I love that you ran over your first 60 second footprints. Just that sentence gave me tingles!

  • I probably wasn't much faster today! But what matters is that I'm still running :)

  • Great post - very real, Annie. We just keep going - and here's hoping that next run feels better. ☺

  • Thanks, Sandra. Yes, we keep going in the hope that the next run will be (even) better :)

  • What a great post and thank you so much for sharing it with us :)

    It is good to know that everyone has those runs that just don't feel great, like you said though you got out there and you put miles on those legs, that's what really matters isn't it? x

  • Thank you! I know that when I first started I had unreal expectations. Every run would be better than the last run. I would be faster each time. I would get noticeably fitter every week. I would love every run.

    :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

    Oh, well, I didn't know any better, after all x

  • Somewhere there has got to be something else we do it for, hasn't there?

    A run is just a run. And that's a good thing.

  • Yes. I'm glad I did the LWR, because I got the chance to meet up with several people I've only met on here on on the FB pages, and they are as wonderful as I knew they would be. I'm glad I went out on my awful run, because it was another run, and the first 2km were great. And I'm really glad I know that some runs will be okay and some will just be runs where you get back and think 'glad that's done', because when I started, some of them were enough to make me want to give up. Because I could never be a runner. Ha! I am a runner, and I will be a runner, and runners have good days and better days. That's just how it is.

  • Runkeeper always asks me to pick a face, sad, smiley etc and I sometimes feel "I dunno, I just did the run, that's enough" (anyway, we all know that most runs involve 1001 emotions)

  • Yes, I always ignored those when I used runkeeper or myAsics . How can you possibly condense a run into one symbol?

  • Oh I am so sorry you didn't enjoy the LWR, I really like the route but could do without the polar bears and snowmen. Have to admit there were some people early on that made me think "what's your problem" but once we got out of Trafalgar Square had quite a lot of room.

    Glad you kept your leggings on - I had a bad run yesterday as well, very heavy legs but managed the distance I needed. Never thought of pinning a hanky to my shirt, am always losing tissues along the way!!

  • Well, as I say, I'm a solitary runner really, so all those thousands of other people were a bit much! :D I'm glad you had a good time though :)

    There must have been something in the air yesterday! My legs were just made of jelly, I think - very uncooperative. Our next runs will be better though :)

  • Beautiful post Annie... :)

    Got all these lovely images of you flinging items of clothing off as you got hotter and hotter...

    and pressing on determinedly to get up those pesky hills!

    You are such an inspiring runner, reading your posts encourage me to do better and try harder, especially when I am feeling a tad sorry for myself !

    Thank you :) x

  • Aww, thanks, Floss - never been called inspiring before!

    Ha, yes - there's a limit to how much clothing you can fling off though, before people start looking askance :D And there was a lot of walking up the (mole)hills, but the point is that we keep on keeping on, and we know that the next run will be a better one :)

  • We do.. and it honestly is folk like you who keep me strong :)

    I remember last year trying to take my t shirt off, whilst not taking my lightweight jacket off properly.. I figured my running bra looked like a sort of cropped top.. but I nearly strangled myself... :) x

  • Great post Annie -very wise words :)

  • Thank you, AM :)

  • Brilliant post! You've had quite a journey Annie and I can't wait to see what the next five years will bring 🤗

    What a shame you had a horrible time at the winter run but hey ho you did it, in a great time and a bit of bling! That's fab.

    I know what you mean about the crowds though. I hate them too and the only reason I enter races is for the bling 😏 (so shallow)

    You are so right about the runs though - good ones and bad ones. They make up the whole running thing and we never know which one we're going to get from one day to the next.

    Happy running to you too x

  • Erm... bling... shallow... snap! The Longhorn medal will be superb 😁

    I think it's important to keep telling those who are just starting that you can expect some runs to be better than others. I distinctly remember expecting to progress steadily! At least we keep going when we can, eh? And sometimes there is cake as well x

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