So annoyed! Whats wrong with me?

I was really determined to have a lovely run in the sunshine tonight but it just was not to be. I found what I thought would be a nice new route through a park and could mix it up with good paths I know so off I went....but I hit a brick wall almost immediately and stopped after 5 mins. Last week's runs were really hard and I had to stop twice briefly in my last run on Friday so I thought I would be ok tonight after 4 clear days off. I started 3 more times tonight and just could not for the life of me carry on after a few minutes. I realised its my calves, they are cramping up. My head is shouting GO, my breathing is absolutely fine, lungs are ok, legs are like LEAD. Please, please, can someone tell me whats going on? I love running, and its doing me a power of good and I dont want to stop but the last 4 runs now have been really tough and I feel like having a good cry!

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  • At 5-10 minutes I always experience something similar, I end up have an argument with that unseen entity in my head (that some members here like to call the Monkey) and thoughts flash in front of me in nutshell that make me think what's the point of carrying on, "I'm only at 5 minutes", "my goal is 45 minutes, I'm never going to do it", "Why put up with the pain, give up now!", "Save myself the pain, stop now!" and to date although I've come close to stopping, I never have, I just crack on and then at the next point, I somehow find the motivations to do the same.

    This might not help you, I don't know the answer to be honest, all I can say is that I would safely say that 99.9% of us experience this. It's mental and you've got to overcome it somehow by getting your brain into the zone and telling yourself that stopping and failing are not options. You've done the run before, so you know you can do it! :D

    Good Luck, I really hope you find the strength to carry on and hopefully someone else here will have some real words of advice for you!

  • Reading what you've said a second time I may have misunderstood you. I thought you were hitting a mental brick wall after 5 minutes! If it's cramp every time then it could be lack of salt and/or hydration, there are other causes and it might be wise to get your GP's advice. It's a shame it's spoiling your running!

  • Congrats on your graduation! Yes, mental demons get us every time! Im going to give myself another good talking to, and follow some of the advice below. Onwards and upwards hopefully!

  • Hi k6daisy. Sounds tough. But I see you've already graduated so that shows you can do it. If the trouble is with tired legs, I can empathise - I graduated almost year go and I still get a feeling of tiredness nearly every time. I guess the obvious thing to say is not to worry and that you'll get through it, but that would be a platitude. I find it's a mental thing and that you just need to persuade yourself that it'll eventually be OK. I'd suggest backing right off and building up again - not quite over 9 weeks, but kind of along the lines of "I did one minute, so 2 minutes should be OK" Next time "I did 2 minutes so 3 should be OK" and so on. Don't know if would work for you but it might be worth trying?

  • Thanks Malcy. I am definately doing to start introducting some mental counting now I think. Good advice! Next run I will give myself no time challenge and just see how far I get. I will not give in!

  • Hi k6daisy. Sounds tough. But I see you've already graduated so that shows you can do it. If the trouble is with tired legs, I can empathise - I graduated almost year go and I still get a feeling of tiredness nearly every time. I guess the obvious thing to say is not to worry and that you'll get through it, but that would be a platitude. I find it's a mental thing and that you just need to persuade yourself that it'll eventually be OK. I'd suggest backing right off and building up again - not quite over 9 weeks, but kind of along the lines of "I did one minute, so 2 minutes should be OK" Next time "I did 2 minutes so 3 should be OK" and so on. Don't know if would work for you but it might be worth trying?

  • If your problem is leg/calf cramp k6daisy try drinking tonic water which contains quinine during the day. Schwepps do a very nice one with lime added. The quinine will help prevent cramp, also a banana about 30-60 minutes before your run.

    If the dreaded monkey is sitting on your shoulder just knock him off and tell him you already ate the banana. Hopefully this is just a bit of a blip and will sort soon. Perhaps it would also help to just go out for a run, no distance planned, no time to reach, just an enjoyable relaxed run. All the best, you can do this as Malcy says you already have.

  • ooh, tonic water? Well, its worth a good go thats for sure. I'll buy some on the way to work tomorrow plus the nanas. And if the legs are up to it I may even try for another run tomorrow night. If not, Friday better watch out. I will not let this be my nemesis x

  • Half a bottle supped during the day, and three nanas scoffed, and I did 30.34 mins, pretty nicely all round. You are a gem. Thank you x

  • I love that comment about eating the monkey's banana! Push off monkey! :)

  • Do you still start off with a 5 minute walk to warm up with - I usually find my runs are more comfortable when I walk for a while first, then start with a slow jog.

    Better luck next time x

  • Yes I do. Last night I slept really hard which isn't like me so maybe I'm just tired. I have been a bit crazy with life at the mo. will maybe extend my walk a bit further and stuck to my old route that I know and live tonight. Now I'm off to get tonic water and bananas!

  • Nothing's wrong with you - you are doing great! Perhaps in fact you're over-doing it? Give yourself a break and deliberately go back to intervals. Run 5, walk 2, run 8, walk 3, run 10, walk some more.

    I don't know if it helps, but the first 12 - 15 minutes of all my runs are hell on the legs and the breathing. After that things tend to settle down, but it's miserable up till then. I hope your next run is better for you. Chin up :)

  • Peace, tranquility and happiness restored. I ambled round a lovely path for 30.34 mins before I got to the "home" point. I could have done a bit more but it plays with my head when I start running away from home again. Happy bunny once more. Great advice though, and next time the gremlins come acalling, I will do your suggested intervals because that would make me feel better than the failure I was last night. Thank you Annie x

  • Love the comments about first 5-12 minutes being difficult. I too have that trouble, I stop around 15 and just have a glug of water, catch my breath and continue...to 37 mins this morning...Will also try the tonic water tip...So glad to hear K6daisy is a 'happy bunny' again. so supportive on here !

    Babsxx

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