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  • Writer's pictureJessica Jones

The Struggle is Real.

There are days in running, and in life, where everything just clicks. Movements are smooth. You feel great. Unstoppable. Days that PRs are made. Everything in life, and running, is a balance. So, there are also days when nothing feels right. You feel awkward. You want to just pack it up and call it a day. Maybe just curl up on the couch and binge watch your favorite show. While eating ice cream. Or, maybe that’s just me.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent a good bit of time on the struggle bus. Many of them, most of them actually, turned out good. At least based on time/pace. But, that’s not how they felt. Not at all. Last Wednesday is the best example. A 9 mile run. Long warm up, then 3x 1mile repeats. I woke up not feeling it. I didn’t wanna. I rarely don’t want to run at all. But, I certainly didn’t want to do speedwork. I pulled it together and hit the road. I was a little stiff. Creaky to start. Didn’t feel like I was getting into my stride. My entire warm up, 4 miles, I was trying to figure out a way to avoid the hard running. Maybe I could message my coach and explain that I didn’t feel good. Move the hard effort to another day. Maybe I’d fall and twist my ankle. Nothing super serious. Just enough to be justified in not running for the day. Anything. Well, the time to put up or shut up neared. I hadn’t thought of anything reasonable and I was still on my two feet. So… I picked it up for that first repeat. I did not feel the flow. I couldn’t get into a rhythm. I felt like I was a spastic spider monkey, struggling to make forward progress. Finally, that mile was over. 7:05. Not horrible, but not great.

Okay. You are doing this. This is why you hired a coach. So you don’t slack on the hard work. To push yourself. Live this decision. You don’t get better in your comfort zone. Alright, repeat number two. Felt equally as un-smooth. Focused on pushing forward. 6:39. Much better. I was still feeling like my stride was similar to a newborn giraffe’s, but at least I was doing it at a reasonable pace. Third repeat was pretty much the same. 6:32. Finally, I could just ease my way home. Objectively, the workout was a reasonable success, but I certainly didn’t feel like it. At least not then.

My point is that we all go through tough runs. There are times we don’t feel like it. There are times we don’t feel right doing it. Sometimes those end up good. Sometimes they don’t. But, it’s all progress. It is all heading towards the goal. There are ups and downs. It’s not always equal. It’s not always easy. But, it’s important to remember that it’s also not always a struggle.

Training Log October 1-7, 2018: 63.2 miles.

Monday – 6.5mi @ 9:00. Legs tight, but comfortable pace.

Tuesday – 8.1mi @ 7:50. Warm up followed by 5 hard miles. Pushed a hard, but controlled effort for 6:44-7:18 paces. Legs felt it. Stability session.

Wednesday – 7.0mi @ 8:20. Steady pace. Legs felt good.

Thursday – 3.4mi @ 9:03. Nice and easy.

Friday – 10.0mi @ 8:14. Took a bit over a mile to really loosen up, but the goal was to negative split. 44:18 out and 38:01 back. Boom. #nailedit. Stability session.

Saturday – 18.0mi @ 8:52. Started out just a bit harder than easy. Felt off from the start. It got hot, but held a steady pace until about 11-12 miles. Dropped it back to an easy pace to finish out.

Sunday – 10.1mi @ 8:45. Tight to start, but loosened up. 5 easy miles, 1 hard (7:10), 2 easy, 1 hard (7:01), 1 easy. Strength session.

Training Log October 8-14, 2018: 65.3 miles.

Monday – OFF. What?!?

Tuesday – 10.1mi @ 8:59. A little sore from the strength session on Sunday. Took this nice and easy. Stability session.

Wednesday – 9.0mi @ 8:32. This is the run I talked about above.

Thursday – 10.0mi @ 9:04. Okay run. Still a little tight and definitely not feeling smooth.

Friday – 8.1mi @ 8:06. Never felt smooth, but loosened up to an okay feeling. Tried to keep a notch above easy.

Saturday – 15.0mi @ 7:43. Progressed to near MP and held for 8 miles (7:16 average), then finished steady. Never hit my stride. Not smooth, but not a super hard, all out effort.

Sunday – 13.1mi @ 9:07. Easy peasy. Legs loosened up fairly well to make this this first pretty comfortable run in a while. Strength session.

Training Log October 15-21, 2018: 66.0 miles.

Monday – 7.0mi @ 9:06. Easy goes it. Legs okay.

Tuesday – 9.7mi @ 8:33. Sluggish at the start. Wasn’t feeling the idea of speed, but knocked out 2x 2mile repeats (6:50 avg and 6:40 avg). Stability session.

Wednesday – 5.2mi @ 9:00. Just easy.

Thursday – 7.2mi @ 8:57. Okey doke run.

Friday – 12.1mi @ 7:47. Really good steady run.

Saturday – 14.7mi @ 8:11. Started out steady for 45min, then picked it up for 15min, and hard effort for 5min. Finished out easy. Legs definitely felt the hard effort, but overall okay.

Sunday – 10.0mi @ 9:04. Nice and easy. Legs a bit tired, not bad. Strength session.

Until next time, y’all.

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