A “run” of bad luck, or motivation

The run from hell? A run of bad luck? This doesn’t sound like your typical normal sunny running article, where lean, speedy cheerleaders of either gender insist that running a brisk tempo for 21 kilometres is no sweat and that banging off those 800-metre repeats is nothing. Not only that, but you’ll stretch, take in the requisite amount of carbs and protein after, and sleep well too. No problem, pilgrim.

Yeah, well, I’m not sure what super-human race they belong to or which planet they originated on, but here on the Waterville Road it’s been sort of a blah week. It happens, you know.

As you’ll recall, my last run ended with my first encounter with plantar (I never call it by its full name because the second part has a fussy, complicated spelling that I’d have to look up and 90 per cent of runners know exactly what I mean when I refer to “plantar”).

So how’s that working for you, you wonder?

Not so great. I’ve been chewing Advil like it’s candy – and that’s not so wonderful since, really, the stuff tastes chalky, more than anything. My one foot is coddled in the ice slippers, which are like Magic Bags, but for the feet.

Sorry. I don’t mean to whine.

But I have to say, when I walked out of the car dealership after getting the battery replaced in the ailing Blue Avenger (the name of my vehicle – get over it, please) and discovered that the 26.2 sticker from my first and so far only Boston Marathon had dropped off the back end and vanished, a cold pang gripped my heart.

My next errand was to run over to the University of New Brunswick and pick up my copy of Matt Fitzgerald’s wonderful book, Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel (http://www.amazon.com/RUN-Mind-Body-Method-Running-Feel/dp/1934030570), which I’d lent to a friend. Only to discover that it wasn’t there…and they didn’t know anything about it.

Strike two.

I went to the gym, the mild weather taunting me with the fact that I couldn’t run. As I started to pour sweat over the spin bike, members of the University of New Brunswick’s cross-country team began to gather, as did those of the independent Fast Tracks club. Sure, you can all run without pain. Fine. I put my head down and spun harder, only to realize that I’d forgotten to take my puffer before the workout. Gasping like a grounded fish, I pedaled away.

That all sounds pretty motivational, right? Some angry guy cursing the heavens for his bad luck and grinding away regardless. Well, no. But you know what was motivational? It was coming to the realization that, yes, some days suck. Not only that: some more days suck even worse. It’s true.

Motivated yet? I don’t blame you. Neither am I.

Well, here’s the kicker (come on, you saw it coming from a million miles away): The motivational part – and you know you wanted, needed, to hear this – is no matter how bad the day, how tough the workout, the important thing is to not only get it done, but have the faith to get out there in the first place to do it.

If you can get through the tough times, everything else is easy. Tell yourself that next time you’re on the road suffering through a run.

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About subthree

A multiple award-winning journalist, I'm currently a contributing editor with both Canadian Running and Canadian Cycling magazines. My articles have appeared in Explore, Canadian Geographic, enRoute, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and many other magazines and newspapers. Formerly a competitive cross-country mountain biker, I switched to running in 2006. I've run seven marathons, qualifying for Boston five times (and which I've run once). Generally, I've placed or won in my age group in races, in distances ranging from five and 10 kms to half and full marathons. I've also taught spin classes at a number of leading Eastern Canadian gyms. Sub-three was a 2012 #Runchat finalist for Best Overall Blog.
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