Since Monday is a “rest day” on my training schedule, today is the first day that I am running again after this past weekend’s 8 mile training run. To be honest, it sucked.  I went home feeling terribly worn out, in a lot of pain and very, very sweaty.

That being said, there are positive outcomes from having a bad training run. In fact, these learnings are what will make my run on the day of the Half Marathon so perfect. (How’s that for positive spin?)

1)      I have reached a mature standpoint where I can say it was just a bad run, vs. I am never going to be a good runner.

2)      While it took me almost 2 hours to run 8 miles, I still ran 8 miles.  Actually, I ran 7.5 miles.  I walked at least half a mile intermittently due to a pain in my ankle after mile 4, kind of Achilles-like. This is good practice for when at mile 12 my whole body goes numb from stupidity and regret.

3)      I learned that my water bottle isn’t going to cut it for mileage over 6 miles, and I have just ordered a hydration pack for the remainder of my training runs.

4)      I have also learned that I need a clif block after mile 7.  At least, this time I would have GREATLY benefited from one, so I should have had one with me, just in case.

5)      I learned that when I crawl into bed (after a post run shower) and stay there for 3 hours, my dog will keep me company. He will cheer me up the whole time.  He will even pretend to be interested in the tv show I am watching.  He’s very supportive.

The run was kind of bad all around.  First, I was lazy and slept late, so it was hot, hot, HOT.  I ran out of water early on (this was partially due to a water bottle malfunction) and there were no stores near where I was to refill. (Ironically, I was running at a reservoir for NYC.)

Ashokan Reservoir

My muscles had been very sore all weekend, and they were no less sore when I started the run.  I had hoped that once I was warmed up, I wouldn’t even notice them (this theory has worked in the past).  This was not the case.  Right from mile 1, I was averaging a minute over my usual pace per mile, and it just never got any better (it did get worse).  Then, around mile 5 heel pain (felt slightly like my Achilles Tendon) kicked in and…I had to walk it off. Once I started walking and lost my momentum…it was all over.  I think I finished my last mile at a 16 min pace (which, honestly, I can walk faster than.)

While 8 miles is the longest run I had ever attempted, I want to note that the run had failed long before the extra mile, and that I had a FABULOUS 7 miler the weekend before.  It really was just “one of those  things.”

Why am I posting this, you ask? Well, this summer seems to have bred quite a few newbie runners (either something in the water, or it’s contagious) who are shooting for long distances.  I want to encourage folks to keep going after a bad run. If I can do it, you totally can. And I can.

I took a yoga class with a friend yesterday which seems to have helped stretch out my muscles, and I am ready to start all over again today for this week.  It’s gonna be a better week.