I shouldn’t have to tell you that things don’t always go according to plan.
I have been shuffling my runs around a bit recently because I have three races pretty close together. I ran a four-miler on November 18th, and have a five-miler coming up on Sunday and a 15k (my target race) on the 15th of December. With high-pressure speedy runs on these weekends, I’ve moved my long runs to Thursdays, and have shifted around my speedwork and easy days, too.
With this Sunday’s race in mind, I was planning a six-mile run with speedwork for this morning. But I didn’t sleep last night. I shut off the lights at 10:30 and at 1:30 I was still awake. I decided not to look at the clock again after that. Knowing that I was going to get less than five-and-a-half hours of sleep was stressful enough; if I started looking at the clock I would end up commencing a frustrating countdown of how few hours and minutes I had left to rest until my alarm would go off.
I awoke when my alarm went off at 7:00 AM, but my body was just not ready to move. I reset for 7:25, and although I am unsure of whether I actually fell back asleep, I managed to get myself up and running the second time the alarm went off. But I had lost a precious 25 minutes, which meant that I needed to scale back my run somewhat. I still wanted a challenge but I was too depleted to push myself through sprints or aerobic intervals. So I headed toward Central Park’s bridle path and ran two laps, plus the distance to and from my apartment, for a total of four miles. I ran hard and was surprised by how quickly I got back home.
It was not the run that I had set out for, but it was still a very useful exercise. These are the runs when you learn something about yourself — the runs that are shortened not out of laziness but because life got in the way and you still made yourself get out there.
These are the runs that show your dedication.
These are the runs that teach you that you are stronger than you know.
Tomorrow is another day; and I will be out there in the early light of morning to chase the run that got away.