Turning a Negative Into a Positive
Woohoo – it’s Friday afternoon! I can’t complain too much about this working week seeing as it’s been short, but the weekend is always very welcome. Yesterday evening I ran my second 11 mile run in as many weeks and it was extremely tough! I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it to be honest because my legs were very sore when I woke up yesterday morning, which I assume was a hangover from Tuesday’s speedwork session. Running a hilly 11 miles with a bad case of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is not much fun. I was trailing behind the rest of my group for most of the time and I started getting a bit disheartened, but as a natural optimist I’ve turned those negative thoughts around into more positive ones.
I found the run really difficult – my legs were so heavy and just wouldn’t move as fast as I wanted them to. I felt as though I was going to have to give up.
I didn’t give up! I finished the run and 11 miles is always an achievement. My legs were sore because I’ve been working them really hard recently and I need to give them some TLC. It *was* a difficult run, with half of it up some pretty tough hills.
I was slower than everyone else in my group and I couldn’t keep up with them like last week.
I was running with some very good runners last night, some of whom dropped down a pace group in order to have an “easy run”. I have to accept that an easy run for another runner might be a hard run for me. I wasn’t as fast as last week, but I still finished with an average 9:13 min/mile pace, which is a big step up from my training pace only a couple of months ago.
I’m bigger than everyone else in the group, perhaps if I lost weight I’d be able to run faster and I would find it easier.
This thought needs some explanation. It was actually triggered by an overheard conversation between some male runners (I wasn’t joining in with any conversations … I was too busy huffing and puffing!), who were talking about how much weight they’d lost, how much they wanted to lose before their next race, how much they’d gained over Easter, how much a very skinny member of the club weighs. They’re was something about the fact that it was men talking like this, as well as how much I was struggling, that triggered the “dieting mentality”.
Luckily, I had 11 miles to set it all straight in my mind and get back round to thinking straight. I am a healthy weight, I eat well, and I exercise. My running has improved vastly in a year, and although losing weight *could* make me faster, so can consistent training and hard work. I don’t want to diet and go through all that palaver again.
From all this I’ve learned that tough runs happen sometimes, it doesn’t mean that I’m a bad runner. I sometimes need to let go of my competitive spirit of always having to keep up or be ahead of others. I need to work with what my body can do on the day.
So that brings me to operation recovery. Suffice to say my legs were a mess of soreness by the time I’d finished. Rose had tweeted me earlier in the day to suggest trying For Goodness Shakes immediately after the run. As luck would have it, the milk chocolate flavour was on offer in Sainsburys for £1, so I picked one up. I sipped it on the way home, along with a Nuun drink. It was delicious and went down very nicely considering my stomach had just been jiggled about for 11 miles.
It wasn’t planned, but when I got home I really fancied a cold bath. I learned my lesson from last time and wore many layers on my top, a pair of shorts, socks and gloves, as well as sipping on a cup of tea while I soaked for 10 minutes. Surprisingly it felt really good and the coolness soothed my tired legs.
For dinner I had prepared an oat and chia seed combo, made with Kara coconut milk, goji berries, raisins and protein powder. I topped with a chopped apple and then some greek yoghurt after I had taken the photo.
I ate this slowly so not to overtax my stomach. It was very tasty and the perfect post-run meal. I made sure that I drank plenty of fluid before bed and took a couple of painkillers. And the verdict … it’s perhaps too early to tell, but I did sleep well (much better than last week), and although I’m tired I was able to function at work.
How do you deal with negative thoughts, do you try to see the positive side?
If you’re a runner how do you cope with difficult runs?