Training: Less-Than-Badass Mother Runner

A warm and gorgeous Saturday morning in Walnut Creek.

The family is away this week and I thought that I’d take my free time and do all sorts of wonderful things. No schedules! Flexibility! And so far, it’s been status quo.

Like on Wednesday, I had to get up at 3:30 AM (ack!) to drive the boys to SFO. I was fully planning on coming back and hitting the 6:00 kickboxing class, but when I was approaching town and it was only 5:15, I figured that I’d stop home first and catch up on a few things, lest I look like the creepy woman sitting in the parking lot in the dark (at that hour, I can’t even pretend to be shopping at the supermarket). I sat down on the couch and began checking email. When I woke up at 6:30 with my laptop on my lap… well, you get the idea.

Thursday night was a Team buddy run, which went pretty well. I was still on my Follow This Mother! high and felt pretty good as we looped around the Sports Park. The park is a very long, narrow string of ball fields, and always manages to deceive me; it sounds like a quick loop, but it just keeps going and going and going. I stuck with my 4/1 intervals and paced myself with a faster runner to work on my race pacing, and it went pretty well.

And then Saturday came. It was a flat, fast course in Walnut Creek, which should have been very nice I managed to leave my Garmin charging on the kitchen counter, so I had no sense of my pace and no interval timer. That didn’t make anything any easier. I paced myself with my buddy run partner and ended up running faster than what I’ve been preferring as my LSD pace, so it didn’t work out to be the usual refreshing, up-with-running sort of run that I usually look forward to on Saturdays.

Which brings me to a revelation: it seems that every week includes one really crappy workout. It doesn’t matter how much I psych myself up for it, there’s always one with dead legs or no motivation (or both). With any luck, you get the crappy workout out of the way early in the week, and can be free to enjoy excellent workouts from there.

Does anyone else feel that way about the crappy workouts, or am I just the lucky one to struggle through it week after week?

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6 Responses

  1. Greg O. says:

    Sometimes, the run the day after a run after several days of no running feels great, like today.

  2. Alisa says:

    I walked today, first to Peet’s and then with a friend, about 3 miles altogether. Walking felt really good. So much for strength training or flexibility, which I usually try to do on Sundays.

  3. gigi kennedy says:

    actually had 2 crappy runs back to back week. 1 really crappy & a 5K yestereday that was a PR actually, but i know i didn’t do my best & slacked a bit. kinda angry w/ myself b/c if i PR’d slacking, what could i have accomplished if i actually sucked it up & went for it? hoping that lesson carries me forward this week & my crappy run is already out of the way. yes…i am totally counting that sunday morning run as crappy run for this week…lol 🙂

  4. Alisa says:

    Sometimes I think that no amount of pushing will get you past the crappy run. I’ve tried the personal mantra thing, but when your legs feel like lead there’s not a lot that can be done. I spent some time trying to count my strides, trying to hit that mythical 180-per-minute that Runner’s World talks about, but of course without my Garmin (or even a digital watch) the whole effort was pretty pointless.

    Looking forward to a tempo run with the team tomorrow night!

  5. I have certainly experienced regular crappy workouts. Last week’s crappy 5 miles, for instance. At my the halfway point, I was exactly on pace. Then I lost enough time (read: had to walk enough) in the second two and a half miles to put myself over a minute per mile behind for the whole run. But then yesterday I finished 11 miles on pace. It helped that the weather was pretty ideal, the run was perfectly flat and I had a running buddy to distract me and keep me going.

    It stinks to know that the crappy workouts are coming, but making my peace with them keeps me from freaking out when they happen, knowing the next one will almost certainly be better.

  6. Alisa says:

    I really think that there’s something to be said for the distraction of a running buddy, provided that you haven’t fallen in with someone who’s much faster than you (I made that mistake last year). But you’re right, it’s about making peace with the crappier efforts. You certainly can’t fight ’em!

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