JogBlog: Week 8, Day 3… or not…

December 26, 2009

Well, folks, I didn’t complete my workout today.

First, my normal schedule would have had me running yesterday, on Christmas Day… but that didn’t happen. At one point I thought I would head out and do it, but then I had to bake a pie to take to our friends’ house for dinner that evening, and we had company, and it just didn’t work out to be able to go to the park and run. SO…. I planned to do my workout today instead.

This morning I woke up with nothing official on my agenda until the afternoon. I wanted to get to the park and do my run and then enjoy the rest of the day of general post-Christmas laziness. I got up and had a piece of toast, a.k.a. the breakfast of champions, and drank some water. It was a cold morning, with some frost frozen on the windshield of the car that I had to scrape off before I could drive.

I was actually looking forward to today’s workout, just because I knew it would feel good when I was done. The sun was out, the track was dry, my iPod was cued up and ready to go.

I got to the park and saw the World’s Friendliest Stranger just getting started on a walk with one of her friends. She was a little ahead of me on the track this time, but I knew I’d catch up with her before I finished my warm-up walk. And sure enough, I caught up with her about a minute before my run started. She smiled and asked me if I had had “a good one (Christmas)” and I said I sure had, and how about her? She said yes. I went on.

Around the bend I began my run, in pretty much the exact same spot that I begin each time. It was uneventful. I tried to listen to the music and forget about everything else.

I got to BNH and briefly thought of sprinting up to the top today, just to get it over with quickly and see what would happen. But I feared that I would shut down too quickly if I didn’t keep a careful pace, so I just plodded up as usual.

The play list kept going, and I was doing OK, but somewhere around about the 3/4-mile mark, I started to falter. I started telling myself that I was tired, or that I just didn’t want to do it today. I thought about all the times I have had to talk myself out of stopping before. Just keep going and ignore the voice, and soon enough you’ll be over the hump….

This helped pass the time for a little while. I was running on fairly level ground then, and so I just put one foot in front of the other. I had passed the 1-mile mark.

But the thoughts kept coming back. I thought about walking, and what I would write here when I didn’t complete the workout. I thought about Celeste and Elizabeth and Vicki and a few others who have been reading and giving me lots of encouragement over the past several weeks. I thought about how I would explain my failure to finish today…

And then I laughed, as I realized I’d been planning in my head all the things I was going to say on the blog once I didn’t finish the workout — but the whole time I was thinking these things, I was still jogging! Silly goose, I thought. You just need to keep your mind on something else and you’ll be fine.

But, I was heading toward BNH again. And I was tired. And distracted. I should have gotten more sleep this week. I should have gotten more rest over Christmas. I should have eaten a better breakfast. I should have drunk more water this morning.

With every step, I thought about stopping.

Maybe this will be the step where I give up and walk…

Maybe this one…

I am sure I could push through this if I set my mind to it…

Maybe this one…

And then, I got just a little way up BNH, and I stopped jogging.

I walked up the hill with my head down, breathing heavily. As I neared the top, my shame was magnified by the fact that the World’s Friendliest Stranger was heading toward me. She said something encouraging, I’m not even sure what. I think she didn’t know that my stopping to walk then had been unplanned. She said something about keeping on, and I said something about not having it in me today.

I hit the top, and walked several yards more. I would estimate that I walked for a minute, maybe a minute and a half. I could have kept walking, but I started jogging again. Figured I’d better see if I could pick back up and complete at least most of the run. I still had a couple songs to get through.

So I was jogging again, and on the nice part of the track. And I thought… well… at least I can jog the rest of the time and it would only be a little bit shorter of a run than I was supposed to do. Just push on through.

But you know… after you’ve given up once, it’s terribly easy to give up again. My mind was already in a mode of defeat. The voice kept coming back, saying I may as well give up… or just jog to the end of this song, and then be done. It was like I couldn’t wait to be done at that point.

I did manage to jog about 3/4 of a mile that second time, before I gave up again. I’m guessing that I stopped at about the 24-minute mark on my play list, and if you subtract out the amount of walking time, I probably jogged about 22 minutes.

I have no excuses for not finishing today. I have no explanation other than to say, today I wasn’t on my game. It wasn’t in me. I guess I didn’t want it badly enough.

I walked back to my car ashamed, and mad, and tired, and wondering what to do next time. Should I go on and forge ahead with Week 9 on Monday? Or should I require myself to do a third 28-minute run before moving on? Or should I give up jogging all together? You know, there’s nothing wrong with walking. Lots of people do it every day!

For now, I’m just taking it easy. Maybe I’ll get some more rest this weekend and be raring to go on Monday. I can only hope.



  1. What are you thinking? Even IronMen stop and walk!!!! Somedays, one’s body isn’t up for it. The stress of getting ready for all of the extra stuff that the Christmas holiday brings is hard on a person! Give yourself a break!
    Isn’t this running thing a metaphor for life? You have disappointments and setbacks and you lie around a cry about it for a while and then pick yourself up and get back to the business of living! Having run for 14 years way back there in my life, I remember starting at running just about 100 yards, then a little more, then 1/2 mile then on and on. There were plenty of set backs and tired “I can’t do this” days. You’ll get it back! Just go out there again with a positive mind and you’ll do it. Maybe Monday won’t be the best day either but it will come! I will also tell you that the hype of race day makes up for a lot! I had run no more than 15 when I ran the marathon (only 1) and the music and adrenaline of race day pushed me farther than I ever imagined that I could go. You’ll be ready! Just run your pace, be happy and go for it. There is great satisfaction in the process and in meeting the goal! I’m with you on this one.
    I’m adding a few strategy tips. Never look at the top of the hill! Save a planning task to do on the way up. Imagine yourself as some kind of an animal or something powerful. (not a cow!)(I was always a steam locomotive on hills. I even made my arms go like that bar on the old steam trains that ran the wheels) Yea Laura!!! Go for it!!!

  2. Awww – give yourself a break! You went out and made the effort! I’ve had runs like that, too. For me the cause is usually not drinking enough water the day before and/or eating junk. There’s always next time!

  3. Laura- these ladies expressed perfectly what I was thinking and feeling after reading your blog.

    We are here for each other on this journey. Sometimes when your feet feel like lead and your Spirit is flagging, the others surround you to help you up and cheer you on. I know that you would do it for me or Celeste. And I probably would have felt similar to you as you did today- that I had failed. But it’s that voice again that we have to conquer- I think to some degree it will always be there but we get stronger physically and spiritually to face it down.

    I’m proud of you my friend and that won’t change just because you had an off day. You and Celeste were there for me when I’ve had mine. Remember a few weeks ago when you had a difficult run and the next one went great–? Well, there you go! (in the Greek accent of the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding- loved that movie!) You brushed off the *bad* run and did your next run with a clean slate. Victory!! Both physically and mentally!

    Well I’m getting off my soapbox now… LOL Enjoy your holiday time with family and friends- that’s the most important thing.

    We’ll chat again on Monday or so for our check-in (The Three Musketeers!). Big hug girl!

  4. I had a horrible run Wednesday but today was sooo much better. You know that you can do it, it was just a bad day for you. Eat more, drink more and rest. I will check in with you Monday my friend.

  5. Laura,
    I have found the workouts where I finish sorely disappointed in myself and my lack of athletic ability are usually just one or two workouts prior to a breakthrough workout – you know – the workout that just goes perfectly, the one where you go hard and finish feeling like that was almost easy and I might have actually enjoyed it! So be looking for that workout this coming week!

  6. So, I’m a little behind on reading your blog due to the holiday madness. I know this is kinda late, but damn… you just had a bad day. My w9d1 run was awful and the one before that had been nearly as bad. I did not finish my w9d1 run and that was the first time I had ever not finished. I had to stop less than half way through for a side stitch for probably 1 or 2 minutes… then again a few minutes later for the same amount of time. I ran a few extra minutes at the end to try to make up for it, but I knew that I’d had a really bad run. I bet my speed was slower than usual. I felt awful about it.

    I know exactly what the problem was too… I had not had enough water, too much wine the night before, and I’ve been missing my runs a LOT. I’m only running every 3rd day at best instead of every other day, like I should. I forgive myself. I’ll get back on schedule after the holidays and I’ll be so amazing by spring that I won’t even know myself.

    I’ve already read ahead to your w9d1 post so I know that you’ve had a good run since you wrote this, but I thought you might like to know that you’re not the only one who struggled recently.

    And, BTW, I DO count that bad run as my w9d1 run. I’m not repeating it. I’m finishing this thing before 2010 and moving on to my next training program in Janurary.

    And, BTW, you rock.

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