3 miles. I’ve done this before. Many times. More often than not, I find a run less than 3 miles, damn near pointless. 3 miles should be easy, fun and mentally trouble-free. Here’s what you can do to ensure your run goes straight into the crapper.
– I didn’t hydrate. At all. I had a huge coffee early in the day, and maybe 12 ounces of water the entire day. The side stitch was almost immediate.
– Run a hilly course with a running stroller, on a new route. Not only is the stroller/baby weight a combined ~30 pounds, but running through my neighborhood was a dumb idea. I couldn’t run sidewalks, as they were way too bumpy; but there were a ton of potholes, randomly parked cars on the side of the road – dodging all of this is not exactly effortless. I will never complain about these hills again, running sans stroller.
– Don’t stretch. Yeah yeah yeah. I know.
– Eat horribly, all day long. Married with the fact I sucked at hydrating; I skipped breakfast, had Ramen for lunch and ate a CRAP ton of cookies and Peruvian goodies my grandma brought with her. BRILLIANT.
– Start focusing on every little pain and strain. That nagging pain in my foot? By the end of the run I was convinced it was going to fall off. The minor bra strap annoyance? Suddenly it was wearing a hole into my collarbone and I would never be able to lift my arm again.
– Stop every mile. Physically and mentally I dug myself into a hole. Might as well stop every mile, check my splits, mentally beat myself up even more and go on.
– Take water with you. But don’t drink it. seriously. Just let that side stitch grow, slow your pace and ignore the water.
This is life though. You will have bad runs, and you will have good runs. Sometimes on bad runs, your body just isn’t feeling it. Yes, there are things you can do to influence this. I will admit, I was stupid and therefore this run went horribly. I ran. So while it sucked during, and after – I STILL ran. And I’m ok with that. Tonight will be better.