They say “you’ll never regret a run you do, only a run you don’t do”, but I’d like to disagree. There are more that a couple of runs that I have regretted during my time.
I’m sure any runner will have had a similar experience. You’re a bit tired, or a bit achey, or harbouring a niggle or a twinge. You go out, just to test it. You tell yourself you’ll stop whenever you feel sore, or you’ll walk parts. But, inevitably, you drag yourself out, grimacing and stubborn, for a run you really shouldn’t be doing.
After the Edinburgh Marathon I gave myself 5 days off before I hit the road again for a slow 4 miler. Although the aching had faded, my legs were incredibly tired. It felt good to be out though, and I ended up doing a couple more runs in the following days. “I’m back!” I told myself.
But at 7pm on Tuesday evening I found myself in the middle of one of those runs I knew I’d regret. My left hamstring felt like it was being stabbed, and my hip felt like it was clicking in and out with each step. I was hot and bothered, pissed off that I’d been training solidly for 20 weeks only to feel incredibly unfit and obliterated after the marathon. Instead of celebrating my achievement – knocking 31 minutes and 10 seconds off my marathon PB – I was beating myself up for struggling to run again.
Over (a bit too much) wine later that evening, I gave myself a good talking to, and decided I needed to chill out. Because, let’s face it, if you can’t celebrate and relax after running a marathon… when can you?!
I’ve had almost a week off running now, and I’m beginning to feel human again. I’m eating and drinking a bit too much, but I’m resting well and my legs are feeling good for it. I may head out for a slow couple of miles next week, but I won’t force it. Training for the Yorkshire Marathon doesn’t kick off until the start of July, and although I’m going to train for sub-4 hours, I won’t beat myself up too much if it doesn’t go to plan.
Sometimes you’ve just got to cut yourself some slack!