Two miles is a long way.

Two miles is a long way to walk when those two miles were supposed to be the end of your run.

The walk of shame. The trudge of defeat. The half-hour of beating yourself up. I should be running. I should be running. This is stupid. I should be running. I’m so weak. I should be running.

Two miles is a long time for such thinking to fester. If you’re not careful, it builds up and you implode – even if you’re walking for the right reasons. Which, today, I was.

I didn’t head out until almost 11 a.m. – mistake number one. It was already 82 and 80 percent humidity. Mistake number two was not drinking enough beforehand (or even after my ride yesterday), so not only was I out in peak heat and humidity, I was verging on dehydrated. I wasn’t running far – the plan was just eight miles – but around mile six, totally slick with sweat, I stopped to cool down for a moment and noticed that some soreness in my left shin that had threatened while I was running stubbornly remained. I tested it a little and decided that despite the long, hot, sad, two-mile trudge that would await me, I would walk back rather than run. It really sucks to walk even part of what’s supposed to be a run (really tough hills aside), but I wasn’t going to risk injury for what would undoubtedly be two mediocre last miles on just a normal, too-hot training run.

As I walked back, I felt extremely guilty. I felt like I was quitting just because it was hot. Logic hid from the onslaught of negativity, tucked away in the dark corners of my mind, but peeping out a little to watch the show: “Hey, you’re walking because your shin is bothering you. You’re being smart. Stop this,” it timidly whispered, but was shouted down by my internal tantrum. I should be running. I’m weak. I should be running. It’s not fair. I should be running.

I made it back fine – no further shin exacerbation – but mentally I was spent. Having a run cut short like that is a blow to confidence in your running and in your body, and also on your mood. I spent the rest of the day basically sulking, even though I’d calculated that my times for the six miles I was able to run were okay, considering the weather (and, despite although I wasn’t exactly sore from my ride yesterday, my quads were definitely feeling a little heavier than usual). I let one run – not even the whole run – get the best of my whole day. Lame. (Pun intended.)

A side note: I’ve worn my new PureGrits a couple times now. While they feel okay, they’re taking a while to get broken into. I feel like I’m running on hollow, inflexible planks. I don’t think my form has changed, but every footfall sounds like a heavy thud despite the fact that I’m doing the same old midfoot strike I have been for a couple years now. Hopefully that goes away soon.

Righto, I’m going to try to sleep off this day. Hopefully a ride or a swim in the morning will be good. Probably ride, since I burned my arm rather badly on a skillet over the weekend and it’s still a bit raw and… peel-y. I suspect swimming in public pools with semi-open wounds is frowned upon.

– bec

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