Friday, May 16, 2008

Bipolar Runner’s Disorder

I mentioned recently how easily I can go from Walter Mitty heights of imagined glory to the equally convincing depths of unworthiness during a single run. Well, the same thing happens (perhaps not surprisingly) from day to day as well.

Last week I had a couple of very successful runs. On Thursday I finally broke the 30-minute barrier for the first time in 2008 with a four-mile run, then on Saturday I went six, my longest run since November 2007. I felt like I had broken out of my rut, and was on my way to being in good enough shape to really start my marathon training program.

Of course, the two runs after that were sluggish and disappointing. I barely made thirty minutes one day, and opted for twenty the other. The bad runs were followed by two days off, when I either didn’t have time to run, or didn’t make time. One of them I woke up early enough to sneak in a workout, but I couldn’t convince myself to get out of bed. Two bad runs followed by two days off had me questioning whether I had any right to be attempting a marathon. I certainly didn’t feel like a real runner.

Yesterday, after the two days off, I went out slowly and had a relatively decent run. I was weary by the end, but I picked up my pace over the course of the run rather than flagging in the later stretches, and perhaps even more importantly, the ankle joints that have been extremely tight all winter and into the spring are loosening up, so I felt like I was running instead of just shuffling.

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