Runners need to live in a constant state of selective amnesia. Namely, we need to push from our minds the runs that feel like we are dragging lead bricks behind us or the times when our legs decide to pretend they’ve never run a decent split on the track ever before.
We push from our minds the miles that are more painful than they should be and let the recollections of these dark workouts and dismal races slip into the darkest of chasms within our grey matter. We do this so that we have the fortitude to lace up and go out for that next run. Selective amnesia, you see, is quite a prolific coping mechanism for a runner.
The memories and moments that we cherish are the workouts that click, when we feel totally in sync with our stride. We are running controlled, relaxed, smooth, and ON. We savor the days where we come back from a long run with a new ‘personal distance record’, ironically we will even remember the moments BEFORE that long run where we wonder if we’ll be able to do it. We let consciousness retain those dark, slivers of doubt because in the end we proved those doubts WRONG. We now have more proof that the whimpers and whispers of doubts are fallacies and lies, we CAN do much more than our brain wants us to believe.
Runners, we will even keep aroundall those mundane and ‘normal’ miles run because they are constants. They may not be all that thrilling or exciting, but they are the bulk of our running history and we can’t thrive on just the epic highlights. These regular runs also define us in that without these recollections we’d really only be runners a handful of times in our lives…I mean those EPIC runs only come far and few between. We continue to run in the quest of them, but we don’t stop because we don’t hit a certain quote.
Keep on living in that realm of being able to decide that once a certain heinous run is done, that it never existed. Do that so you are brave enough to shower and then run again. Those really bad runs test us and help toughen us up, we NEED them in fact. But rather than letting the craptastical runs DEFINE us, we are entitled to let them slip away into oblivion.
1) Have you had times where you felt ‘off’ and like your run was much harder than it should be? Did you pretend that once some of those bad runs were done, that they didn’t really happen, OR, that they didn’t suck as much as they did so that you were ‘brave’ enough to get out there and run again tomorrow?
2) How do you cope with bad races? Do you try to learn something from them and then give yourself permission to ‘forget’ them?