How Quickly We Question Our Running Mojo!



Subtitle: what an amazing run I had this morning!

I am always quick to question my Thyroid – after all, it pretty much totally failed on me just 7 years ago. So whenever I am cold, tired, irratable, or whatever … I think ‘uh oh – thyroid’. Lisa has been concerned recently that my meds might need adjusting, and my bloodwork is due, so it has been on our minds.

One key thing about Hypothyroidism – when your meds are out of balance you tend to get lethargic.

Yesterday I had an awful run – perhaps my worst run of 2014. I spent the whole thing ready to cash it in, and I was assuming that indeed my running mojo was shot. Doom and gloom. As Harold said – I was the bug. So naturally I began to question literally EVERYTHING … um, yeah, by now I should know better. But fortunately I got a grip on myself and decided to look back at the previous week of workouts.

Here are the last several days:

Friday: It was in the 40s at 4AM, but I was evergized – rushed to get out the door, and I ran 11.1 miles in long shirt, tights and light gloves. It was a great run and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Saturday: My long run came late in the day after a relaxing morning and a bunch of around-the-house work. I decided to do hill work and distance – had a snack before I left and filled my water bottle with ice and G2 and off I went. My goals were basic – hills and more than 15 miles. I ended up doing 18.4 miles, which was just awesome – I wasn’t totally wasted at the end, but it got cloudy and was already getting dark by 8PM and I wasn’t dressed in reflective gear, so I cut off the extra loops I had planned and got home.

Sunday: ‘Rest Day’ … which translated to 7.4 miles on the S-Health app and an additional 3.2 tracked on my Polar Loop when my phone was charging. This also included about 5 hours of driving, picking up Danny’s girlfriend at Cornell on the way to Syracuse, lugging stuff around, the usual stress associated with spending hundreds of dollars per kid on back-to-school clothes, and so on. Early morning, late night, driving in the rain … exhausted.

Monday: After brunch Lisa had to go to work and the kids wanted some time to just hang out with Danny’s girlfriend, and she also had to go back to her house to grab some things to bring back to Cornell. So that gave me a couple of hours, and I hopped right out and went for my run. The goal was … well, just a generic long run, my usual ‘half marathon ready’ default. But … wow, was it hot and humid! It started very cloudy and breezy, but cleared up as I ran and the sun was just beating on me. I ran 16.5 miles … but it was a ‘slog’ for a large part of it!

Tuesday: As I said before – this was awful! It was 75F with 95% humidity – at 4AM! From the start it was a struggle – I kept waiting for things to ‘click’. They never did … in fact, it just got worse and worse. I wanted to walk, wanted to go home, wanted to cry. It was all I could do to get past 5 miles. I cannot remember the last time a run felt so bad … well, actually I can – it was April 2012, I weighed at least 275lbs and was just restarting my running.

Wednesday: We slept with the windows open and I could feel the nice cool air with low-humidity – it was 60F and dry. I woke up feeling great – but stressed out about my awful run on Tuesday. I laced up and headed out early … and from the first strides it was like magic had returned. I ended up doing about 10.75 miles, and I could easily have continued … I really felt great. My last half mile I sprinted and looked at my Garmin and was SO close to the 6’s … but couldn’t get below 7:05 pace. Which, for me, is still freaking amazing! I finished up by breaking 3 minutes for a plank … first time ever!

What Did I Learn?
Major ‘duh’ moment – I have heard so many times people question their mojo when they’ve had a bad day or week … and I remind them that there is a natural ebb and flow, and that we should never place too much emphasis on a single run. And yet I allowed myself to take the feeling from a couple of runs and have it dictate how I felt overall.

I also allowed concern with my Thyroid to impact how I put those bad days into context. It was like I was carrying the couple of days to an illogical end of not running anymore and being fat. Even if my thyroid meds need to be tweaked, it is a minor thing and there is no reason it should impact my running.

And finally, I need to realize that I don’t take rest days – and sometimes that is just not a good thing. I mean, in theory I DO take rest days – but looking at the ‘rest days’ I have taken over the last month, I have (a) done college tours including 7 hour drives each way (b) gone on ‘advanced’ hikes of two different gorges (c) spent 4 hours kayaking and (d) had a long day of shopping including more than 10 miles of walking. Am I REALLY surprised that I ended up exhausted?

When was the last time YOU felt like you lost your running mojo?