“If one could run without getting tired, I don’t think one would often want to do anything else.” - C. S. Lewis
Sometimes you do the day’s run and it’s glorious. The running feels effortless. Any mental agitation falls away and your spirit soars. Instead of tiring, it feels like you’re gaining energy as you run. You reach the end and you want to keep running forever. I think of those as C. S. Lewis runs.
My run today was not one of those. I started the run on dead legs. My ankle, which has felt great lately, was not quite right. My recently injured hamstring was reminding me it wasn’t fully healed. Every stride felt like a struggle. Worries about re-injuring the hamstring crowded out all other thoughts. I stopped before my goal distance. I felt crushed and discouraged.
You can’t expect to always get a good run. You have to accept that sometimes, you’ll get dealt a crappy run. You just have to hope the C. S. Lewis runs outweigh the awful ones. You have to keep running on faith.
On a very long run sooner or later you’ll be in the Tunnel of Torment. When that happens, experience says you won’t be in the bad place for the rest of your life. But the only way to get to the good place is to hang on and keep moving forward.
And when you hit a delicious high point, you savor it because you know it won’t last forever. There will be lows ahead. You won’t always be in the good place. That’s part of what makes the high points so delicious.
Shorter training runs are just a very long run broken into pieces. The way past the discouragement is remembering that good runs are ahead if you just keep showing up for the next run.