Breaking Down the Breakdown...

It’s easy to just say I had a crappy run, but trying to figure out why I had a crappy run is a little harder.
Saturday I met my running group (I say “my” running group only because I was there, as opposed to a group of runners that I was not running with - that would be “their” running group). 
I guess I need to first state the fact that I had a crappy run Saturday. 
It was one of those runs that you can look back on and say, “Wow! That was really crappy”.  I actually felt bad from the beginning to the end.  I felt weak and even though I was running at a good pace, I never felt good.
So after beating myself up about it for two days I thought it might be a good idea to figure out what the deal was.  It had to be more than: I’m old, I suck, I can’t run, I suck, I need to find another sport, I suck…
So here is the breakdown:
·         It was 5:30am and I have not been running in the morning for a while.  Most of my runs (with the exception of about two) have been either in the afternoon or at night for the past few weeks.
·         I did not get a good night’s sleep (see above).
·         I ate a crappy breakfast bar instead of my usual breakfast (peanut butter and honey on whole wheat bread).
·         I usually have a sports drink in the morning before I start long runs.  I didn't have time to stop at a gas station on the way to the run and there were none in the refrigerator (excuses, excuses).
·         I need new shoes.  I have run my shoes into the dirt.  In fact, I was wearing a pair of shoes I had not worn in over a year.  The pair I wanted to wear were soaking wet from an afternoon run the day before.
·         I slightly twisted my ankle as I was heading up the Bridge.  I’m not sure, but this may have made me change the way I usually run (changed my gait - for the runner lingo savvy readers) and ended up making my right hip flexor hurt (left butt cheek - for the non runner lingo savvy readers).
·         I ate a lot of salad the day before (lunch and dinner), but not much carbs.
Okay, the sleep thing was working against me from the start.  I was tired.  I never felt like I could get my energy level up. Maybe the change in my breakfast and sports drink was enough to make me feel like a piece of crap (probably).  I did refuel with two gels as I ran and I think they helped, but like I said I was out of it from the beginning. 
The shoes… Yep, those shoes sucked and felt like bricks as I ran.  They also have no support left (not their fault, they were great back in their day – last year).  Twisting my ankle at mile two did not help either.  The crappy shoes and hurt ankle just made the crappy run that much crappier (I was using another word in my earlier draft, but thought I should clean it up a little).
What to do…
New shoes are on the agenda for today.  I think this is one area you just can’t play around with.  Plus, I love new shoes!
I’m running Wednesday morning to get back in the habit of waking up early (and going to bed earlier).  I am also going to ensure I have all my breakfast stuff I need for the mornings.
Fueling the day/night before a long run.  It’s pretty messed up that I am at a point where twelve miles just seemed kind of like a short run.  I know!  Messed up!  I was not really thinking about how much I needed to fuel before this run - because I was not really thinking it was that long…
Most of this stuff is pretty easy to fix.  The big thing is to chill out, work on it, kick the negative crap to the side and get back in the game next week.


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