Remember Chumbawumba? Think back to the summer of '98. They had this catchy drinking song, "I get knocked down, but I get up again..." Well, that's officially my theme song (since we're talking about the late 90s, I guess I have Ally McBeal and her theme song on the brain.)
I'm not talking about mixing whiskey and vodka, falling down and then gathering myself up and staggering upwards again--though I have to say that a week after running a half-marathon, my runs have felt kind of like a slow, drunken stagger. But what I mean is that something gets hard, the asphalt kicks me instead of me kicking the asphalt, and I get down. Then I get up again, and I keep going.
I couldn't do 16 yesterday. I couldn't do 4.1, to be precise. But today I slept in, had a banana, peanut butter and some strong coffee, laced up and ran 9.5 on my own. (I meant to do 10 but I mis-mapped.) The last time I tried to do anything in the 9-10 range on my own, I had to walk home, but this time it was actually easy.
Five miles into the run I stopped feeling cranky and burned out and realized I was back to my old rhythm. Buh-bye, burn-out. I actually wish I hadn't used that word. I'm sure one day I truly will be burned out, but yesterday, I just needed a day off.
I'm really proud of my 9.5. I'm sure I would have been very proud of 16, but yesterday, it just wasn't meant to be. I used to be the kind of person who accepted nothing less than excellence from herself, but now I'm starting to learn that a crappy training run happens to everyone. To me, this is the most life-changing thing about running. You learn to just get over things that have you down. One failure doesn't define your life. It just becomes part of the process.