Some Runs are Just Awful

I decided to link up with Brittany. She is cohosting a link up party. The theme is to take an old blog post and give it new life. I chose this one from about 2 years ago.  It’s funny to look back at old posts because my grammar was so terrible.   It’s still not great now but it’s a slow progression.

I think the post will always be important and relevant to runners. 


There is something about blogging and the unsaid need to “live perfectly”.  Most people share bits and pieces of their lives but never the full story.  

When we have a bad run or race, do we choose to share the bad?

When we fail a test or quiz do we choose to broadcast it? 

When do something incredibly stupid that ends up costing a lot, do we choose to share?

Here are a few preventable but costly mistakes I’ve made:  Locked my keys in my car several times,  slid on ice into a police car, lost my wallet with a few hundreds dollars as well as credit cards, dropped an expensive piece of equipment and had to pay for it (the list is endless believe me).  

While this post is mostly about bad runs and races, I believe it can be applied to multiple parts of life.

As runners we are going to have awful races.  There has to be a best race and there has to be a worst race.  Typing a post saying “a race was the worst race of my life” does not add the drama of finishing a race in hysterics and crying. While I’ve never finished a race in hysterics, reading text on a blog post removes emotion. 

As a runner I’ve had some seriously awful races. I could spend 500 words for each race whining and begging for attention.  Yet I don’t because I’ve learned from each race.  Each race has molded me into the runner I am today.

Here are a few that I categorize as awful races:

  • The Turning Stone half marathon in August of 2013
    • Cliff notes: stomach issues and heavy legs.
  • The Binghampton 5k in December 2013.
    • Cliff notes: heavy legs that felt like bricks.  This was my first goal race after injury and I failed miserably.
  • The Long Branch Half marathon in April of 2014.
    • Cliff notes: My stomach thought it might explode. Luckily my friends Heather and Laura made up for that and we had a great time.  I went into the race wanting to win and I definitely did not…but I finished and moved on. 


  • Haddon Hearts 5k in December 2014.
    • Cliff notes: I had a solid positive split and my lungs, legs and everything felt heavy.
  • The Phoenix Marathon.
    • Cliff notes: I finished the marathon and realized a few hours later you are in a lot of pain. It wasn’t worth it.

With all of these negative races I have had positive races too! I’m just using these as examples that every race doesn’t go as planned!

After going back and reading the race recaps and reading them, it’s hard to believe how awful they really were. At the time I was miserable.


As bloggers and athletes we may feel the need to report that every race and run was perfect.

Isn’t the goal of a training cycle to end with perfect race?

The reality is that a perfect race doesn’t always happen and not every run or race is great, good, mediocre or even fun.

Some just runs just flat out suck.

Your body will be in pain for no apparent reason.

You will be unable to hold a pace because it just isn’t your day. Not because you didn’t try but because it isn’t your day.

You might have stomach issues despite eating the exact same thing you eat before every race.

For every good race we have, there is always a bad race. If everything was easy we would all be Olympians.  If you let the bad races bother you your training will stay at a standstill.

Every week I have at least one run that I feel awful. With the summer heat and humidity that is more like 2…or 3…or 6…

I question if I’m going to even make it back to my house.

I question all of my running ability and if I will ever run fast again.

Every week I can guarantee you I have one of those runs.  Some weeks I have 2…3..or all the runs are like that…then I ask my legs wtf are you doing.

I hate running.
I hate running.

Each week I normally also have a run that I’m like wow this feels awesome.

I love running
I love running

Where is this energy coming from? I normally never expect it and I hope it lines up with a race.  Those are the good runs that make me forget about the bad runs.

If you get caught up in the bad runs, then you don’t have time or mental space for good runs.

What I’m trying to say is this…

There is no secret…you will have bad runs.

Being imperfect in life makes you a human.

Don’t dwell on a bad run.  In reality, none of these bad runs will effect you for long.  The bad runs make the good runs feel better. As I said, if every run was perfect we would all be Olympic World Champions in everything and even they have plenty of less than stellar runs.

Questions for you: 

What has been your worst race to date?  Your best? 

How do you deal with set backs?