A bad run always turns into a good run… eventually

It took a while to get warmed up today.

Some days are like this. I remem­ber the first time I ever ran up Twin Peaks, the first mile was all flat and then it was all uphill. By the time I’d run the flat sec­tion I was dis­cour­aged and ready to quit. Not just quit by pick­ing anoth­er route, but quit run­ning and walk back home. It was dif­fi­cult and my legs were scream­ing at me to quit. I felt like a failure.

I kept going and end­ed up going all the way to the top. When I reached the top I wished there was more to go than just to go back down­hill. I felt great. And that was a les­son for me: the first mile or two or some­times even three miles are always the hard­est. If I did­n’t remem­ber this fact, I’d give up near­ly every run and I’d nev­er make it more than a half-mile away from home. Instead, the longer I run, the more I feel like I could just keep doing it all day.

Case in point: today. Today I found it hard to find my rhythm, dif­fi­cult to set a pace, and I nev­er real­ly relaxed like I should. It was def­i­nite­ly that first mile that was hard­est to push through. The sec­ond mile was­n’t easy either, as I tran­si­tioned from the Wharf to the Mari­na and its throngs of beau­ti­ful peo­ple all run­ning faster than I was. It was­n’t until after mile four that I start­ed to get that feel­ing that I could keep going all day. It did­n’t help that the wind was in my face the whole way out, but even after the turn­around when by all rights I should have been refreshed by the short pause I took to take pic­tures, I still just put­tered along real­ly slowly.

But around the time I came past Fort Mason for the sec­ond time I start­ed to feel like I could keep going. I still had­n’t fall­en into a com­fort­able pace like I did on Sun­day’s run, but it was start­ing to be enjoy­able again.

This was much bet­ter than my last run out here, when I did­n’t even make it past the Mari­na Green. I almost could have gone on to the Gold­en Gate, but that cer­tain­ly would have been a mistake.

It’s time for me to start mix­ing short­er runs into my reper­toire. Two three-mile runs are bet­ter than one six-mile run. I need to build some con­sis­tan­cy instead of this spo­radic get­ting out to run every now and again thing that I’ve been doing. I don’t have any sort of real train­ing sched­ule and I should. If I were in shape and run­ning eight minute miles I could afford more flex­i­bil­i­ty in my sched­ule (easy to say that now) but since every time I go out I’m start­ing up all over again, it’s tak­ing a toll on me. I need to train to get up to the lev­el where I can safe­ly and com­fort­ably just be a recre­ation­al run­ner. That’s the only real goal, but even that means I have to work at it.