My runs can pretty much be divided into three categories:
The “OK” run
These runs make up about 90% of all the runs. You feel ok but wouldn’t necessarily go as far as to say you enjoyed the whole run. A good OK run might give you one or two Red Bull moments where you feel like you are flying but these don’t normally last long. Uphills are doable and don’t tax you too much but the downhills are much more pleasant. You could hold a conversation if you felt like talking to anyone – but just tuning the world out and running to music is what you want. Once you hit the distance you had planned to do you’re happy enough to wrap it up rather than trying to extend. Afterwards you feel fine; a hot shower and a bite to eat and life looks good again.
The BAD run
From the moment you start running you know it’s going to be miserable. You are hoping that it is one of those runs that start off hard but turn out to be PB producing, mood boosting and life altering 2h sprints – but soon get proven wrong. Every step hurts – everywhere. Your lungs are on fire, your legs barely have the energy to lift up off the ground. Even uphills that are not actually visible to the naked eye make you want to cry for momma. You hate the run, you hate people around you, you hate the pavement, you hate life. If you manage to harness every single ounce of willpower you might make it to the distance you wanted to do but more realistically you will rationalise to yourself why you should cut it short. You go home and cry in the shower, feeling like a failure.
The ECSTATIC run
These ones are as rare as the winning scratch cards. And sneaky too. An ecstatic run never starts off that way; in fact they often start the same way a BAD run does – miserably. But once you’ve warmed up you realise that your legs are eating up the distance and you start doubting whether the pace announcements could actually be incorrect because you couldn’t possibly be running that fast! You feel good; legs, lungs and mind. Even uphills can’t defeat you, in fact the strong feeling in your glutes just makes you feel giddy. You feel like you could run forever and for a while you consider this. These are the runs where you run further and faster than you ever have before. Afterwards anything is possible; you are as high as a kite from various hormones your body has drugged you with and life is goooood. Avoid operating any heavy vehicles after one of these. Or making any life altering decisions.
Having had one of each during the past week I have been reminded yet again of the up-and-down nature of running…