I was slogging my way through an easy run on Monday when the saying “progress is not linear” popped into my mind. I was out for a 3 mile recovery run. I had just strung together 5 consecutive days of running, culminating with 8 miles on Sunday. My legs were tired. My brain still hurt from a particularly difficult class that morning. I glanced at my watch and saw 10:00+ paces (10:00 being the dividing pace between a normal recovery run and a “I should have just taken a day off” for me).

It was an easy run and I know I’m not in peak form, so I wasn’t too bothered. Still I thought to myself: This is not a run for social media.

But as I continued to run, I changed my mind. This is absolutely this type of run that should be out there. It is easy to humble brag about a great race or workout. But training is more than just one day, it is weeks, months, years of work.

And progress is definitely not linear and right now I’m down in a valley not up at a peak. It totally sucks. But it is okay. It is just a part of the process. All I can do right now is work on climbing out and hope that my next peak is a little bit higher than the last (and maybe breathe a sigh of relief that I have months and months ahead of me to make this climb).

Onward and upwards, my friends.



8 thoughts on “valleys

  1. Thank you for sharing heather! We all have our peaks and valleys. It’s the valleys that’s build our strength and endurance to reach the peak we strive to reach!!
    Every training run will never be perfect. You won’t always feel great during every. Single. Workout. Bad days happen and bad rubs make the good runs feel great.
    Hang in there with everything Chica. You’ve got a lot on your plate with school and such. Running ( or yoga or whatever you can squeeze in) may be your zen this semester!!
    Again, thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always have perfect runs lol.

    You are absolutely right, this run is social media worthy just as much as a killer run. Its pleasant to be in a community where we can share both our success and failure. Social media these days is so one sided where I see the running world being a bit more understanding. We’ve all be there, miles into a run just wanting to get home. Thank You for sharing, you are not alone πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I try to remember this as well. Stress from life definitely carries over into our runs! Back in October, I got sick with a cold that lingered, a hurricane hit, and work went crazy. As much as we’d like to say we can use running as an outlet to deal with stress and channel our frustrations into it, we are not fragmented people. I hate the humble brags on social media and think the bad runs are just as important to talk about as the good ones are. The important thing is to keep moving forward after the bad runs :).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “This is not a run for social media.” LOL, oh, what a generation we are…

    Still on the exact same page, btw! My 8 mile long run last weekend was at a 10:15 pace so yeah, needless to say, I get it. Man, it’s the pits sometimes. One thing I’ve come to realize – not only is progress not linear, it is friggin SLOW. And I think that’s what bothers me most about the social media humble brags – people want to make it seem like they just sprouted up overnight and that they literally get better with every single run. Really, every single tempo run is better than the last, and still you surpass your pace expectations every single time? Give me a break. I try to bite my tongue on this because I used to be guilty of the humble brag myself, but….I think people just tend to forget where they came from. And that ends up being part of the reason they – okay, we – are so crestfallen and frustrated when we’re not at peak form anymore. I’ve been learning the hard way that peak fitness is not a good representation of our average running lives. And neither, thankfully, are the valleys.

    Holy crap long comment. Anyway just FYI: I’m assuming you posted this this morning, but it’s showing up in my feed as having been posted last night. I almost missed it! I’ve had this problem with WP too, where for some reason it publishes the last time I edited instead of the minute I hit publish. Might want to start scheduling posts. That’s what I do – even if it means I’m scheduling it for three minutes in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I forgot that I drafted part of this post on my phone. For whatever reason, whenever I draft on my phone, the “posted time” is actually one of the edit times. If I keep it on my desktop–no issues with weird time stamps.

      “people want to make it seem like they just sprouted up overnight and that they literally get better with every single run” Yes. This. And also people who race If your half marathon PR is 2 hours, a 3 mile run at 8:30 pace is NOT an easy run. I think part of this is runners not fully understanding how to train (I’ve been there myself!) and also the pressure to appear a certain way (fast) on social media.

      Sorry your progress has been moving so slowly. I’ve been reminding myself daily to be more patient and more mindful of how much time I actually took off. Sure I ran some in October and November, but the last time I was really training was August and early September. It is going to take more than a few weeks to reverse months of “laziness.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. PREACH! It makes me insane how many runners I see on Instagram and Strava racing their training runs. I just can’t take people seriously who do recovery runs at :20 slower than HM pace, or who are training for sub-4 marathons but do almost all of their running at an 8:XX pace. But like you said, I think a lot of it is just inexperience – I know I used to think that “easy” simply meant “not tempo”. Also, most people don’t disclose how many pause breaks are included in those runs, so there’s that, too.


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