There are tough times in this sport. Dark days. Periods when all hell seems to be breaking loose around you. Running becomes a chore. It is work. Running sucks and the only good part of the run is the end. Then there are bad races, these are even worse. Friends and teammates tell you to cheer up, but it means nothing. Water off a duck's back. You eventually shake it off and understand your friends are right. Heck, you know they're right because just last week you gave the same "it's just a bad race" speech to them. We're all babies and we all bitch and moan. But we're perfectionists. We want to always excel...especially after putting in so much time. This time alone on the roads in the evening with a hungry belly or in the early mornings when your bed beckons you to "come back". Dostoevsky once said "suffering is the sole origin of consciousness." Without dark days and without suffering I don't believe any of us would enjoy this sport. We want the dark days. We need it. If it were all flowers and blue birds it would be too easy. We hate easy. This, above all, is admirable and this is what defines us.
The silver lining in my race on Sunday (yes, I have to try to spin everything positively) is that I was still below goal pace by mile 8...even after a 5:31 mile. My legs felt strong and confident. I've taken two days off and feel physically and mentally refreshed. There are better days ahead and I will have my vengeance.
AND...what better motivation to excel than this beautiful fall weather we're having? As a native New Englander, I (heart) autumn. The weather will only get better.