* Hint: "pickle" is code for a really really bad work that starts with"f" and rhymes with truck.
When I had my kids, obviously my language had to change a bit. I would share mothering tidbits and tips with girlfriends and one of my friends, Lynn, said that "pickles" got a lot of play in her house - that you can say "Oh pickles!" when you wanted to say the F-bomb. It worked and still does, even though at ages 7 and 9 my kids are aware that "pickles" is code for a really bad word.
On yesterday's "long" run, I said a lot of pickles, only not pickles but the real word. It was one of those runs. Actually, it was another one of those runs. It seems more of my runs are bad runs than good ones these days. And that's really frustrating and demoralizing. I've always said that when you have a bad run, you can wallow a bit, but ultimately put it behind you, move on, and say "new day, new run". That the bad runs really make you appreciate the good runs. That the bad runs make you stronger mentally and prepare you for setbacks. But when the bad runs become the norm, it's exhausting and upsetting. Here I am right after the run. Who's a sad face runner?
I've had a lot of excuses for my crappy runs: it's really humid, it's really hot, it's late in the day, I didn't fuel right, I'm exhausted, I didn't sleep enough, I'm under a lot of stress, I'm sad, I'm overwhelmed, I'm feeling blue, it's rainy, it's muggy, my legs are tired, my arches hurt. But they're all just that: excuses. There are some glimmers of hope peppered in there, though ... some good, strong runs that remind me that I've still got "it" in me somewhere. Whatever "it" is.
In the meantime, I will keep running and trying to find or at least rediscover "it" and will keep in mind the following quote:
Run when you can,
Walk when you have to,
Crawl if you must;
Just never give up.
-Dean Karnazes, ultra marathoner
I won't give up. But I'm sure as pickles ready to feel like myself again on a run.