Natural Law: Good runs. Not so good runs.
I can't hold back. I feel another natural law of running brewing beneath the surface. Everyone take a step back...you never know how explosive and meaningful this little bugger could be. Drum roll....
Natural Law #2: Good runs provide motivation. Not so good runs provide learning.
There is a very smart woman I work with who is juggling two big projects. One day when I asked her how they were going, she remarked, "at any one time, one of these things I enjoy and one of these things is good for me." Oh my, the wisdom and truth in that statement. Like work and life, running has it's ups and downs and goods and bads. When we talk about our runs, we generally group them into one of these categories: good or not so good.
For the good runs, we pump our fists, we jump for joy, we yell out a big "YESSSS!". We hear from our fellow runners, phrases like "I PR'd" from 21st Century mom", "Every mile was faster than the previous" from Laurie, "Best feeling" from Carrie, "I can't wait for my next run", "this is why I run" from Joe, "I had a breakthrough run" by jetfuelburner. It is these magically perfect runs that propel us to take on bigger goals or at least step out and try again the next day. These runs keep us running.
For the not so good runs, we usually follow with a dissertation or semi scientific explanation exploring the multitude of reasons why the run went south. You hear reasons like, "I should have recovered more" from Rob, "I won't eat Mexican the night before" from David, "i need to plan my hydration strategy!" by Mark "I went out too fast" by USJogger, and "I hit the wall" from Jess. And these snipets teach us valuable lessons in our running career. They uncover the core of our running DNA, the quirks of our body, the limits of our mental sticktoittivity, and how conditions that are out of our control can play with our results. These runs keep us learning and keep us thinking about running. These runs keep us running well.
The yin and yang of running. You need both to reenergize your running forcefield. Next time you have a good run, take an extra moment to soak it all in and celebrate. And for the next not so good run, consider it a free 3 hour credit in your running PhD. You can't buy these PhD's off-the-shelf or have anyone sit in the class for you. Take the lesson and throw away the experience.
Pst...Still in search of the (real) running rules....
The only one rule from moi
Don't forget Runners World 25 Rules of Runing
Running Planet's 12 rules of running
Check out YMCA Running's post on her first 10 of 40 rules of running