I remember loving my taper for Hartford. Every run felt wonderful, my legs felt rested and refreshed, and my optimism was through the roof.
Either things are different this time around, or my memory is faulty. I should go back in my blog entries and check. I suspect I'm probably forgetting the ups and downs, and that it likely wasn't quite so blissful last time around.
Whatever the case, this morning's run sucked. I had zero interest in running, my legs did not cooperate, every slight incline felt like a mountain, and I finished the run feeling worse than when I had started, which almost never happens.
I was barely able to maintain an 8:40 pace, which is what I've run most of my long runs (including my 20-milers) at. Sure, I could have pushed myself and gone faster, but I just didn't feel like that was the right choice today.
I've become much better lately at listening to my body, and today, it was sending the message loud and clear that this was all it had to give, so I backed off and respected that.
I can't lie, though. It was very tough mentally to have such a bad run at a time when I was expecting to feel so good.
And feeling so discouraged so close to race day is not a good thing. Yesterday's excitement and optimism has completely evaporated, and has been replaced with all sorts of unpleasantness.
I know the good vibes will be back, though, and I know one bad run does not mean I'm going to have a bad race. It was just one bad run.
My body is tired, and so is my mind. I think I might need to go for some kind of therapy the next time I train for a marathon - it makes me feel so emotionally unstable!
What I'm going to do right now, though, is take a deep breath, remember that I've done the work and put in the training, and I just need to keep moving forward.
Despite how I felt on today's run, I am strong enough, I am fast enough, and I am ready for this.