We like to keep it positive around here (sickeningly so, some might argue). But there’s a dark reality of distance running that, if it hasn’t smacked you in the face yet, might be just around the corner.
I’m talking about when you have a race so bad that in the lowest moment, you tell yourself (and completely believe) some variation of the following theme:
As soon as I get through this, I’m going to quit running. For real, this time.
I’ve personally retired from running a good three or four times in my head. And I’ve heard the same from many others, including my podcast co-host Doug, who emailed me after a 50K last month with his own version of the “I quit” story:
… I fell apart. 3 miles of some of the lowest running moments I’ve ever had. Thought very seriously about dropping, quitting the streak, and taking the rest of the year off from running.
Even when it’s only the outcome of a race that’s so disappointing (as distinct from the physical pain) the urge to hang up the racing flats shows up as a way to forget about the failure.