The bad run.

Though I run quite a lot, I seldom have a truly bad run. Wednesday threw a bad-run kink in an otherwise stellar streak.

At mile 3 of a 7-mile run, I was going through the cemetery when nature called. I really had no option but to find some seclusion. Luckily, there is a stand of trees behind some large mounds of dirt well away from the burial area of the cemetery. Don’t worry, no desecration going on here.

Unfortunately, in order to get there, I had to go through an area that had some aggressive burrs, which got all over my legs, shoes, socks, and shorts. Four miles left in my run, and I had been attacked by burrs. I did my best to clean off as many as I could, but my attempt would prove to be fruitless. There were burrs inside and outside my shorts, including in the liner, and all over my legs, feet, socks, and shoes.

Between the unscheduled bathroom stop and the burrs, I was feeling pretty disheartened. At first I thought, “This is going to be a long 4 miles.” Then I admitted that I couldn’t possibly finish my 7 miles with burrs all over my body, causing all sorts of discomfort. So I compromised. At this point in my run, I could go home the long way or the short way. I chose the long way, thinking that if the burrs didn’t cause too much trouble, I’d keep running to get the whole 7 miles.

As the miles came, the burrs as a collective weren’t a huge issue. Most of them were tangled in the hair on my calves, and in my shoes and socks. Not much friction going on there. However, there was a good amount in the liner of my shorts and, therefore, around my inner thighs. These burrs were not very gracious passengers. I ended up with large red scratches on my inner left thigh and on my outer left hip. This red hot rubbing combined with general soreness and lack of sunny disposition brought my pace down and deadened my run into an uncomfortable plod. Nevertheless, as I neared home, I went a couple extra blocks, trying to maximize my miles for the day knowing that what I didn’t get Wednesday, I would transfer to Thursday’s run.

I ended up only 1.2 miles short, but I was exhausted and in a decent amount of uncomfortable pain from the burrs. I got right in the shower, which only made the raw wounds burn worse.

Not my favorite run by a long shot. What makes a bad run worse, though, is the effects that carry over to the next run. “Will this happen on my next run? Will tomorrow’s run suck, too?”

The only way to know is to pull the burrs off my shoes, lace them up, and hit the road again.

Update: As it turns out, like most bad runs, Wednesday’s was a standalone. Thursday’s run was outstanding.

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