The 10 Stages of a Really Bad Run

There comes a point in every runner's training cycle where they have to endure a really, really, really terrible, awful, shitty run. What's the big deal? Why not simply give up and try again the next day when a bad run happens? Well, runners are notoriously stubborn and 9 times out of 10, by the time you realize you're having a terrible run, its too late. These are the 10 stages of a really bad run--

1. Dread.

NBC

NBC

Maybe you wake up on the wrong side of the bed or perhaps you went to bed a little later than you would have liked. Whatever the case, you find yourself dreading your long run.

2. Anticipation

NBC

NBC

You can feel it in your bones, it’s going to be a rough one. But like always, you think that you’ll be able to shake the bad run off once you get warm. You just need to get out the door (which is a struggle in and of itself).

3. Doubt & Reluctance.

Disney / Run With Rockets

Disney / Run With Rockets

You ignore every sign that the run is going to drop kick you in your hope. Your stomach isn't cooperating. You feel like you're moving through mud. Time seems to be moving in slow motion but you keep telling yourself that all will be well in 1 more mile.

4. Regret.

ABC

ABC

Nope. The realization sinks in. The next few hours are going to be torture. Maybe you shouldn’t have gotten out of bed this morning. Maybe you should have actually just made today an easy day when you were 2 miles in and still had the chance. But no, you wouldn’t listen to yourself. Enjoy this terrible, awful, shitty run because you’re a long way from home now.

5. Rage.

gifbin.com

gifbin.com

Welcome to the blame game! Your opponent? Your decision to run! I hope you like seeing red because the rest of the run is going to be awful.

6. Sorrow.

Giphy

Giphy

No it isn't fun or fair! You got that right. Look, no one will judge you for crying when you realize you're only halfway done.

7. Perplexed.

CityTv

CityTv

How could this happen? This week was fantastic! Running has been fun and effortless all month and all of a sudden…THIS? What's happening? What are you doing wrong? (Nothing. Bad runs happen! Shake it off!)

8. Insanity.

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

The pot's boiling over. You've officially lost it. It's ok. Be angry. Bad runs aren't fun.

9. Insatiable.

BravoTV

BravoTV

Why are you so thirsty? And hungry? It's because you want a distraction. Don't over hydrate just to distract yourself.

10. Defeated.

stages of a bad run

Whether you quit or fought through it, you're done. It's finally over. No one wins when you have a terrible, awful, shitty run.

I always tell people that even though they are torture, bad runs really are the most important runs in your training because they help you see that you can muster through just about anything. And should you bonk or hit the wall on race day (GOD FORBID!), you'll know how to get to the finish line. Just try not to lose your mind. Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

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Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.