What do you do when you have a HORRIBLE run right before a race/anytime at all + CELEBRATING!!!

It was quite the windy morning for my run yesterday.  I’m talking the kind of windy day where it feels like you are running straight into a headwind no matter what direction you are facing.  I was sure happy that I forgot my headband for my run because I had little hairs stuck in my eyes and lip gloss throughout the 7.5 miles;)

I just try to remind myself when it is windy and I’m wondering why I decided to go outside that I really think wind makes us tougher runners.  I think it makes us faster—>  it makes us stronger mentally and physically and hopefully our races aren’t windy so that we can really CRUISE after some tough training runs in the wind.  Or you might have an experience like I did at Boston (30 mph headwinds the whole time) and you’ll just be super prepared for it (I unfortunately was not;).

I came home to do some strength training while Brooke worked on her current art projects.  It looked like this:

1 minute plank

15 lunges with left leg in front (with weights)

15 lunges with right leg in front (with weights)

15 squats (with weights)

12 push-ups (some on toes… some on knees)

15 Floor Glute Bridges (an example of these are HERE along with a KILLER glute workout for runners)!

And then I repeated the above moves for two more times = 3 times total.

A lil’ glutes, core and arms all done after a run… who am I?

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Yesterday afternoon my aunt invited us all to go up to Sundance to celebrate her birthday!  This aunt is the one that signed me up for my very first race (a half-marathon) and has always been so supportive of my running (she is currently training for Big Cottonwood Marathon and the Pocatello Marathon).


My sister and her whole family were able to come too!


And this picture made me cry a little because I feel like they have all grown up way too fast.  I’m beyond happy that Brooke has these ‘sisters’ of hers just a few minutes away.


When people write me asking about where to eat if they are visiting Utah… Sundance (The Foundry Grill) is seriously one of my top recommendations (along with Cafe Rio and Kneaders of course;).  You just cannot beat the views there, the food or the feel of the resort… it feels like a little vacation for me to go there and it is only like 17 minutes away!

They brought out this warm bread that had raisins and craisins and my sister and I had a loaf each;)


It’s hard to ever say no to salmon if it is on the menu (with roasted purple carrots).


My aunt also insisted that we all get dessert so their homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream was a perfect ending to the meal.


These two girls decided on suckers instead of ice cream (which I cannot understand but I will support).


Afterwards Curly came to our house to hang out for a while.


Brooke and I went for all denim looks yesterday… I tried to get Andrew to join this look with us but he decided against it;)


We came home and while I worked, these two made me a feast with play-doh.

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Andrew rocked his huge test yesterday!

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One of the most common emails that I get from you guys is about BAD WORKOUTS.  Especially those bad workouts that happen right before a race (for example the last long run before a marathon etc).  Isn’t that kind of cruel when that happens… a bad workout just a week or two right before a race?  It causes all sorts of anxiety in us…. Will I finish?  Will I hit my goals?  What if I feel like I just did during the race?  What if my legs actually fall off like they felt like they were going to during this awful run that I had today?

It’s mean to our brains when this happens BUT here is the beauty… We’ve got all of the control in the world over our thoughts so this is how I deal with those A.W.F.U.L. workouts.

This picture below was after a workout that was a key workout as I was training for my marathon (two weeks before the marathon I was supposed to do) that I WAS GOING ALL OUT FOR MY SUB 3 GOAL.

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*I remind myself over and over again that THIS IS NORMAL AND A PART OF RUNNING.  Every runner on the face of the planet have these really tough runs where we want to quit (or do quit).  Talk to your running pals after a bad run or bookmark this post and reread it to remind yourself YOU ARE NORMAL (I think it would be more abnormal to feel great during all of your runs).

*Can I tell you a secret?  This scenario—>  a really awful run right before a key race = some of my best races ever.  I consider it my body’s way to get the BAD out before I can get ALL of the GOOD out on race day!  I’ve had a few of my best half-marathons where two or three days before the race I am huffing and puffing 3 minutes per mile slower than my goal race pace wondering how the heck I am going to go and race a half-marathon in 72 hours.  It has become so normal to me to have this happen that I am just going to go ahead and call it my good luck charm.  Please join me in this good luck charm strange belief.

*Just like how ONE amazing run doesn’t define your training/abilities, ONE terribly awful run doesn’t even come close to defining your fitness… don’t forget that.  Look at the big picture.  Look over ALL of your training as a whole rather than just one run.

*Remember you are more than numbers.  So much more.  More than paces or splits or mileage.  Running is something we love, we enjoy, we NEED;)… it’s not something that should be ruining our days.  Move forward.  Focus on the people in your life and your other responsibilities and within a few hours you’ll forget it even happened.

*Solve.  Solve.  Solve.  Both Andrew and my mom are a lot better at this than I am but I’m learning from them;)  I tend to complain more but it sure is a lot more effective to get to work SOLVING the problem (if it is solvable).  Was your nutrition poor the night before/the morning of your awful long run?  What about hydration?  Are your stress levels skyrocketing?  Did you wear the wrong clothes/shoes that caused you a lot of pain?  Are you thinking negatively about yourself and your training?  Are you not resting enough?  WHAT’S GOING ON?  Figure it out and rather than dwell/complain/compare——>  it’s time to FIX/SOLVE.  You can do it.

*Remember, you are doing amazing.  Sometimes social media and race training (especially for longer races…) makes our perspective kind of bizarre.  We forget that what we are out there doing on the roads, the trails and the treadmill is pretty incredible.  It’s not easy.  Getting out there each time that you do is a huge accomplishment because it is a lot easier to not go out.  So even if your run was awful and nowhere near where you thought you should be, what you are doing is incredible… don’t forget.

*Be the bouncy ball, not the rock.  When you drop a bouncy ball and a rock onto the ground, the ball BOUNCES BACK… the rock just stays on the ground and doesn’t go anywhere.  Be the bouncy ball.

Just a quote that I love and the first part really applies to this topic I think!


**I’ll see you this afternoon with a bunch of stories from my iPhone!**


How often do you feel like you have one of these bad/horrible/awful runs?  Ever had one right before a big race?

In three words… tell me how your running has been feeling over the last few weeks?

Favorite type of ice cream?  Does your favorite change frequently or has it been your favorite for awhile?  Anybody else agree with me and think that chocolate ice cream isn’t the best?

Let’s say your morning just became wide open and you have fresh legs, a fresh mind (aka you got plenty of sleep;) and the temperatures/weather is perfect… would you rather do a long run, a tempo run, a track workout, a fartlek workout, a hill workout or an easy run?

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Chocolate chip ice cream has been and will always be my favorite ice cream. I’ll dabble in some trends here and there like PB cones (I think Blue Bunny makes it).

Definitely long run if the calendar opened up with perfect weather.


In basketball, it was considered good luck to have a bad warm-up, because it meant you got all of the bad shots out of the way!
Definitely let negative thoughts come in and let a run dictate my potential or self worth, but you make a good point- problem solve! Or like basketball, at least that one is out of the way :)


YES YES YES… I feel like it is the same with running:) I hope you are having a great day Kaytlin!


I thankfully have not had a real “bad” run right before a race, but now that I’m getting into longer distances, we’ll see.

My running over the last few weeks = Knocking it out!

I totally agree about chocolate ice cream! I prefer chocolate as a complement to other flavors, but not as the main attraction, so I’m biased. But my favorite flavor is usually strawberry or strawberry cheesecake. I just prefer fruity flavors to chocolate/cookies/etc…


Good to know I’m not alone about plain chocolate ice cream! Now I need to find myself some strawberry cheesecake ice cream asap! Excited for your longer runs Joanne, you are doing amazing!


My runnng recently has been: inconsistent, painful, and disappointing. Still dealing with hip bursitis. I don’t even feel like a runner anymore.

My favorite ice cream is the generic brand by my local grocery store Kroger. It’s Cookies N Cream. There are so many cookies and chunks of cookies to be store brand. Delish!


I love chocolate but I don’t like chocolate ice cream! I prefer a vanilla base that involves chocolate things mixed in like chocolate chips or cookie dough.


I love that quote. Especially this part – “Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.”


Okay, that quote is amazing!!! I love that so much! Thank you Allison!


Long runs are my favorite, so if the weather was perfect and my schedule was cleared, I’d be out there for some double digits right now! Too bad it’s 90 degrees and I gotta go to work :/

Favorite ice cream flavor – Def NOT chocolate (I’m totally with you on that!) … Love cookies n’ cream or pralines n’ cream from Baskin Robbins .. SO good!


Hah literslly just had a bad workout! My muscles weren’t feeling it today, but I still did my workout. i just knew it wasn’t going to be killer and that’s totally fine!

Mint choco chip for life, girl!


Recently, my running has been feeling HOT HOT HOT. This weather has certainly been putting my body to the test as far as heat goes! Phewf!


I definitely agree with you that bad runs are totally important for mental strength. Just makes you appreciate the really great runs more :)



My shakeout run before Mountains to Beach a couple weeks ago went so bad that, when I got back to the hotel, I told my husband I may not be able to race. My hamstring was HURTING, my legs were super heavy and I couldn’t catch my breath. The next day (despite some lingering hamstring tightness), I got my BQ by almost 7 minutes in my second ever marathon 6 months post partum! Whatever was going on the day before needed to happen, just like you said, to get the bad out. I’m going to remember next time that the only thing that matters is race day, even if you feel like crap the day before! :)


YES YES YES YES MOLLIE!!! I am so happy you had such an amazing race and that same thing happens to me! Your legs/breath were just getting all of the bad out before you went on to rock it the next day!


Random question – can you share the color gray that you choose for your walls? I need to paint my living room and want to go gray but I have been having a hard time deciding…too many shades in the store!


Thanks for always being so encouraging. :) If I woke up with fresh legs, I would definitely do a tempo run with some hills thrown in there. I LOVE hills and tempos!

However, for the last few months, the three words that sum up my running are sluggish, disappointing and frustrating. :/ I just want to feel normal again. Surely that will happen someday soon, right?


I’ve had so many rough workouts; the worst is when it’s just a short run, and your body resists every step. Sometimes I push through and make my miles, but sometimes it’s better for me to cut my run short, adjust my weekly training schedule, and look forward to better luck next time.

I switch up my ice cream/fro-yo flavors, but something with chocolate and peanut butter is usually involved!

Under perfect conditions…I’d take on the hills:) In New England, hills are everywhere and I’ve never found a race in my area that’s even remotely flat. So I try to hit the hills as often as possible!


I had a crappy run last Thursday. I’m a person who has to come up with all the reasons why (even though sometimes we just have off days) I think I had every single excuse in my head for why it went so horribly. And while it really was probably some of those things, it was also probably just an off day.


The last half I ran, the day of my last long run before the race I woke up with crazy arthritis in my SI joints (like I couldn’t stand up straight and couldn’t walk across the room). I was so freaked out and frustrated. So I rested because there really were no other options and moved my long run to a later day and it ended up fine. But the experience made me not trust my body (what if that happened on race day?!) and appreciate everyday that that didn’t happen.
My runs have been off lately. I think my sleep is off, summer schedules have changed, and vacation happened. The good news is all of those issues are actionable!
I love any coffee ice cream, mint chocolate chip, and cookie dough.


Hey Ali! Okay, that would have been SO scary! I am so glad you rested and everything worked out but yeah, that is gotta freak you out when that happened! I hope that you start sleeping better Ali and that you get some good coffee ice cream asap!


Curly isn’t (as) curly anymore! I can’t believe how much she has grown.


I KNOW!?!?! Brooke’s hair is curlier than hers now! They grow up way to fast:) I hope you are having a beautiful day Joy!


I feel like right before a major race I have a couple of bad runs that I can’t explain. With running there are always good and bad ones and I always try to remind myself of that.


I absolutely LOVE Sundance. I would always go there when I needed a break from the valley. :) Also love how little Brooke looks in that photo with you!



Thank you for this post, it is exactly what I needed to hear. I have a lot of anxiety about my first trail half this weekend (worried about the total elevation gain, will I be able to keep pace enough to not get cut off, etc). My run yesterday felt so tough and I just kept thinking, “How am I going to be able to do this for three times the mileage I am doing now?!” One of my favorite sayings is “The hay is in the barn” meaning you have done the work and training leading up to the race, all you need to do is execute.


Oh Amanda! I’m glad it could help! I am STOKED for your first trail half this weekend… please let me know how it goes afterwards. DO NOT worry… that always happens to me before a race. I LOVE your saying that you shared… I’m going to copy you! YOU’VE GOT THIS AMANDA!


Your aunt’s birthday meal looks delicious!

My favorite kind of ice cream is definitely cookie dough!


Three words: mint.chocolate.chip. Always and forever my favorite ? Followed closely by s’mores!
Yesterday I hit a big turning point in my PT! I ran at 90% on the AlterG at 7.2 mph for 35 mins. I actually worked up a sweat! Wed is hopefully (fingers crossed) my last day of indoor running! I’ll get to increase my speed and go up to 95%.. then if all goes well, I will get the green light to run outside! It could not be soon enough either – next week will be 20 weeks out from NYCM and I need to build back up before I can start my training program!!
Oh, long runs are – and have always been – my fav type of run ?


I’ll go through spurts of great runs and then some not some great runs. Lately, it’s been what I eat and how much time I spend at the pool. The heat totally drains me!

Not too bad ;)

I really love pb fudge or rocky road. I pretty much stick to those two, sometimes peppermint is yummy during the holidays.

I’m all about the long run or fartlek. I don’t have to think too much during those runs!


I feel like I always have one before a race! I don’t get why it’s always that way but it’s pretty much always a week before the race and it makes it hard to want to keep going but i always end up just pushing myself and am able to pass that big wall of a run. The last few weeks haven’t been the greatest because I have to run on the treadmill more and it’s not my favorite. I’m not able to get up early and run in the mornings so my only option is to run after work or during the middle of the day during my lunch. But at those times it’s wickedly hot so I have had to rely on the treadmill. I love moose tracks, it has been my favorite for the longest time and I think it will always be my favorite! And I would do a long run! Also Janae is Andrew thinking about becoming a nurse practitioner? I can’t remember if you have mentioned that or not.


I’ve been having pretty much bad workouts lately. I don’t know if it’s the summer, the humidity or what. But I’ve been going through a stage where I wonder myself if I am a real runner. It happens to me once in a while. I know I’ll pass trough it after a few days.

If all the weather was perfect and I felt wonderful, then I would rather go for a tempo run or a long run.


I think I have a bad run at least every training cycle, and probably more than one each time. Running can be very humbling.
I had a bad run before my last 1/2 marathon where my legs felt super heavy and I couldn’t seem to catch my breath the whole run, and then I PRd at the race!!

My running lately=Acclimating to Summer (So hot and humid!!)

Chocolate ice cream is my least favorite!! It’s tough to pick a favorite, but I’d probably go with Turtle Pecan Cluster from DQ, Or Smores Halo Top with some crunchy PB added!

Perfect conditions with the day off? I’d go for a nice long run and enjoy the day!


I love that Brooke has her sisters (cousins) so close and sees them so often! There really isn’t a better feeling than being so connected to family!
Luckily I’m able to brush off a bad run; I also don’t work with a coach and don’t put time goals on my runs in a sense that I have to hit certain paces. My time goals are just fitting in the miles before I go to work! When I do speed, I just do my best and role with the punches.
My 3 words would be: painful, ecstatic, overwhelming!
Ice cream ……………… uhm ………. if I want to be selfish and not share with my husband or older son, it would be mint chocolate chip. If I want them to be happy then it would strawberry ice cream since that’s my husbands favorite and both boys like that one. (lol)
If I had a choice of runs, it would be a hill workout on trails!


This is so perfect for today because my run this morning felt so hard! Yesterday’s run was amazing, today was definitely less than stellar. But I did it, finished five miles and feel great!

Three words – extremely excited &a motivated! (Let’s just pretend the &a symbol doesn’t count as a word ;) ) I finished my longest run postpartum (9 miles) on Friday and felt fantastic! Currently, I am on marathon training week #5 and feeling cautiously confident and super motivated!

Favorite ice cream flavor: currently: Halo Top peanut butter cup. SO GOOD.

Perfect legs/ temps/ etc, I would choose a long run. I love the feeling of running long- it’s my favorite!


In the past few weeks, my running has been “CONSISTENT, OUTSIDE & ENJOYABLE”. Even though it’s getting hotter, I would rather run outside than on the treadmill, so it’s been great to get 3 outside runs in a week recently. And running with friends has made it so much better. If all the stars aligned, I would rather run a long run with a few hills. Hill are necessary and always make me feel stronger at the end of a run! Have a great day!!


I love your three words to describe your running right now… that makes me happy! I’m glad that you are rocking your outside runs even in the heat (you are right, friends help a HUGE amount)! I hope you get in a long run with some hills in there soon Sarah:)


My runs in the past week summed up in 3 words – swimming through air.

It’s SO hot and muggy here right now!


I don’t know how you run in that humidity… you are my hero!


A really crappy run shortly before a race is always a good sign, always. So much so that I know many people in my running community actually wish eachother a terrible last long run before a marathon. It’s definitely good luck. :)


Also, HUGE congrats Andrew!!


Thank you Jade!!! HAHAH I love that people actually with each other a bad last long run… it is good luck!!! Enjoy your day Jade:)


My running in 3 words – not happening, injured. Boo. Have you ever had nerve pain? I’m dealing with it in my ankle and foot right now. Not running at all. Missing it. And my husband is killing his running right now and I’m jealous. Ha!
Anyways, favorite ice cream is basking Robbins mint chocolate chip. Something about theirs that makes it better than any other.
I would choose a long run in answer to the last question. I love running long over short fast running.


Oh Mary… I am truly so so sorry about your injury and all of the pain you are going through! I bet you miss it so much. I have not had nerve pain but my sister did in her back and said it was the absolute WORST!! Are you seeing anyone for it? Go to Baskin Robbins soon and treat yourself!


Mint Chocolate chip, black raspberry, anything lemon, and Talenti Sicilian Pistachio <— to die for! I'm an ice cream loverrr.


I have worked a lot of my mental fitness so I find I have few and far between horrible awful runs. I was trying to complete a challenging hill workout (run a hill, run 4x half mile repeats, repeat whole set two times). It was pretty warm and I wasn’t ready for that much hill work, so half way up the hill the second time around I wasn’t feeling it and told myself it was ok to stop and walk home and run again tomorrow. Teaching myself that it is ok to stop is hard in the moment, but allowing myself to do that has enabled me to keep running the next day and still enjoy it. So that helps.

In three words… tell me how your running has been feeling over the last few weeks? Short, hot, & intermittent

Vanilla ice cream is my favorite! I like other kinds too, but vanilla is my go to always!

I would probably choose to do some kind of fartlek or track workout because I like to push myself (and I haven’t done one in a while!)


I have had those hard runs before a race and the race is always great so it must be good luck!
3words-annoying occasional shinsplints……but still fun to run!
I do not like chocolate ice cream…..it tastes weird-i prefer cookies and cream or vanilla bean.
And long run with my music. Hands down my favorite kind of run.


Perfect weather…I’d go for a long run.

Omg, Curly is looking so grown up!

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