the mysterious “bad” day

It’s good to be back!IMG_0492I wish I could say I stepped right into the swing of things easily, but that would be a lie.

Not only would it be nice to be cruising through vacation again, but it would also be nice to be cruising through my runs! Unfortunately I don’t think my body has figured out where I am, what I’m doing, or what time it is after a 26-hour journey across the world… which might have been the reason why my chest felt tight, my legs felt heavy, and my head felt light this morning.

IMG_0494On a positive note, Rock Creek Park looks like a magical green forest and smells like honeydew flowers. The fact that I was slow this morning meant I got to spend more time breathing in the sweet spring air!

I’m surprised at the amount of literature on “bad runs.” even has an entire page dedicated to quotes about bad run days. Most of the articles I’ve read point to sleep, diet, hydration, stress,  boredom, bad form, weather, illness, and soreness (phew!) as possible factors contributing to bad runs. But every contributor to these articles by Running Times, Coach Dean Herbert, Technically Running, and Runner’s World (forum) notes that some days you just feel “off” — for no apparent reason.


The most important thing is not to dwell on bad runs or let a single bad run convince you that you’re out of shape, slow, or a bad runner. Without bad runs, how could you have good runs?

“When you are recovering from a bad run, remember that you just cannot expect every run to be a “good” one; that is expecting too much from running and will lead to disappointment. You cannot expect running to always be fun and easy.” — Running Times

And just one more link. Although FitSugar usually has pretty fluffy articles, I actually think this one on how to prevent an “off” run is pretty uplifting. If you’ve feeling down, give it a read!

In other news, a reader sent in this photo as a contribution to my Pop-tart worldwide price-monitoring projectdownsized_0515131336Breakfast of (cheap, unhealthy) American champions!

  • What do you think contributes to your “bad” runs?
  • Favorite flavor pop-tart?
  • When was your last out-of-country trip?

Of interest:






  1. FRD

    Wow, over 5 times higher to buy a simple staple like Pop-tarts for our Aussie friends. Maybe they are paying Keith and Nicole to bring them over on home trips ? Welcome back and thanks for all the great shots and info about Australia.

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  3. Maybe we need to start a blackmarket ring selling pop tarts down under… Do they have dogs that check for those in the airport?

    I think bad runs can be some of our best improvement.. lets face it, not all of our races are going to be easy – but pushing through those “bad runs” are what will let us get through the bad parts of a long race!

    Excellent attitude about it! Based on your pictures, the park is gorgeious!

  4. Chelsea

    Mark and I went on a cruise last October for our honeymoon, and we made it all the way down to Guatemala, which was my last time out of the country, although we didn’t exactly sight see so I don’t really know if it counts! I feel like my bad run days are usually a mental thing way more than a physical one – the ones where I’m not wanting to be running, don’t know why I’m running, desperately wand to stop running… If I can find a way to get over that, then my legs usually fall in line. Usually. If not, then I know it’s really time to throw in the towel!

  5. My last out of country trip was in 2001 when I went to Quebec City. I like strawberry or blueberry poptarts if I’m going to eat them at all…. My bad runs happen when I’m not consistent with my training.

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  7. Dawn H.

    hm tired legs don’t help me on a run – i’ll likely run with poor form and end up overstressing a tendon. i usually just listen to my body and run slower when i need to, and pat myself on the back for getting the run done, no matter the pace.

    not a pop tart fan, unfortunately. but have you tried the poptarts at Ted’s Bulletin in DC? they’re homemade and apparently much better than the store bought kind (i haven’t tried them yet)!

    • haha i don’t eat poptarts often… though i do have a soft spot for the cinnamon sugar ones (which my mom also loves). anyways, yeah, there’s this poptart and donut craze taking over dc! i’ll have to check out ted’s asap. thanks for the tip!

      • Dawn H.

        let me know how it is if you go! oh yes, i forgot about all the donuts…they’re popping up all over the place.

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