Running with Rage

Eric Rutin discusses running, life and other semi-important things

My run goes bad

“You’re gonna have to bleed to beat me, and I’m gonna bleed, but I’m willing to go there”….are you?

Michael Aish, 2 time Olympian and Leadville 100 rookie

I saw this quote posted on my friend Mark Cosmos from iRun‘s Facebook timeline yesterday.  At the time I thought it was was a pretty cool quote, but this morning it became my mantra.

I was supposed to do my long run yesterday, but after my short run on Friday was much harder than a short run should be, I decided a rest day was in store.  As a result it was a nice opportunity to sleep in, however it is also free Cinemax weekend on DirecTV and, well, Despicable Me was on at 5 AM and that movie is simply too cute to skip. I have to start recording early morning broadcasts.

“It’s so fluffy!”

I woke up a little after 4 this morning to start my pre-run morning rituals and preparations as usual.  The crazy heat has subsided but the humidity now has been pretty high by Phoenix standards, usually over 60% in the mornings.  This morning it was even higher.  Oh well, at least the temperature was only 86 degrees.  We get a little warped view of only temperatures here in Phoenix over the summer.

So off I went.

I ran my first mile and my legs were tighter than I had hoped but I had a long run for them to loosen up.  When I started getting near the two mile mark and my stride still was not feeling smooth, I started thinking.  By mile three, I started to think about when to call Carolyn to come pick me up as I had already soaked my visor to the point it began dripping.  Even though the sun wasn’t yet up, I realized the already humid morning was being made worse by literally everyone watering their yard simultaneously.

At this point I started to negotiate with myself and just one more block or light before I would turn around.  Then another and another.  Somehow I made it to four miles and I started planning the shortest shortcut I could devise to get me home as quickly as possible while I also was mentally adjusting my training schedule to accommodate my shorter run.  This is where my limited cognitive abilities on runs helped be out because I was surprised when my GPS informed me I had passed five miles and I was still alive.  At that point I made the decision to skip the shortcut turn and continue on.


I hadn’t even hit six and a half when I realized it was a mistake and my legs were gone.  This is also when I started my typical fantasizing about cold beverages despite wearing my Camelback filled with Gatorade.  I knew there was a hotel just down the road and I decided I would reward myself with a quick trip to their drinking fountain.  Unfortunately it turns out the hotel is closed for renovations.  Ahhh, there is the light rail station if I run just a little farther and there is a drinking fountain their.  Lo and behold I now was closing in on eight.

By this point it might as well have been raining as my visor looked like a waterfall dripping, no gushing, drops of sweat across the entire brim.  At this point I was on my way back home.  I had stopped worrying about my pace and decided I would just keep going.  While my physical strength continued to drain, my metal strength started building.  I had thought about that quote I had read, and while I was not in a race, my running was coming down to what runs are for so many of us, the personal challenge of accomplishing what other people dare not even try.  I knew the rest of my run was going to be painful, hot and every fiber of my being was going to try validating that quitting wasn’t only acceptable, but the responsible thing to do.

“You’re gonna have to bleed to beat me, and I’m gonna bleed, but I’m willing to go there”….are you?

I started telling myself, I was not going to quit no matter what.  I was not going to walk. Over the final miles I had an erratic pace that fluctuated from 9 minute pace to over 12.  I found myself continually drifting to my left, even clipping the side mirror of a parking SUV.  I was regretting forgetting to apply my Bodyglide in places I would rather not chafe.   I was lightheaded and couldn’t tell if it was a result of drinking too little or maybe even too much.  I have passed out on a run before, but I pretty much woke up the second I hit the ground.  This morning I had my doubts I was going to get up and was wondering if the EMTs would know which number to call.

“You’re gonna have to bleed to beat me, and I’m gonna bleed, but I’m willing to go there”….are you?

Sadly, I had to run by my house to finish my run which was just the extra torture I needed today (heavy on sarcasm), but I was not going to quit short at this point, even if it was just a mere quarter mile.  I am not going to lie, I did not run one additional step once my GPS beeped twelve.

Most people don’t get runners.  I hear so often people say they can’t run or just hate running but that is something I just don’t get.  Nor do I think most people that are reading this get either.  We run and often there is very little joy or satisfaction during the act.  In fact sometimes it is downright miserable, but when we finish knowing we overcame doubt, pain and every obstacle thrown at us, we feel a joy and satisfaction non-runners probably never will experience.

When our body and mind say enough is enough, we simply reply “You’re gonna have to bleed to beat me, and I’m gonna bleed, but I’m willing to go there”….are you?


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One thought on “My run goes bad

  1. jenxdesign on said:

    This is true with running and triathlon…any endurance sport really. I don’t think a lot of people understand why we put our bodies through what we put them through. I’m training for Ironman Lake Placid 2014 and constantly running, swimming and cycling every day (one day of rest). People who don’t this type of stuff don’t understand the high you get from it…even if you do walk around a little (understatement) tight all the time. I foam roll and take a lacrosse ball to my legs, glutes and back all the freakin time…running sometimes loosens me up though.

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