I had the perfect run the other day. It was the day after my 9 mile uphill time trial and one week after I ran 50km with over 6000ft of climbing. In between, I had kept up my training. So, imagine my surprise when Sunday my calves hurt going up hill and my body felt like it was moving through quick sand. I happened to be running with some ultra runner veterans so I just kept on going the best that I could. They wanted to do hill repeats, I was in. Slowly but surely I kept plugging along and loved every minute of it. This was what I wanted, I don't want to feel fresh and fabulous every time I go out and train. I want to know that I am actually doing enough that I am fatiguing my body and building strength and endurance. I had to make some adjustments, walk up a few hills I would normally run up. Slow my pace at times, pick up the pace when I felt good, and just run through the suck. I haven't run 100 miles before, but I am pretty sure that at some point there is going to be something that hurts and I'm going to feel deep fatigue. Not every workout can be fantastic. It is the ones where you have to suck it up and get it done that you gain the most mentally and physically. Runs like these will prepare me best for what I am trying to accomplish this year. The next day I felt great and had no signs of the struggles from the day before. When another 'perfect' day presents itself I look forward to facing and embracing the suck.
Here's a picture of my running buddy the day after.