Fickle.

I had a shitty run this morning. And e-v-e-r-y  t-i-m-e this happens I'm convinced I'll never run again. Running is such a mental game, and I suck at this game. I woke up at 5:15, threw on clothes, stepped outside, started running and felt great. I was feeling a tiny bit of burn in the shin region that was leftover from last night's hill workout, but I otherwise felt excellent.

Until mile three. I totally tanked. I got a side cramp, my legs were fatigued, the inkling of irritation in my shins got louder, and I got pissed. In my head I stomped my feet and cried, but in reality I just walked home, completely blowing off the remaining five miles of the course.

Dammit.

Of course all the way home I'm cursing myself. Hating my shins, hating my legs, hating how my obliques jiggle when I move. WHY DO I SUCK? This is the question I ask the running gods very loudly, hence the all caps.

I know I need new shoes, I know I need to step up my running game and my nutrition, but it is just not happening. I've got an 18-miler planned for Friday morning, and that could be the ultimate test.

I also know that bad days happen. I had great runs last week, and even last night's small jaunt and hill workout went well. But the bad days are so discouraging. I feel like a bad run negates all the good miles I've covered. And any time I feel the slightest ache in my shins, I freak the hell out, hyperventilation-style.

I cannot have shin splints. Cannot. Will not. I refuse.

I've got two months and six days to step it up. It seems like plenty of time, but 26.2 miles is a lot of distance, and my legs are feeling fickle. The spring was good to me, and it's hard to follow up that good of a running season.

But the spring was different. I had good shoes, money to throw around into different half marathons for training (which I'm convinced improved my marathon). This time, not so much. My focus is off. I'm fending for myself against the big, bad world of running.

I do not fend well.