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Finding magic in the misery




This week has kinda felt like week one of running for me. Those weeks where you just can’t get in a rhythm, can’t get the legs to move like you want, and just can’t find the pep in your step… those weeks only make us stronger, right? I know that it does but it can be hard to accept that at the time.

Last night, I had 4 mile tempo @ 9:00 on the training log. I’ve been doing a mile warm-up and a mile cool-down before/after all of my speed work and I can certainly feel the benefits of it. I ran my usual route because the Bear Creek Trail Greenway is right behind my house; it’s just easy and beautiful, with dirt trails too. There is a .3 mile hill that leads down to it so I always have an uphill to finish on.

As soon as I got to the bottom of the hill, I started noticing them; those things that “bug” the shit out of me when the weather is warm. Clouds and clouds of gnats. They hover above the greenway, and swirl around awaiting your arrival. They weren’t too bad during the first mile, but after that they progressively got worse. The trail gets a little…stinkier as you go too (sewage…gag).

Also, I suck at tempos. I use to be really good at keeping a particular pace, but it has been so long since I’ve even worried about it. I could tell I was running too fast, but I was just aggravated that my Garmin wouldn’t stay put on pace so I could tell how fast I was going; it seems to just jump around the whole time. Instead of constantly looking down, I just went with it and knew I didn’t want to miss the mark; I’d just be fast. Whatevs.

When I turned around at 3 miles, I knew I’d have to endure those cloudy fuckers again. The thought of it pissed me off… It was making the run much harder than it needed to be because I couldn’t breathe without using my shirt to cover my mouth. My gait was thrown off also because I had to use one arm to hold my shirt up. AHHHHHHH!!!! At one point, I stopped and said, “Fuck this!” I quickly started again and just wanted to be finished; that’s why mile 3 was so fast. I still had to get back home, after all.

When I hit a cloud, it’d put my head down and could feel them pelting the top of my head, my sunglasses, my cheeks, and my hand. They weren’t the tiny gnats you might be thinking of… GROSS!!!

When I reached the end and began my cool-down, I was glad to be done and to have surpassed my goal. I had planned to walk up that last hill, but I found some new energy when I hit it. Although I was supposed to be cooling down, I charged up the hill and felt the strongest I’d felt during the whole run. Finding those new pockets of energy, at unexpected times, is magic for me. It spreads over my whole body and almost seems to lift me up (literally) a bit.

Things could worse. I could be injured or sick or in a place where running isn’t safe or possible.


Look at this view?! So lucky to have this right behind my house…

So I’ll just find the magic in the misery and chew on those nasty little winged fuckers. Extra protein.

Thanks for reading,


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That little emoji is supposed to be, "confused," but it looks to me like he swallowed a gnat. I'm right there with you on the legs just won't go phase of getting back into shape. Ugh. Bon appetite!

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Gnats are huge A-holes. Glad you survived!

My coach usually has me do 1.5-2 miles warm up before speed and then at least 1-1.5 miles afterwards. Seemed like overkill at first but I actually feel better for the hard part and then less sore afterwards.

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But you missed an opportunity to become COAthlete!

Are the gnats any better or worse in the morning vs evening?

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58 minutes ago, Bonnie_777 said:

The black flies are what cause me angst during the soggy spring season.  Nasty!

OMG...I HATE deer/horse flies! Those were my enemy in NC but I haven't seen too many out here; sometimes on trails.

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30 minutes ago, mattw said:

But you missed an opportunity to become COAthlete!

Are the gnats any better or worse in the morning vs evening?

I could never change it from NC... that's where my heart will always be :) I think the gnats are worse in the evening but I won't have to worry about them much longer. It's supposed to get to 28 degrees Monday morning! Zap those suckers!

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That's a great feeling that you got there at the end, my friend. Have you thought about running with a bandana tied around and covering your mouth and nose old west bank robber style? That would help with the gnats...though not sure whether it might attract unwanted attention from law enforcement.

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The new Loop allows the big swear words and I love it.:P  The bad season should be over soon even in CO.  Best of luck finding that groove again.

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Bugs while running SUCK. Spring trail running here is insane and I don’t do it because of the bugs.  😬

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Ick! The trail is beautiful though.  

I like the quote.  Magic in misery.  I'm going to hold on to that one for a while.  

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Gnats were torturing me yesterday. Usually I run early morning and they seem not to be awake yet, but yesterday I ran in the evening and they were terrible. So were the cars - there is a lot less traffic at 6am than there is at 5:30pm...

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I've had ONE annoying gnat living in my office at work this week, and I can't seem to get it. I will remember to be grateful that it's not a cloud of them.

What a wonderful view!

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The downside of moving into warmer weather here is I also get swarms of those tiny gnats out on my urban trail. The horse flies don't worry me so much (we call them blowflies)...so long as I keep my teeth closed:S!

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super warm fall here in PA- beautiful running weather but I totally get where you are coming from with the gnats- they are evil.  Loved this:  " Finding those new pockets of energy, at unexpected times, is magic for me."  Hoping to find some of that magic soon to carry me into early sunsets and cold nasty weather.  

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Nice job finding the magic.  I always have to remind myself before I go on a ride to keep my mouth shut or I'll wind up with some extra protein.

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Well, that's one advantage of living in the city, no gnats. Occasional flying cockroach sure, but occasional. 

Love the quote, I imagine that sentiment in one form or another is what keeps a lot of us out there. 

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