Fellow runner smiles and says hi: See, we're all runners! Why did I ever worry about whether I looked like a real runner? I never thought anyone I ran past didn't look like a real runner. They're running, hence: runner. I shouldn't be so insecure and hard on myself.
Different runner passes me: Augh, why do I suck so much? Why am I still so slow after all this time? And look at her legs! Not only is she faster than me, she's thinner and more muscular. If I ran more and didn't eat so damn much, I could have legs like that too. Wait, what happened to the not being so insecure and hard on myself again?
Beginning of run: I'll run four miles.
Just after beginning of run: It's hotter and more humid than I'm used to and I didn't take any Sudafed, so I'll be really congested by a mile or two in. I should run three miles.
Running down big, glorious hill: I'll run four miles!
Running back up big effing hill: Hey Past Self, what is WRONG WITH YOU?
Near top of big effing hill: Just run to the top of this one and then you can walk up the smaller one later. [Stomach: Must. Vomit. Now.] Ok, walk the last block up.
Near top of smaller hill: And walking up the last block of this one too.
And then I nearly started crying. Because the half-marathon in a month will be at least as hilly and I can't even run four miles of hills and the half-marathon is going to suck so much except that wasn't really why. Not that the half-marathon isn't going to suck. It is, but I don't actually care so much about that. It's that work sucks and has sucked and will continue to suck for a variety of reasons, most of which have very little to do with actual students or teaching and very much to do with paperwork and litigation and generally being made to feel like I'm not doing my job well by people who have no idea how well I do my job and/or have a legal and financial interest in making other people think I don't do my job well. And I am mentally and emotionally exhausted.
Then I ran the rest of the way home and finished with a decent (for me) time, especially considering the two blocks of walking. 44:32. I run eleven minute miles. Which is fine.
When I got home, my current favorite song came on my iPod and got me a little bit out of my funk. It's sort of an anthem for me at the moment. It is Do It Now by Ingrid Michaelson.
"Don't waste a minute on the darkness and the pity sitting in your mind."