The book I’m using as my running training guide recommends many visualization techniques and highly promotes the power of positive thinking in all facets of life. If I am feeling optimistic and fostering a sense of success and can do while I’m in the middle of the workday, I’ll be more capable of tapping into that positivity well during a particularly brutal run.

I’ve found successes in this approach and I do believe it’s getting easier. I know that this often means I sound sing-songy as I talk about how great a run was or how proud I was to do something. My last post was a perfect example of this.

But let’s be realistic: it isn’t always like that.

There are days during which I feel a great sense of pride in my ability to focus on my goals and push through to feel a sense of success.

And there are days that begin by hitting snooze as many times as I possibly can before I pound my hands and feet against my mattress, throwing a temper tantrum because the last thing I want to do is get out of bed early to go run. And by the time I wrap up the run and am heading home, I don’t feel like a million bucks. I feel like a hot, sweaty mess whose legs are tired.

That said, the latter days are going to be the ones I value the most down the road. It’s easy to run when it’s the early evening on a gorgeous, breezy summer evening. It’s the 6 am runs, the lousy runs, the miles where stopping seems like the best idea possible that are making me a runner.

But they still suck.