So how do I begin this Monunental Race Review. Do I begin with how God had to teach me many lessons to get there. I used to be worried about speed. Don't get me wrong, speed is awesome. But, I don't think God wanted me so focused on myself and my pride.
After training 18 weeks last year without missing one run, the day before the Monumental, I found out that I had a hip stress fracture. It was devastating. But, I didnt let myself get down. I went on crutches and cheered on my friends....and Freeing Sisyphus of course.
After 10 weeks off, I began training for the Mini. I trained 14 weeks. I was again focused on speed and decided to give it my all. I ran the 1/2 at a 10:14 pace. That may not seem like fast to some, but I worked....
The next day, I couldn't walk. I found out that I had an IT injury that put me out for again 10 weeks.
When I was finally put on steroids, I was better.My podiatrist told me I was made for speed and asked me to join their triathlon team. I was pumped.
The next day, Jenny and I went for a brick workout. Again, just not getting these lessons. We rode 30 miles. Within the first few miles, I fell b/c I couldnt get out of my clips at a crossway. My wrist hurt so bad and was swollen. Jenny suggested we stopped but I was too stubborn. I was doing this thing.
I continued to ride then run. I was in a parade that day and didnt want to let my husband down. It was July 4th. I rode in the parade in severe pain. As soon as it was over, I went to the ER. Sure enough, while lying on a gurney, they told me that I broke my wrist in five places. I remember crying and a nun from Africa coming to hold my hand and give me words of encouragement.
I ended up having surgery on my wrist. This time I was only out 4 weeks. But surgery, is no fun thing. So, if you are still with me that is 24 weeks this year that I was injured.
Once I came back, I finally learned that God wanted me to rid me of myself and help others train. I ended up training 8 girls. Two of those girls, Val and Stacia have lost over 100 pounds together and went from 1/4 mile running when we started to running the 1/2 the entire time. In 3:08
Lesson learned. Now, I don't care about pace so much but teaching others to run and workout. I am more blessed helping others achieve what they thought they couldn't., I like to show them that they are strong women who can do anything. When I speak to them, I speak to myself. Funny how God works like that.
When I signed up for the Full, I was nervous. After all my longest run was 10 miles b/c I was training girls for the half. But my heart told me that b/c I had done the right thing and finally listened, God would carry me through the marathon, I don't kow how to explain it except it was a knowing....a peace.
I didn't care about my pace and just enjoyed the run. I wasn't sure I would even make it to mile 13. But, I just kept peacefully enjoying the beautiful scenery around me. Trees with red leaves, yellow, green. Houses that had character.
I had prayed for angels to keep me going and they did. One lady, kept running ahead then I would. But, it was friendly and we talked. At mile 10, my friend Christy brought Chase to see me. I kissed him and it made my day,. I told her that I felt strong.
I knew my friend Sarah would be at the IMA which was mile 19, so I focused on getting there. Once there, I saw her and all my friends that did the half. They cheered for me and at that point, I knew I could knock it out.
Mile 20-26.2 was the longest of my life, but I kept telling myself what I tell my trainees., When, I finally came around the corner to finish, all of my friends cheered for me and it was a beautiful moment.
Will I run another marathon? Of course, as long as God is by my side, not to lift myself up or be proud, but to glorify HIm,.
So I woke up inspired this morning to really commit to my training for the Philly 1/2 in November. Signed up for a meetup group and everything. I felt more like a puppy than a baby elephant. With my long run behind me I only had an easy 2.5 miles to nail. No problem....
Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.........the first few minutes felt great. This was the first run I had all week where my muscles felt good (after sitting in chairs for 12 hours a day, hunched over my keyboard, they were a little tight on my other runs to say the least).
And then, about 4 minutes in, that 90% humidity hit me like a MAC truck. Whoa. I grew up in the South, so I'm no stranger to humidity (the kind where you walk out of your house and in moments are soaked from head to toe), but it amazes me every time the toll it takes on you when you are running. I felt like I had an iron lung and the oxygen had been turned off.
It was the tale of two energy systems - my muscles felt great, but I could not get enough air. And, I was sweating in places I forgot you could sweat.
I made it through, but it was brutal and pretty ugly, humidity sheen style. The old me would have been a little disappointed in my performance, but I've realized you have good and bad runs. 8 miles can feel great and 2 can feel like death. The most important thing is that you keep going out there and you don't let it get you down.
Anybody out there have tips on battling humidity? As always, feel free to comment, share a tale of woe or inspiration, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope everyone is having a great Labor Day and despite the weather are thankful for the time you are getting to train, rest or be with your family.
I'm off to relish my post workout recovery beverage blended with frozen peaches.....Yum. Happy Labor Day!
This baby elephant (aka Freeing Sisyphus, aka Melody) is a little afraid. Full-on half marathon training starts for me this week. Although I’ve been running all summer, my average distance has only been 3 miles, max distance about 4.
Why afraid you ask?
I woke up the morning of the Monumental race fearful, like I had started so many mornings of my long runs – afraid I wouldn’t be able to do it. To admit this is hard, because I really believe and say all the time that people can do anything they set their mind too, but I didn’t even realize I was afraid. Standing there in the cold, dark, November morning waiting for the start of the race, tears welling in my eyes, my heart beating so fast, I couldn’t deny it anymore, I was scared. Why? Maybe I was scared of disappointing myself or my sister who was so proud of me. I suddenly realized that the 12-year old chunky girl (not really chunky – just body-dysmorphically chunky) with childhood asthma who thought that she’d never be able to run and the mid-20s woman who always seemed to break something had set up camp in my head 13 weeks before that moment and had been wreaking havoc ever since. When the horn blew, I told those two to bite it. I don’t know what happened, but it was like the moment I realized I was afraid, I was able to let it go. The first step I took I knew I was finishing that race and making my goal. The miles were easy.
Training for that race had not been easy. In case most of you haven’t guessed, I work very hard and very long hours. I often would have to get up for long runs after 6 days of work and school with little sleep to try and pound out a long run. There were times I just couldn’t make the mileage. Work was crazy as usual and October (my heavy training month) is what we in Finance call quarter-end which is another word for hell – 12-14 hr days, weekends, non-stop requests and non-stop phone calls. Keeping centered in the middle of that is/was hard. Add on early onset of cold weather in Minnesota and the darkness in the mornings (when I have to run to make sure to get it in), and you get less than ideal circumstances.
But, I did it, so why now the anxiety? Is it that ever since the summer solstice in late June I can feel the minutes of light in the morning are being taken away from me and that being new to the area I’m afraid I won’t find anyone to run with me so that I can get in my daily morning runs? Is it that because work has become crazy again? Is it that I really didn’t feel like I had a summer – MN had snow and ice on the ground in May (or at least it felt that way) -and, then we just got rain and chilly days until it turned to unbearable heat and humidity? Is it because Labor Day is around the corner and my non-summer is almost over?
This is just plain fear. My little sister turned me on to a concept coined by Joyce Meyer that fear is just False Evidence Appearing Real. As humans, most of us live the majority of our lives in fear without even knowing it – fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of death, fear of losing our jobs, fear of being alone, fear of disappointing others, fear of not living up to expectations, fear of being fat, fear of being rejected, fear of being abandoned, fear of monsters (not really J, but you get my drift). The interesting part is that we create our own self-fulfilling narratives of fear without even knowing it. When small events happen, we give them exaggerated meaning in the story of ourselves. You know what I mean, times when you say things like, “I knew it was going to be a crappy day today because I spilled my coffee”. Or after a hard run saying to yourself, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do this race, or when you make one small mistake, I knew I was going to screw that up. Or, have you ever taken an event like someone passing you without saying hi to convince yourself that the person hated you or was mad at you for doing or saying something to only find out later, they were just distracted. Have you ever gone on a bad date and come home saying I knew I’d always be alone? Have you ever stood on a scale and said I knew I wouldn’t be able to lose this weight?
We create realities and narratives by taking events and circumstances and giving them false meaning – we use them as evidence to convince us of a certain reality, or belief in ourselves or about others. Why do we do this? I think because we are human. What do we do about it? We acknowledge it….and sometimes, like the morning of my half marathon, acknowledging it is all it takes.
So, this morning, I’m facing it head on. I am a little afraid of the next 9 weeks, but I’m not going to let that stop me from starting my journey and conquering my fear day by day, run by run. Today as I set out on my distance run I’m not going to think of the obstacles that lie ahead. Instead I’m going to think about that moment of joy I felt crossing the finish line, and I’m going to think about how thankful I am that I have this day and this run.
Do you ever get a little afraid before a long run or even before a workout?
Gotta get going – Irene is bearing down upon us and there are some miles to put behind me before it’s time to batten down the hatches. Good luck to all that are setting out today on their long runs or rides. Rock on sweaters I know you really can do anything.
Adventuresses in healthy living.