Tag Archives: speed

Roadblocks

7.17.09

Week 2 of training is coming to a close and I am exhausted. I’m not sugar-coating it! I am not 100% sure what my body is trying to tell me right now (slow down, speed up, sleep, run), but all I know is that I want to find a soft, comfy bed and stay there for awhile. I somehow forgot the toll training takes on your body or maybe it’s the getting up at 4:20 a.m. in the morning to get my training runs in that is taking it’s toll on my body! Either way, I am arranging a training nap into my schedule this week!

Following what must have been a pretty fierce thunderstorm in the ‘burbs last night my run at Valley Green Trail this morning was speckled with lots of debris big and small, massive puddles and fogs of humidity. SM and I must have been the first visitors to the trail post-storm (no one else seems to be crazy enough to be out there running at 5:00 a.m.) and to add an even more exciting element to the run, the sun wasn’t quite up for the first 20 minutes of our run. We were trying to dodge the road blocks (trees – yes literally down trees, puddles, lots of mud and leaves) without seeing them until they were a pace or two ahead. This requires one to be way too alert so early in the morning!!

The exhaustion my body is feeling certainly played a role in my run this morning. I didn’t quite feel like pushing it too hard. I was questioning how long I could make it and at one point I realized I was begging in my head for it to just be over. That’s when my mind jolted to 2 months ago when all I wanted to do was run and I couldn’t. I would lace up my sneakers and attempt to walk a mile, my stomach would swell up, my pain would zip into full effect and I would go home and cry and wonder why the hell this happened to me and if I would be able to ever run again. Just a quick glimpse of those days this morning pushed me into motion and spurred me forward. It also forced me to reflect on how messy this whole recovery has been for me. I’ve had many road blocks, just like the debris all over the trail. There’s been nothing graceful about the past 7 months – in part because I didn’t want to accept what was happening to me, in part because I had no idea what was happening to my body, and in part because my body just wanted to rest and I wouldn’t let it.

I didn’t always know what to do when I hit a roadblock. I still don’t. I had so much hope coming out of the surgery that I would have a quick, painless recovery and that didn’t happen. I can’t look back now and say what I did right and what I did wrong when I hit those roadblocks. It’s not fair and it’s not going to change anything. I know things didn’t go as planned. All I can do now is know that I’m going to hit roadblocks in the future and it’s my choice how to deal with them.

SM and I had fun this morning jumping over trees, dodging puddles and sloping through mud. We made that our choice. We could have been angry that our shoes were muddy and our pants were splattered with water. We could have turned around when we saw the first tree across the path, but we didn’t and you know what – we have a pretty fun memory of the trail post-storm and we got a pretty great run out of all the dodges and jumps.

I know one thing that today taught me (outside of the fact that I need a nap) roadblocks are going to continue to happen in this recovery, but I’m ready for them now. I’m not looking back at the roadblocks I’ve hit, but I am going to remember they were there because I’ve learned a lot from them. That’s the only way I can move forward and moving forward to health and happiness is the only way I want to go – That’s my choice.

With Gratitude,

SFS

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Be nice…

7.10.09

My run went amazingly well this morning. After assuring SM on the car ride to Valley Green that I was going to “take it easy this morning” because my Wednesday run was quite a workout (shout out and big thanks to RK for a great run), it turned out that today’s run was “easy,” however it was one of the quickest and farthest training runs I have had so far.

Just as the thought crossed my mind, “Wow, we’re never going to get 3 miles in going the speed we are this morning,” SM called out that we were at mile 2 (thanks, Garmond) and should turn around soon to get to the car in time to get to the shelter – WHAT?! I was shocked – wait, how are we done 2 miles already? I feel great, my legs are in rhythm, my breathing is calm and to be honest, I don’t feel like I am working too hard here. We were running about 8 minute miles (when I told her I would probably do 10’s today just because I felt I needed to pull back) and I felt great. Now, this is after my last 4 -5 runs have felt terrible and I wanted to tap out at mile 1.5 (insert “damn surgery”). Matter of fact, after Wednesdays run I questioned whether I was being crazy to think that I could run a half marathon 7 months post abdominal surgery and the loss of 2 ½ abdominal muscles – isn’t your core pretty important to running?! What was happening here today?

For a girl that pushes herself in everything she does to do better, be better, work harder, reach higher, recover faster, I think I just found a little chunk of new motivation. What if by allowing myself to be average, to have a bad day, a slow run or a crabby attitude I did just the opposite – excelled, had a great day, a fast run and a contagious, happy attitude? If I could have a quarter, just a quarter, for the amount of times I have heard friends, family and honestly, strangers say, “Sera, you’re just too hard on yourself,” I would be rich. I know it. I would be sitting pretty in a mansion on a beach somewhere letting the breeze blow in my hair, guaranteed, courtesy of a bunch of shiny silver quarters. I always ignore these comments though because I feel my push, shoot for the starts and kill myself on the way attitude has been my motivation in life. It has gotten me where I am – out of the country, into the city working in finance, running races, living in a fabulous apartment, taking care of myself, but what if, what if my friends, family, and complete strangers were right? What if by not being so hard on myself I would still succeed and succeed past my wild imagination with tons of happiness in my life?

Hmmm….lets think about this – be nice to yourself, don’t beat yourself up when you screw up or have a bad run, or mess up that report, say the wrong thing or just need a little more sleep? Instead, let life happen, accept the inevitable, (bad days, stupid mistakes, and foot in your mouth comments) deal with these moments, maturely by learning from them and actually being grateful they happened – and in the end, achieve more, greater, better, bigger things?

Honestly – It scares me. This idea contradicts 27 years of tough, don’t let yourself down, keep going till your bleeding, discipline in this little head, but I can’t help but think that after today’s run I could be on to something. I can’t promise I’ll integrate this daily just yet, kids, and don’t hold me to it the next time you hear me complaining about not getting a workout in or eating that damn cookie. I’m just putting this out there, asking the question, and hoping the answer comes – maybe as easily as my run this morning. WOO HOO – Happy Friday!

With Gratitude,
SFS