Sunday, August 26, 2012

Strong Enough

As a felt the warm water trickle down on me this morning while I was curled up in the shower, I thought to myself, “Ugh… you did this to yourself last night. I knew you weren’t strong enough to finish what you started.” What?! Doesn’t everyone sit in the shower? Ok, yes I wasn’t merely sitting, I was indeed CURLED up into a ball in the shower. This may very well teach me a lesson…
Yesterday was the BACON FEST for crying out loud! There was some celebrating to partake in, after all! Perhaps with a week of stomach issues that left me unable to hydrate properly, or even eat, it was maybe NOT the best idea to drink beer and then progress to a gin & tonic (I don’t even like them- I was proving a point! But that’s an entirely different story) and then on to Dirty Martinis… the massively dirty, filthy, nasty in a good way dirties I just LOVE so, so, so, so very much. Perhaps I loved them a little less this morning at 5 a.m. knowing there was a 12 mile run waiting for me. On the other hand, perhaps I did not.
When I first got the notion to run the Marine Corps Marathon last year, I knew there would be some sacrifices to make, some routine adjustments, some commitment issues, some life altering ways to achieve & in my head, I think I thought I wouldn’t be strong enough. I committed myself in April of 2011 to run this marathon THIS year. I was being realistic & I knew I wasn’t a strong enough runner at that time.
I have to say, I cannot even imagine what it will really be like to run with only 30 thousand other runners, all running after something different. I don’t know if I will be strong enough to not have a breakdown at the start of it. If I’m not, that’s alright because a good cry is just that sometimes… good.
I was unwise in my drinking decisions last evening. Ok, OK, that’s maybe putting it mildly. What I know about myself is this: I am a lot SMARTER AND DETERMINED than I give myself credit for some days. Around 6:15 last night, I knew where the evening was headed & I’m afraid folks, it wasn’t in a good direction. I had the wherewithal to set my alarm, as I had a 12 miler this morning! I also reset the alarm a couple of times after that, but it was SET, dang it! I tried to QUIT the run several different times. I tried to renegotiate the terms of the run several times, just knowing 3 was practically the same as 12, or 10, or 8. I wasn’t strong enough to resist the peer pressure! When I wasn’t strong enough I was ever so “gently” reminded by my Smart Ass Coach, aka SMAC, that I WOULD indeed be running the 12 & to not take that text tone with him. UGH! He’s not the boss of me! I knew my condition & at that moment, I knew I wasn’t strong enough to tackle a 12 mile run.
Today’s run came entirely too early; I was wide awake at 4, even though my alarm was set for 5:15. I hate when that happens! I hate when the rooms spins too. Luckily the room was NOT spinning at 5:15. I wouldn’t have been strong enough to stay on that ride.
I pulled myself up by my proverbial boot straps & set myself straight. And the hot shower helped too. So did the soda. Being strong enough to do that, felt pretty good. Today’s run was HUMID, wet, a little slippery, slow & seemed a lot longer than 12 miles. WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got lost, because I was in my own la-la land, had to back track, found my way again and ended up running NOT 12 miles, but 13!!! When I was back at the start explaining my actions to my SMAC, he said to me… “See, you didn’t give yourself enough credit. I think you found out you’re a lot stronger than thought.” Awwwwwwwwwwww… in that moment, I was pretty damn proud of myself, not because I ran the 13, but because I didn’t give up. It would have been pretty easy to have NOT gotten out of bed, to have climbed back into bed after the shower, to have ignored the SMAC & cut my run short, to have NOT set my alarm last night. There are only so many excuses one can make for their own self misbehaviors, their own weaknesses, their own failings. I was all out of excuses & I knew that last night.
I make no more excuses for having weaknesses. I know my weaknesses & today, I learned one of my strengths………… my determination to be as strong as my body will allow in order to accomplish what I set my mind to doing April 2011. I am a runner & I am strong!!! Happy running y’all!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Truth Is...

Truth is… I’m kind of tired. LOL! I’ve been busy putting in some miles, of course, but have also been busy with getting the boys back to school, shuffling everyone’s schedules, STILL unpacking, arranging, rearranging, keeping up with work & my mom was just in town too! We went to a wedding a week ago & THAT’S when my running schedule got all whacked outta loop! I did a quickie run the morning we left for the wedding & it was much cooler than it had been; it’s weird how weather works. Sunday was a scheduled 16 mile run that was to be out of town & performed after a late night & crappy sleep at the hotel. I had some issues on the run & it turned into 13 miles but it also came with a gorgeous view of Horseshoe Lake in Collinsville, IL. So, all was well.
This week my runs suffered due to--- meh… IDK, poor eating, a lot of eating, go, go, going, not really wanting to go, a myriad of reasons (excuses too). So my mileage will be down this week, but hey- I figured a little bit of a change wouldn’t be all bad. And hey! I got to run in the run one day this week! I was pretty excited about that!
Truth is… with all of this running… I’ve managed to actually GAIN weight! WTH!!!! I’m hungry all of the time & crave soda & Greek yogurt like CRAAAAAAAZY!!!!! Figures!!! Tomorrow’s run is 18 miles & I’ll have a running partner that I hope to be able to keep up with for at least some of the run. :-) Truth is… I’ll probably get ditched in the 1st 10 mins, but that’s alright. We’ll both be there for each other if we need to be.
Time for me to go hit the asphalt for today’s 4. Happy running y’all!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Expect Nothing

Expect nothing… I heard a sports announcer the morning after one of Phelps’ swims say that we should expect nothing from him, so we aren’t disappointed if he doesn’t achieve what’s expected. Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed. Expect nothing and you may just get surprised. Expect nothing and there’s nothing to look forward to, nothing to propel success. Although, I don’t think we should always expect that someone’s best will always be the same as what it had been four years ago. Expect nothing and you may just win.
Going into this week’s long run of 18 miles, I have to say, I was expecting nothing. I was tired, not mentally prepared & had been so nervous about last week’s 16 miler that, quite honestly, I thought if I got in a good 10, that would be alright by me. So, in that regard, it’s not that I expected nothing, but that I didn’t expect much…
These very hot days are really starting to become the norm around here & frankly, that’s ok to me. The only thing I worried about on what I thought would just be an ok run, was water. I mapped out my route to have water REFILLS every 2-2 ½ miles. The longest stretch would be the last 3 miles home. I set out maybe a touch fast, my 1st 6 miles were all under 10 mins. I really hadn’t expected that, but I felt good.
Expect nothing and you may just get something. I had to have a water break at the VFW, Legion, not sure what its proper name is… I was just hoping there were people already drinking at 2:00 on a Wed. afternoon. Aaaaaaand, there were!!! God Bless the VFW! LOL! This break became a little long, because one of the men needed, really needed, to tell me about his daughter that had been in the Navy & how she is getting into Tris… ugh, ok. She had a name, which he told me, like he expected me to know her… I knew nothing. Anyway, when asked why I was running, I said I was training for the Marine Corps Marathon in Oct. At that point, one of the men offered to buy me a beer. This idea was quickly squelched by one of the other men, he apologized for the man & said, “She’s training!!” Uh… I kinda wanted the beer. Alas, I settled for an electrolyte tab in m’water... The beer’s not something I expected to be offered, but it was a winning idea in my book.
I was feeling pretty ok during most of this run… until… I expected I would finish strong & expected the route I mapped out was a good one & expected I could run this bad boy of a run with not too many issues. I EXPECTED wrong… The last mile was THE WORST MILE IN HISTORY!!!! I became very nauseous, ran out of water, started  to see beeeeeeuatiful blue & red stars & in general, had a nervous breakdown. I walked up a hill (both ways, in the snow) & planted myself in the shade of some trees. At said shady break, I called for help. What a shame I had come all that way & now how to quit was my reaction. Then my reaction was, “THE HELL I’VE DONE ALL THIS WORK & HAVE TO QUIT!” Then my reaction was, “Oh my God, I’ve come all this way, practically collapsed under these trees & am literally being eaten ALIVE by a pile of ants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Just my luck! I should’ve expected that!
Not to be defeated & not to go down without a fight, I stumbled back onto the road, determined to drag my own damn self home. I think I sniffled sad tears a few times, before remembering a nearby neighborhood & their LIFE SAVING POOL!!!!!!!!!! I got to the pool & low & behold there was not only one water fountain, but TWO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn’t expect that. :D When this crazy run was finished, I was proud to say, I managed 18.63 miles, something I hadn’t expected. I even managed a 2 miler yesterday & a 3 miler today. Not bad for this girl, something I wouldn’t have ever expected…
With great expectations can certainly come great disappointment. But with great expectations, there can also be a fire lit from within one’s self. Expect nothing and you may just get something great. But if you always expect nothing, you’ll never have something great to work toward & what a great disappointed that would be.
Get out there, stay safe & hydrated & happy running y’all!