Plants First, Fish Next

The original intent of this journal was to chronicle the trials and tribulations of the struggling twenty-something, as I searched for love and happiness in the small city-burb of ManchVegas, NH. Now, I'm thirty-something, I've found love in many forms, happiness in even more, and now the struggle is just... well... life. And finding time to do the million and one things I want to do- including writing.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Back in the (Training) Saddle Again

Running Partners

With permission from my excellent PT staff, I'm back training again.  It's hard.  Sometimes to the point of being demoralizing.  The first time I did a mile and change I thought I would die on the last hill.  2.5 miles was similarly killer.  Mentally I accept that this is where my body is after taking such a long rest, but emotionally it's a very difficult pill to swallow.  I get into my head, think about how much I lost and how far I have to go....  then it's a downward spiral.  My chest gets tight, the tears sting my eyes, my teeth clench... none of which actually contributes to my running.

The other night when My Runner and I were out on a 2.5 miler, he made a good point (this happens a lot....).  He asked what I was so worried about.  Getting re-injured is my biggest fear.  "Before or after the half-marathon?"  Well, either, really.  "You have to pick one," he pushed.  Well, if I have to choose, it would be before.  I don't have any races scheduled for weeks after the half.  I don't care if I drag my mangled limbs over the finish line as long as they CROSS the finish line.  "Then focus on the smaller races.  Increase your mileage slowly.  If you have to walk to finish the races, so be it.  It beats not being able to even toe the line."  He was right.  I've been worrying so hard about the half-marathon, but I have FOUR races to complete before I even do that. 

I'm working on a new training schedule.  It's all very informal now.  It's been suggested that I track my miles here so I stay accountable, but I'm reluctant.  Partly because I PROMISE THIS ISN'T A RUNNING BLOG.  Partly because maybe I'm not ready to be accountable.  Maybe I'm afraid to really see how far behind I am in numerical form.  It will solidify my feelings of defeat. 

I'm also afraid I'll get hurt again before the next race.  In fact, I did hurt myself again on Saturday.  Luckily, it wasn't lasting and I was able to rest it and run on Sunday, but it was scary and frustrating enough that I couldn't hold back the tears.  Sure, it hurt physically (tweaked my quad when I slipped on ice), but mentally I felt so defeated.   I'm afraid I'll get so frustrated I'll want to chuck the whole thing.  I'm afraid I'll never find running fun again.  I'm afraid My Runner will get so fed up with my negative attitude he'll stop wanting to run with me.

So, as much as I need to work on my training physically, I need to work on my mental state.  I have to find the joy in running, overcome the frustration and negativity.  I found personal joy in running; that's why I invested so much time and effort in it.  I miss that joy.  The feelings of defeat can be overwhelming sometimes, but as I run, as My Runner talks me through my feelings, and as I work through my fears, I'm finding that the negativity is lessened.  I still huff like an ornery Clydesdale going up the tough hills, letting out the occasional ragey groan at how tough it is.  I still feel my chest tighten when I let the bad stuff wash over me.  But it's easier to hold the tide at bay.  Sunday, running 3.5miles for the first time since my injury, I actually found myself smiling and laughing during the run.  I felt some joy at running.  It was wonderful, and I can't wait to run again and work on finding that feeling.  My next training goal isn't distance, it's joy.
Not extatic, but moving toards joyfull....

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home