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Posts Tagged ‘Patience’

My niece and I had decided to run in the Quad City Marathon this month.  We were both going to use the same training program so that we could support each other.  Things started out swimmingly.  She’s a bit faster than me, but that’s ok.  We had talked about that and we were ok with running our own race at our own pace.

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Our Playground Workout

I quickly found a friend to train with to help keep me motivated.  Thanks to her, I started getting up early to run.  The hours passed quickly and I enjoyed our time together.  We were motivating each other.  I felt blessed because she slowed down her pace to keep me company and I motivated her to keep going.

I had already modified the training plan to account for my husband’s work schedule.  My kids aren’t old enough to stay home alone and hiring a babysitter that often is just not in the budget.  So sometimes, the run had to go by the wayside so I could take care of the kids.  Thankfully, my running partner was ok with that…she had been there, done that, and was very understanding.

But then injury hit.  My knee acted up for a couple of days, and since I had struggled with it last year during my half, I made sure I took care of it.  Then my plantar fasciitis flared.  That sidelined me for a while.  We did water jogging, weight lifting, bike riding and rested.  It eventually went away.  I thought I was home free, barring the occasional summer cold.

I always knew that I was a slow runner…12-15 minutes per mile is my average, depending on the race and the heat.  The long runs kept getting longer.  The time I spent away from home kept getting longer.  I started getting discouraged, especially when it felt like I wasn’t making any progress.  I just couldn’t get faster.  I was doing ok on the longer runs, for the most part.  But things were slowly breaking down.

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A hot workout…not a great experience

My breaking point was a scheduled 18 mile run.  I knew it was going to take me a while – at least 4.5 hours to finish.  Have you ever thought about what you can do in 4.5 hours?  You can watch all of Gone With the Wind (and have time left over), you can do 3 loads of laundry, you can read an entire book (maybe even 2).  Most importantly, you can help your husband by watching the little kids so that he can work on the home remodel.  And who really wants to get up at 4:15 in the morning to go for a run so that you can be home in time to do other things?  Not this girl…so the run didn’t happen.  Family first.

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Kiddos reading in the hallway

 

It was at that point that I started feeling like maybe the full 26.2 wasn’t going to happen for me.

Over the next few days, I talked to my niece; I talked to my running partner; I talked to my husband; and I talked to myself.  It was a difficult decision.  I knew I could do the half.  I did one last year and I had felt reasonably good during my 12+ mile runs.  But deep down, I wanted my first marathon experience to be good.  I did not want to be that runner that was crossing the finish line after 6.5 hours…with the finish line being partially dismantled, the sag wagon dogging my footsteps, not having seen any of the race volunteers or refreshment tables for the last 2 hours.  I wanted to cross the finish line earlier than that.

I wanted my marathon experience to be good…not a straggling, suffering, guilt-laden one.

At that point, I decided to do the half.

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My favorite view on my favorite path.

It was a load that fell off my shoulders.  I felt good about my decision; disappointed, but good.  I felt like I was letting people down; that I was giving up.  To a certain extent, I still feel that way.  But I know that I’m not ready to run 26.2 miles the way I want to run them.  Making that decision freed up my time to focus on my kids, the big projects we have going on at home, and to focus on my husband (not in that order).  While he supports my running and is at every finish line he can be at, he didn’t like me being gone so long, running alone in the partial dark, and running the chance of getting hurt.

I know that when I lace up my shoes on Sunday to run the half, it will be fine.  He will be at the finish line waiting for me with a hug and a kiss.  Most of my kids will be there to surround me with hugs.  They will be proud of me no matter what distance I run.

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What a great way to ring in the new year!  I decided to get involved with my local running club this year and this seemed like a good way to get

The crew willing to run in 20 degrees!

The crew willing to run in 20 degrees!

started.  For the last few years, they have held a New Year’s Day Fun Run/Walk.  They essentially have 3 routes figured out – a 2 mile out-and-back, a 3 mile out-and-back, and a 4.5 mile loop – you pick your distance and speed.  My sources say they run NO MATTER WHAT.  And from what I can see, that’s true.

When I got up yesterday, it was cold.  Forecast was 13 degrees and I’ve never run at that temperature before.  So I layered up – thermal pants under running tights, thermal long-sleeve top under a short-sleeve T under a Carhartt hoodie.  I added a pair of gloves, and my new neck gaitor and stocking hat I received for Christmas.  I figured I would be warm enough…..

I only knew one person when I got there, but quickly made some new acquaintances.  Everyone was super welcoming.  Luckily, the person I knew offered to run with me for a while, which was good because I made myself keep going, when I ordinarily would have slowed down even more.  I know that I was slower than her usual pace, but it was nice to have the company.

Alma & I  (I'm in the back)

Alma & I (I’m in the back)

When it was time for me to turn around, she kept going, but I met up with someone else on my way back and finished the run with her.

My time for the race (as per my Garmin) was 47:35.  Not a great time, but given that the sidewalks weren’t completely clear and I haven’t run much in the last few weeks, I’m ok with it.  If nothing else, it gives me a benchmark for the year and I have something to work on.

I was happy to use this as my Resolution Run for the challenge issued by Run to the Finish & Mommy Run Fast.  My running this year is going to force me to be patient with myself and to be patient with my family.  I often get too anxious about making progress – or rather not making progress as fast as I would like.

Here’s what I learned on this run:

  1. I need to work on my clothing.  I was really cold on the way out, but only slightly warmer on the way back.  Maybe I would have been warmer on a longer distance, but not yesterday.
  2. can come out of my shell when needed to meet new people….even my funky shoes helped me start conversations.
  3. Running with someone is fun and pushes me to keep going…which means I also really need to work on my endurance….(see, patience again!).
  4. I’m looking forward to some of the running club’s group runs.

Did you run on New Year’s?

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I have been reading Amanda Brooks’ blog @ Run to the Finish for several months now.  Her posts are insightful, funny, and make me feel as though we are just hanging out.  She runs BestFoot challenges during the year.  I haven’t done any of them so far, but I liked the one for January 2013 – Golden Mornings.

GoldenMornings[15]

The challenge is to spend the first 5 minutes of each day in contemplation – mediation, affirming, free writing, whatever – as long as you connect to yourself.  I usually spend my mornings rushing around because I have overslept or because the girls aren’t moving fast enough (because I overslept).  I bought a small notebook and will leave it by my bed so that I can do this challenge as soon as I wake up.  Instead of hitting snooze 6 times, I will only hit it 5 (grin).

I’m looking forward to this challenge.  Mainly because I am going to tie it in to her One Word for the Year.  My word for the year is Patience.

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My family will tell you that I am not a very patient person.  I want things to be done NOW and I am too quick to jump to conclusions.  I need to stop and think before I react.  I need to realize that results will come.  Things can’t always come when I want them.

My lack of patience affects more than just me.  It affects my husband and my kids.  It affects my job, my workouts, and my health.  My lack of patience causes stress, which ends up spiraling into other things.  I’m hoping that by focusing on being more patient this year things can improve in my life.

What’s Your Word?

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