2017: A New Beginning

Warning:  Long rambling entry….it’s what happens when you fall off a wagon.

Why do I set goals and once I achieve, bail on the work I’ve done?  I mean when I was a little girl, I took guitar lessons.  I learned to play.  I went to a recital.  OK, that’s it, I was done.  I think at eight years old, I didn’t realize that I could continue to move on – I thought of the recital as graduation.  Done and on to the next activity.  In my running life I’ve done the same.  I’ve skipped training and running when I don’t have a race and end up starting from scratch.

Flashback 2016 – I had done it.  Ran 26.2 miles.  Was in awesome shape.  Near goal weight or just where I should be per my doctor.  Numbers for cholesterol balanced for the first time in my life.  Blood pressure low.  I was strong.  And I was told by Harry to rest.  Let my body heal.  I continued to work out my core but stopped running for a few weeks until I got the OK.  But then I didn’t want to.  I had the post marathon blues.  I had a hard time staying consistent in my running.  I ended up running Hollywood Half Marathon and was less prepared than I would have liked.  But I still PR’ed!  I was about two minutes over my goal time but hit a personal best by 5 minutes.  And if I hadn’t stopped to check out an abandoned fuel table (I mean why?  I had fuel in my pocket, I didn’t need theirs) I’d have made it.  I was ecstatic.  But I was also very lax and stopped respecting the half marathon distance.

In May I ran Tinker Bell weekend at Disneyland.  All three races.  I did the 5K with a friend and her daughter who was 8, walked and skipped through a rainy 10K for photo ops with wings.  And tested new shoes during the half (I had worn for training but wasn’t sure) and paced my friend to her goal time.  It was easy.  Except the shoes hurt.  (Note:  why do manufacturers change their shoes every year and make it hard?  I was just fine in Asics Gel Kayanos up to 20….21 doable for the marathon, but 22, blisters.  And I’m now back in 23s after 9 months of wandering.)

Next race up was Dumbo Double Dare Challenge at Disneyland in September.  Followed by Rock n Roll Los Angeles and Rock n Roll Vegas in October and November.  I wanted to be a Half Fanatic.   In June, my sessions with Harry came to an end.  I didn’t have a goal.  I knew what to do.  And I was out of money.  In August, I had some back issues after moving offices.  I had to stop training.  And I mistakenly stopped doing my core work and rested 100%.  Big mistake.  Dumbo races were slow.  I ran both but at marathon pace.  Both Rock n Rolls were torture.  I ached.  My time was slower than it ever was except races where I walked 100%.  By the time 2017 rolled around I was in pain, overweight again, and just miserable.

Let me back track to April/May again.  Some things happened in my life that are probably trivial to some, but to me felt horrible.  I fell into a major depression.  By July, I wanted nothing to do with anyone.  I even left Facebook for a bit.  My #Firsties all started messaging me to say they were there for me as I had been there for them.  They didn’t know what it was, just that I needed some personal time to sort things out and that I’d be back in time for the height of training.  That’s when I realized that the running had been a great distraction from life….a way to get out the bad energy and feelings and produce endorphins to keep my mood lifted.  I hid most of it pretty well….I mean my family didn’t know what I was thinking.  And I don’t think anyone really noticed I was gone from social media, including family, which only made it worse.  I only had one friend who was aware, but that’s because she was with me at the exact moment I crashed and burned.

So back to 2017…..I’m now in a new year and need to focus and have some fun and break this cycle.  A new goal.  I attended WDW Marathon Weekend where I was signed up for the half.  I went primarily to run that and cheer my #Firsties of 2017 on.  The half was cancelled due to severe weather.  I met up with a friend who was doing the Dopey Challenge – which is the 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon, four days in a row.  She was then scheduled to do the Castaway Cay 5K on the cruise that week, and then coming to California to do the Rebel Challenge (10K and Half Marathon at Star Wars weekend) the following weekend.  I was amazed at her energy.  And the fun she was having.  Even by doing the “resort half” in place of the race – so many challenge runners went out and ran their resorts to get their 13.1 miles that Saturday so they could feel that they earned their challenge medals.  And the support there for them was amazing.  That’s when I started to really think.

The next week I met up with her, and she graciously ran the Star Wars Half Marathon with me slowly.  We decided to have fun, take pictures, chat.  We saw two other friends together and all ended up stopping for donuts at mile 6.  That was an amazing race.  Not the time.  That was bad.  I think my friend was appalled at how slow we were.  But the experience.  During the race she told me about her entire week.  And that’s when it really hit me.  I should do that.  I’m in a milestone birthday year.  Why not start it with registering for a challenge and end it with a huge accomplishment and celebration.  And if I don’t finish?  Well, I tried.  And hopefully, I will have scared myself into shape.

February came and went with second thoughts.  I signed up for Dopey and Castaway Cay anyway.  I walked a half marathon (Surf City) with one of my buddies.  It’s coastal and a great walk.  I had knee issues and had been in pain running the previous week.  The MRI showed nothing.  I got the all clear from the orthopedist to do what felt ok and to be smart.  So I walked.  But my glut on one side was killing me.  I don’t think there has been one race since September where I wasn’t stuffing Biofreeze down my pants.  So I went off to physical therapy.  I’m working on finding a diagnosis, but in all honesty, I think it’s overall weakness and I’ve become misaligned.  I’m very embarrassed to have let myself fall this far.  I shortened my race this past weekend from a half marathon to a quarter to be safe.  I still ache a little and my race photos show me leaning to the left.  I will do all three races at Tinker Bell, but not running as planned….Walking two again and running the half.  And then rest until Dopey Training officially begins.  No more races from May to January unless it fits the schedule.   And yesterday I found out my PT benefit has already run out……So….

Harry Mitterbauer…..If you are reading this, I’m sorry I let all our work go to h*** in a hand basket, I’m ashamed, and I hope that in a few months when I’ve figured out my plan you’ll take me back and threaten me with your bar!  And I want to say….you were right.  And I know you were right.

I will fight my way back….If you’ll have me….

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