Two weeks ago, I managed to complete 30 minutes on the elliptical on Thursday in lieu of my run, and 4 miles on Friday as part of the start of Dopey simulation/back to back training. I was due for 13 on Sunday. As I was running my 13, I started to think about my update here and compose in my head. I was pretty annoyed with some of the commentary in one of my running groups. I had also been getting more and more frustrated over the month with the lack of commitment from people – both in life and in training.
First, the wishes. I wish, I hope to finish this challenge in January, injury free and feeling good. I wish it was here already and I could just be done already. I know a lot of other people training for Dopey or even just the marathon, and they wish the same. I mean, who doesn’t? But wishing won’t get me there.
As I was running, I was asking myself why I am doing this again. I felt over it already. I wanted to be doing fun stuff with my friends. Sleeping. Anything. My house is a disaster because I spend all my time working, sleeping or training. And by training, that means, running, core, weights, yoga, stretching, foam rolling, walking….. So do I want this?
I’m running and I’m a little miffed that someone online said they didn’t want to interval during the run as it felt like cheating? What? I have asthma. I can’t run more than a few minutes at a time. I’m doing 30 second intervals as I did last time. 26.2 miles is 26.2 miles if you don’t get swept. I felt hurt and offended because we have tried so hard to be accepting of all views and all paces. I mean, I’ve done this before. I’m taking time out to encourage and help, to get slapped in the face by stupidity? If you really believe that walking is cheating, perhaps you should just run a race that isn’t runDisney since Olympian Jeff Galloway does all the training plans and he is an interval advocate. So I’m thinking how does this fit in? It doesn’t, except that for a short time I felt I wasn’t good enough to be doing this. And that makes it so much harder.
So I keep running. I’m doing 30/30 intervals (seconds, not minutes), looking at scenery and taking it nice and slow. Trying to stay slow for training. Trying to ignore that my calf hurts when my foot hits the ground. After the first 6 miles I don’t feel it anymore, and I start to gain confidence. I just want to be done though, because I want to nap before my evening plans which consisted of going to the sports bar for the Redskins Rally – I’m originally from DC and so I’m a fan for life and had never been to a Rally before. They were set to play here the next day and I had tickets.
I stop, I take a photo of a pelican in the wetlands. I think, “There. Character stop.” (I stop for photos as it simulates potential stops during the race and keeps track of me being on pace. I stop, my watch does not.)
So do I want it? I’m slow. I am tired. I feel so lackluster. And then I’m at mile 11. Just get home. I see the Ritz Carlton setting up something on their tennis courts for the kids….I look. I see some guys sitting outside watching the boats. Wait? Does that guy have on Redskins gear? Two of them do, so I give a thumbs up. “Are you a fan?” one asks….He looks so familiar. The larger ones do not have on the gear, but it’s become clear that they were players. Wow. I wish they had numbers on them so I know who I was talking to. LOL. I ask if they are going to the Rally later. One of the players says that just for back office, “…are you going, Coach?” Coach????? OMG. I am talking to Doug Williams. First African American quarterback to play in a Super Bowl. 1988. Won. I watched him. And Joe Theismann, the man who got them to the Super Bowl that year. WOW! Mr. Williams says he likes my shirt – it says “I can and I will.” Asks what I’m doing. I say I’m training for a marathon in January and sorry I am not making sense but it’s mile 11. They tell me, to remember to believe in myself. But also to work hard. You have to want it enough to work harder than you think you can. It was all very inspiring coming from two athletes. I mean, they had a natural gift and said that. I have so much to overcome structurally, age wise, physically (asthma, etc.). I thanked them for their time, and asked for a selfie. And finished my run. I ran the entire two miles home – except while dialing my football buddy to tell her what happened. Best “character stop” ever!
After I got home, I realized….I felt good those last two miles. Why? I mean I hadn’t felt it before. Attitude.
Later that night, Redskins hit me again…..I won the autographed jersey in the raffle that night, and the next day they won. Can’t beat that entire weekend. And to think I would have set off a chain reaction of this not happening had I not pushed myself out there – I’d have been later to the Rally and gotten a different ticket number. But I was early, because I was starving post-run.
While I was talking to another friend who is training, we wondered if we wanted it badly enough – I told her about my struggle through the run. She admitted, that like me, she had fallen off the wagon in terms of daily foam rolling and stretching. It’s so easy to do while watching TV, and yet we don’t. Then it hurts. Then it’s depressing. So then we eat crap. So we said, let’s keep each other accountable. But before we agreed, I asked are you over it? She said she was super excited and that our lackluster attitude was frustration. I mean, why else are we still going? Why would we care if we were injured? I mean there’d be plenty of time to heal. Yet we do. And we keep going. Getting back on the wagon and doing our mileage. And not just mileage. Last weekend I spent the better part of the day at the running store figuring out if the calf strain I have is due to over-correction of my orthotics. My orthopedist said he thought so as I went from pronating to supinating. Tried on every shoe and decided I was better off keeping what I have but using the store inserts.
I continue to work. Sacrifice fun with friends and rearrange schedules to ensure I get all my training in. Turned down dinner with a friend because I really needed to eat healthier and not be tempted. I know people who say they want this, but aren’t willing to eat more balanced, aren’t willing to give up a trip to Disneyland where they’ll eat junk all day…..Aren’t willing to do their exercises on their own, but aren’t willing to train more often with their trainer. They want to be there, but they really don’t want to do it. I hope to continue to want to work hard enough, to be inspired and to finish this.
I write this as I prepare for the Yom Kippur holiday – I will run early Saturday my 5.5 miles. I will have to eat to be healthy. But then I will fast until dinner, where I will carb load and do my 15 on Sunday. Both runs will give me time to reflect on the year, on what I need to do to improve, and to atone on my own. Until next time………………..