Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Thursday Post on Last Saturday's Run

Work has been... shall we say, nuts.  Copyediting the blog post I wrote Saturday took longer than normal. I hope you enjoy...

Even though I get to “sleep in” and get up at 6:30 on days of my long run, I was having second thoughts of driving 20 miles to The Dock (aka Dock 52) to meet my friends and throw down some miles. This had been a particularly long week at work and getting mid-week runs in were 2 miles on the few days I did run. My half-marathon is 5 weeks away and while lying in bed, it seemed like I should just keep mounting the excuses of why I shouldn’t go…
  • I’ll never help me set a PR at my half. 
  • The half will hurt regardless if I go or don’t.
  •  I hate hills. (The half that half is full of them.)
There are so many ways of talking yourself of running or being your best.  The problem is that when we talk ourselves out of being our best and putting our necks on the line (to be our best) we are shortchanging ourselves and those close to us.  Naturally, in the early hours of the morning, the logic of what it means to ignore one’s greatness did not enter into my conscious mind. I knew that if I didn’t mount the courage to throw back the blankets and get out there and run, I would be kicking myself how I wasted the morning. I did not think about the perils of not stepping into my essence and the greatness that I am designed with. I threw back the covers for the simple and aching need to get out and run. (Seeing friends was a huge factor too.)

Sickness and volunteer obligations waylaid my friends, but I met two new members of the running group and we shared a mile and conversation together. It was just the three of us and since they were considerably faster than me so I suggested that they do the workout they need to do and we’d see each other along the bike path at some point. When they took off, I settled in and just ran… And somehow at my pre-operative pace.  Five of these miles were just me and my thoughts…

Despite my rough week at work and an anticipated rough week in the days ahead, none of that mattered as I laid miles behind me and just had miles ahead to think. As much as I love running with people, the solitude of long distance running is a terrific way to work out a myriad of things.  And even though I…
  • Was hesitant to lace up my sneakers
  •  Considered turning my car around when I didn’t see the rest of my running friends at the dock
I was supremely grateful that I dug my heals in and kick-started my Saturday with 6 miles. Just me and the road. As fatigue from the previous week melted away, all I had to think about
  • My to-do list
  • Sing random phrases of songs that came and went with the breeze
My training schedule no longer mattered. I was just running to see what I could see.

This is where I’ve been wanting to get to. I cannot ignore my training schedule since it exists to get me to my half-marathon, enjoying the runs and running for the love of running is something I’ve been craving to get back to after the rough summer. Now, I that I have a finger-hold on this desire, I need to keep moving forward and remember my desire on the days I don’t want to get up and run. I must keep my momentum so I can get back to where I can just run 10 miles (or so) for the sake of it. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Resolutions Are Not For Me

The New Year brings the question, “What is your resolution?” I’m inclined to say, “F* that." Resolutions, it seems have set us up for failure. If they work for you great, but too often we think of resolutions as a wish. It is my firm belief that this is why the San Diego Marathon is so popular— it is 18 weeks after New Year’s Day…. The length of most training schedules. If a resolution helps one begin an active lifestyle, I am not going to fault anyone, but I think we need to think of small shifts if we really wish to make an internal and lasting change. A resolution is often so big and grandiose that we either lack the ability to accomplish it or once accomplished we have a one and done attitude.

I do not want to be a one and done with anything I do.  Often I find myself speaking in terms of “my first marathon.” To date, IT’S MY ONLY MARATHON. Did I want to die at mile 20? Sure, but I want to do another one… I just put doing a marathon on my post surgery “Life’s To Do List,” but I didn’t make a resolution to do it. I want so much more, and I’m convinced that many want more for themselves too. We put so much weight and importance in the resolution, it offers little grace to fail and have setbacks.

The New Year shouldn’t be our only time for rebirth and reinvention. We have the ability to reinvent ourselves and/or tweak ourselves at anytime. We can engineer and design our lives for the greater good- We were designed to be perfect and even though we may have flaws in our own eyes, we are still perfect in the eyes of God, our Father.

When people ask me if I have made any resolutions, I simply say, “no.” This “no” is followed by an elaborate list of goals I set in motion for myself to accomplish in 2012. Included in the list is to lose the “tumor weight” and to run two half-marathons. Despite setbacks of being sick after Thanksgiving and indulging in revelry during the holidays, I reignited my training schedule for the February 19 half marathon upon returning to California after the holidays.

Last Saturday my running buddy and I had our first run it what seems like forever. We pushed each other for speed and distance. I am truly indebted to him. I have been lacking speed and we just kept going- jabbering at each other the whole way. Sunday, I cross-trained riding my bike. This is a HUGE accomplishment. I feel like I can say now that I am more of a runner because I CORSS TRAIN.  It wasn’t far, and I can run a heck of a lot faster, but considering I couldn’t ride my damn bike a year ago, to be able to ride 3 miles in the neighborhood felt good.

I wasn't able to find a picture of the
Chandler Blvd in my neighborhood...
Here is another well-known Chandler.
I feel like I’m finally getting a handle on my new position at work and I was able to throw down 4 miles before heading to the office. I wasn’t a huge fan of the route I chose and some portions were precarious to run on. I did run past my neurosurgeon’s office. As much of a joke as it was the first time I ran past his office… psychologically it is the tip of the hat I crave while on my mid-distance runs. Without his steady hand and care I would not be thriving as well as I am.

Resolutions? No, they’re not for me. I have to think in terms of backdating to race day… backdating to shoot day  (for my short). I haven’t resolved to do anything. I simply have goals and a to-do list I need to accomplish.  Two roads diverged in a wood. I took the one without resolutions, and that has made all the difference.