Thankful to have to try, try again (even if the gym is closed) … 

I have chosen to keep a pretty darn positive attitude regarding my foot. And up until this morning, I had not wavered from it.

I’m going to tell you a little secret. It IS NOT easy to try to see that everything will turn out fine. That things have a way of working themselves out. To have faith in learning and life. I CHOOSE to think this way. From an outsider’s perspective I’m sure I look a little nuts. Heck, I have even been asked (quite a few times) if my outlook comes from good meds! Nope outsiders, I don’t do drugs and I’m not crazy. Accept it, this is just how I roll.

But I am human. And today I just about had a hysterical sobbing fit in the parking lot of my CLOSED gym.

Over the past 17 years of having children my training or working out has been done while they are asleep or in school. There are some occasions when they are with me too, like when I used to do my miles on the beach with Libs when she was a baby. Or now, when we go to yoga together. I just never felt right about taking time away from them to get it all done. I supposed “mother guilt” drives that. But to avoid it, I often wake up at “undead” hours of the morning. I am a pretty motivated person when it comes to this stuff, so it hasn’t bothered me. I love the quiet of the early morning. I have enjoyed more sunrises that I could ever count. And that feeling of replenished “me” sets the tone for the rest of my day.

Anyway, because of summer schedules and my foot, I have been very much out of my routine. And I HATE it. But now that all is settled (for a few weeks at least) I was excited to have today be my first early long cycling session at the gym.

When my alarm went off this morning I was up and at it! I practically flew out the door I was so excited. But when I got to the gym the parking lot was completely empty … and my heart sank. With the changing of my running miles to cycling miles I am dependent on my gym. I was told I can cycle but only on a recumbent bike and the gym is my only option.

However, it never occurred to me that I have not been to my gym on a Saturday. NOT ONCE since I have joined. I am always out doing my long runs on Saturday. But boy oh boy, did I realized it this morning! I couldn’t believe that all the times I have been there at 5 a.m. have been on a weekday. Who knew?!?! Definitely NOT ME.

So I sat there in my car for a few minutes. First, utterly frustrated at myself. Then, overwhelmed with the thoughts of having to modify my training days (AGAIN) to get these longer “rides” in. And then finally, a sadness washed over me. 

I wanted to run.

I just wanted to be able to go back to my early morning runs. To throw on my running shoes and be out the door. To do what I love, and have it be THAT easy again.

As I sat there feeling badly for myself, I thought that maybe this was THE SIGN. The one that tells me to just give up. To forget Twin Cities. TO MOVE ON. To find another race, another place, another time. But I just couldn’t remain in those thoughts.

I guess I have trained my mind and my heart to think and feel differently. Maybe it’s just part of my chemical make up. But I looked in the seat beside me. My walking boot with my earbuds, armband, water and towel. And I realized … there is a lesson here. There is value in this setback. Amongst all that STUFF and all my emotions, there is something in what happened to me that I must learn from. Perhaps mastering the two steps outside my front door should be at the top of that list, HA!

So, I took a deep breath, drove home, climbed back into bed and got some extra rest.

I have to be honest with you, I’m not sure what lessons I’m learning with this one. I almost wish my injury came from overtraining and not tweaking my foot the wrong way stepping off my porch. I could wrap my head around an injury that came from one too many long runs. This one, has me baffled. But that’s OK, because I am willing to figure it all out … and continue to do as I do … gratefully.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are thankful to have to TRY TRY AGAIN!!!

5:21:47 and nothing to hide …

My official finishing time for the Ventura Marathon was 5:21:47. NOT my fastest marathon and 1:01:47 slower than I had hoped … AND I couldn’t be prouder of myself.

Some of you may be asking, “Why on earth would she want people to know how miserably she failed?”

Let me try to explain …

This morning I went to see my best friend from high school. She is not a runner but she is one of my biggest cheerleaders. And today I asked her to do something I have never asked before. I asked her to look up my finishing time for Sunday.

As I had mentioned before my chip did not register my finishing time. An issue that caused many people to worry about me. And I am SO SORRY that I caused anyone distress. I didn’t know my time hadn’t been posted because my phone overheated and didn’t work for hours. Sadly, it looked like I had never finished. SCARY for anyone who was tracking me.

Anyway, I had heard that my official time had finally gone up, but for some reason when I checked on my phone a message kept popping up saying the site wasn’t recognized. Um … OK. I could have checked on my computer but I really didn’t see a need.

Which is HUGE for me.

I usually need to know my finishing time right away. So much so that one of my best friends text me my finishing time of my first marathon seconds after I crossed the finish line … yes, my friends know I need to know … AND FAST! Well … at least I used to need to know.

Sunday it didn’t matter to me. I knew my first 13.1 miles were pretty good. My Garmin said I was under 2:08 and I had held back hoping it would give me more energy to finish.

No. Such. Luck. My emotions were high, it was hot as hell and my legs were beyond fatigued … but I kept going. Thankfully it was a turn around course so I got to pass all my special spots on the course a second time. Now THAT I loved!

I ended up running the last 6 miles with a woman who was really struggling. She was a few years older than myself and running her typical pace, she would have smoked me! But she was hurt and I was slow so we stuck together. Because I had no music we talked. She kept saying how thankful she was that I was with her. I felt the very same way. She loved my story of why I had come back to run there. It was nice to share how much it meant to me with someone out there experiencing literally every footstep. She learned quickly that I am a crier.

After we wearily crossed the finish line we hugged each other like life long friends thanking each other profusely. Yep, runners are awesome like that. She and I didn’t see each other again. I took a few steps and there was my teammate waiting for me, and thank god, because I was pretty much a mess at that point. IT WAS FINALLY OVER and I was UTTERLY RELIEVED.

Which brings me to my point today. I was done. My race was over. And I made it through all of it despite every hardship I faced during my training and on the course. I wanted to give up,, but I didn’t. I struggled almost daily with pain and self doubt. The thought of failure was awful. But I didn’t let any of it stop me.

My life’s testimony was pretty much summed up in 20 weeks of training and a 26.2 mile victory lap. No matter how bad it hurts or how hard it gets … I won’t ever quit. And I didn’t need a finishing time to prove that.

So Sunday when I literally had no finishing time to pine over … it was OK with me. Perhaps it was being back in Ventura that helped me, but all I could focus on was the appreciation I have for how far I have come since that day in the park over 9 years ago.

So this morning when we learned my official finishing time I sat quietly for a seconds. My best friend, again always my cheerleader, immediately said, “Don’t be upset, it’s great and you finished!” And I turned to her and honestly said. “It IS a great time”.

And why? Because I earned every second of that finishing time! Blood. Sweat. And tears. I earned it. And I earned it, in the very place that I allowed myself to finally believe running was possible again. I pride myself on having a pretty resilient spirit and that day in the park I took a chance at living a little more boldly.

The threat of failure will be there in everything you do. This is a dreamer’s ugly reality. But I can tell you this, the fear of failure is nothing compared to the rewards you get just by believing that anything you dream is possible.

Failure or not … I’m living a dream … and I will never be ashamed of that.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t feel like you have anything to hide!!!