4.28.2010

Lesson Learned.

To begin with, I never want to feel or look like this after running ever again.
















Ever.


This past Saturday was the worst I have felt before, during and after a run.
It was my first chance to run with my team (since I work on Saturdays I've been running with Danielle on Sundays instead of with my team) and I was looking forward to meeting everyone and finally feeling part of a team.  Well, I guess I didn't take into account that they have all been running together for 3+ months now, and I was the outsider.
I showed up bright and early and felt like I was in middle school again.

No one talked to me.
No one looked at me.
No one ran with me.

I was all alone on the road (waaaaay behind them all) and missing my running partner like crazy.  I turned on my iPod and tried to listen to the music and just enjoy my run and the view, but I mentally in a bad place.  I was feeling sorry for myself, and hurt that my team left me behind without a second thought.

Around mile 6 my shins started to hurt.  It wasn't bad enough that I felt the need to stop, but it was uncomfortable.  I started eating my GU (running fuel) and drinking more water, hoping to gain some energy and flush the pain out.  I did ok for the next couple of miles, but around mile 9 I started experiencing bad calf cramps.  Knowing that I was only half-way through my run, in pain, and waaaay behind my team (I was going much slower than usual because of my mental state) I was faced with the decision to suck it up and finish strong, or give up.

Unfortunately I chose to give up.  I was pissed off at myself, but I could not muster the strength to pull through.  I finished another 2 miles, got in my car, and headed home.

As I drove home I began to cry.  I was so depressed and upset with myself, and knew that I was the only one that could change all this, but I didn't care.  I was so hurt by my "team" and chose to blame them for my poor run.  I was so upset I even considered calling the TnT training office and telling them that I was only going to complete the half marathon (a distance I know I can accomplish) and to take me off the roster.  Luckily I made myself wait until the next day to see how I felt about it then.

When I got home I walked in the door and realization hit me like a ton of bricks.  I had been feeling low for the past few days and in a really bad mental state and it finally made sense why.  I had not been home much the past week, and things had gotten out of control.  I can usually gauge how I feel and how "in control" I am by the way both my car and my home look.  When I start to feel out of control I stop taking care of things.  Every single dish in my house was dirty (with disgusting food dried on) and clothes were everywhere! 

































This mental state was obviously not the result of just my run that morning.  It had been building for quite some time, and needed to be taken care of immediately.

I drove home to Twin Falls to celebrate my mom and brother's birthdays with the family (post to come) and had a great rest of my weekend.  When I first arrived I was still in a foul mood, but the support from my family quickly turned my attitude around and I was able to put things in a better perspective.

I will leave you with two thoughts that were shared with me that really helped:

1.  My brother Jed's exact words were, "I will tell you the same thing I would tell any athlete I was to train.  You can look at everything as a positive or a negative. This is the only way in which to view life.  You are choosing to see the negative.  You say to me, I was supposed to run 18 miles today, but only ran 11.  look at this way, you ran 11 miles today.  Could you have done that 4 months ago?"

2. My mom and dad's neighbor (Louise) joined us for the celebration.  Without knowing how my training had gone that morning, she sat down to tell me a little story.  She and her husband had given me $25 for my fundraising efforts and put down the name of a woman they knew who is fighting cancer and asked me to run in honor of her.  Louise told me that this lady was back in the hospital as of last week needing to receive chemo treatments again.  When Louise went to visit her, she told her about what I was doing and that I was running in honor of her.  Her reaction was mixed emotions of both surprise and appreciation.  She teared up and told Louise that it was amazing to her that I would run in honor of her when I didn't know her, and that I was raising money to help with people's treatment and support.  She wanted Louise to thank me for her.

I felt like God had slapped me upside the head and reminded me that this training and marathon is not about me.  It's not about what I can or can not do.  It's not about bragging about how many miles I've ran, or successful I've been in raising money.  It's about the patients and their families.  It's about helping a cause that's bigger than me, and being a vessel to bring awareness to a horrible disease and get families help.
And most of all, it's about God, and continuing to give Him praise for all that is happening in, of, and around me.

Lesson learned.