So I woke up this morning and decided I didn't WANT to run. First I skipped my normal morning run time to stay home with Tripp hang out and even clean telling myself I would run after I dropped him off. I dropped him off at school and decided I would push it back just a little to go tan, but during my tan I decided I was just going to skip it all together. I was going to go shopping do something without a schedule just enjoy me time. I did fight with myself the whole 20 minutes saying I bet Kara, Des, Janet, Shalane, on and on never just don't want to run. What is wrong with you? You are less than a month away from this big race its such an honor and you don't want to run. I even cried on my way to Target, what a loser I was skipping running and not even caring. Before you judge me and think wow she doesn't even deserve this I'll tell you how I think I got here.
Do you remember what it was like when you first started running? Just go and run, no Garmin, no time, no goal just go and run. Let your mind wonder, run until you thought that was far enough. It felt SO good! After I qualified for the trials I became this crazy obsessed person! EVERY run was a concern for me. Even on easy days I would strap on my Garmin and watch it like a hawk. "What mile one was 5 seconds slower than the last time I ran this course, why does this slow pace hurt so much push harder, crap I'm not going fast enough". It started to be that I wanted to push every day. My easy days had to be the same pace or faster than the one before. Workouts were great! Slowly the mileage would increase, some days were doubles, long progression runs were so awesome! I didn't really see what I was doing to myself.
Than I got this awesome opportunity to go to Japan! I was so super excited, but at the same time I didn't want to change the race schedule I already had. Which ended up meaning that over the course of 3 weeks I would only be home for 9 days with my family. Of course they were supportive and as most runners know when you are feeling good you want to run every race you can make it to. When I would tell someone my schedule they would say wow how are you going to handle that? Even Scott kept reminding me non of these races are going to be PR's you are just going to have to reconcile that, this is marathon training. I pretended like I was ok with that but than I was disappointed in my time in Japan, I was pissed that I ended up getting sick in Vegas and only running a 1:16 and than there was XC. I actually wanted to contribute to the team this year. They all just nagged at me. At the same time the few days I was home I was so worried about making sure I was spending time with my family that I had myself on this nutty schedule. It got to a point that I would make sure I was at my first run at this time than lifting/core was at that time and my second run had to start at this time. Most days all of that would be within four hours. I knew it wasn't ideal but I didn't know how else to make it work. I would run a ten mile, lift and do core than have my second run within an hour from finishing my first. It was wearing me out. Than to top it off I was doing everything alone not because my friends didn't want to run but because I was being a nut.
While walking through Target shopping I was trying to figure this out in my head. How did I get here? As my friend Bri reminded me earlier this week "Remember how bad you wanted this, this was all you worked so hard for". I could look at the last page of Running Times and see the picture from the 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials and think "Wow that is so amazing look at those women" and not see that I was lucky enough this time to be one of the women in that race. I came up with I forgot how to LOVE running. Time, pace, distance, everything had become so much more important. I do want to point out this is no ones fault but my own. My coach wasn't the one pushing me to do this in fact he is more concerned with my recovery and workouts than the easy runs, I was doing this to myself. It's great to be competitive but sometimes you just need to listen to your body and run. After spending way too much money I was sitting in my car waiting for Tripp to get out of school reading Twitter when I came across Josh Cox tweet
"Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit" George Sheehan
This couldn't be anymore true! What was wrong with me I am in great shape, I love running I was just getting to myself this was stupid.
I picked up Tripp went home did a nice easy short run. No watch nothing just my nice 4.5 mile loop. Than tonight while the boys were wrestling I set out on my 10 miler. I put my Garmin on and promised myself I wouldn't look. Just run, run by feel, enjoy it who cares how slow or fast you run. The result???? It was the best run I have had in a long time. Just carefree and wonderful. I really do love everything about running! And want to know the funny thing? I ran it in the same time I always do! My body knows what the pace is, it wasn't slow at all. It was only different because I turned my head off and ran! I wasn't all worked up over anything. It was a cold, crisp, beautiful night and I enjoyed every mile of it! Sometimes I let my head rule everything. The races kind of frustrated me and I talked myself into thinking I'm not in as good of shape as I thought I was. The marathon is getting so close and I'll be honest I'm getting very scared! I've never run one before I always swore I wouldn't but now I am going to and not knowing what to expect was freaking me out. I've had a lot of issues with taking GU and drinks on my long runs so I told myself I was going to crash in the race. Let's be honest talk is cheap. I have been telling myself for so long now that I was going to run in the trials it's going to be awesome, no pressure on yourself just enjoy the experience. The truth is yes no one else has put pressure on me, but I have! I have a goal time and I want so badly to achieve it. But it's not the end all be all. There are four goals for this race.
1) Finish so you can call yourself a marathoner!
2) the acceptable time- you know the time you will run if not everything goes according to plan but you could run it on any given day
3)the realistic time- this is the one all of your training runs are pointing to. The time you will run if things go right.
4) the ultimate goal! Now this is the one I've only achieved at a few races.It's the time you put out there that you will hit if the running gods are on your side that day. EVERYTHING goes right and somehow you find this crazy extra gear.
I guess my point is I'm sure running is hard for everyone at some point. I'm sure even the girls at the top struggle from time to time with motivation, pressure or time issues. (Ok at least I hope!) I had a lot of people over this weekend for an awesome holiday party were I was asked several times "How do you do it? How do you run so hard? You make it look so easy" The truth is I have no idea how I do it and it is anything but easy! Even during the best opportunities it's a hard balance between family, kids, friends and running. The main thing is I really do LOVE running and I am so incredibly blessed with this opportunity to run in the OLYMPIC TRIALS! I can't even tell you the support I have from my community. All of my friends and family are excited for me! There is a chance I will have the most crowd support on race day so many friends and family members will be there! I even have that weeks vacation after the race with my brother/sister in law, nieces, brother and my amazing family to look forward to! I'm a VERY lucky girl!
So yes I am CRAZY! But now when I wake up tomorrow I will be excited to go run and the big race is getting so close!!!!!!! All in the span of a day I lost/gained, loved/hated, needed/dreaded and came to terms with running. I hope you all realize I am not being ungrateful I only wanted to share this with you so if you ever come to a point in life and you question why you are doing what you are doing that it's normal. And hey on the bright side I'm sure you aren't nearly as cray as me!!!!!!! :)