Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hurdles, Hiccups, and Headaches

Once again, this marathon is quickly creeping up on me.  Yes, AGAIN.  Tecumseh was canceled and rescheduled due to weather last month, so I was "able" to continue training.  These past few weeks have definitely been a test of my patience, stamina, strength, and overall will. 

When Tecumseh was canceled, I honestly felt lost.  For the few days it took for them to decide if it would be rescheduled, I had no idea what to do.  Do I continue training?  Do I find another marathon?  I was seriously scouring the entire planet for a trail marathon in January...even as far as New Zealand.  I honestly felt like a crazy person.  Then, the email came that it had been rescheduled for January 11.  Whew!  Sigh of relief....until reality set it....

Let's see...if the marathon is now a month away, that means I have to do another 20 miler.  It also means I have to keep getting up at 430am 4 days a week.  It means I have to train through not only Christmas, but also New Years.  Ugh.

On top of that, Mother Nature decided to take out all aggressions that she has been bottling up for the past couple mild winters and come down on Northwest Indiana with almost everything she has in December!  We went two weeks without a temperature over 20 degrees, which meant negative numbers at 5 am most morning with the wind chill.  It also meant the trails were covered in snow and ice for most of the long runs on Sundays. 

I wish I could say that despite all of her raging, frigid, snow enhanced belligerent transgressions, I persevered and continued my training flawlessly...but I can't.  I'm human.  I get tired.  I get bad attitudes.  I want to quit. 

I want to quit so badly, it haunts me on a daily basis.  Yet, I won't do it.  I know myself too well.  I will see this through all 26.2 fun, hilly miles. 

I went back and read my first post about running this thing.  I can honestly say this training has changed me.  It brought me out of one of the darkest places I have been.  It brought me back to life.  It might "just be a marathon" to most people, but for me, it has been synonymous with everything I wanted to overcome.  It almost feels poetic that I trained for so long and couldn't wait to run, only to have it postponed.  This marathon has already taught me so much, but one of the greatest is that it is not what happens to you that defines who you are, it is the way you respond and how you overcome what happens.    Bring it on Tecumseh.  And someone please give Mother Nature her meds!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thank You

In three days, I will run the race I have been training for since August.  I feel strong.  I feel ready.  I'm excited to run in the woods of Bloomington for hours on end. I realize I have not posted since my 14 miler in the pouring rain in early October.  It's been almost two months and so much has happened, yet it flew by.

I turned 33.  I ran 3 ridges for a 21 mile training run and survived.  I think I hallucinated during my 18 miler.  I claimed to hate running...more than once.  I cried.  I laughed.  I woke up a few times sore in places I didn't even know could get sore.  I got a blister bigger than one of my toes.  I learned why Sports Shield is a necessity.  I fell in love all over again when my husband let me stay on the couch for an entire Sunday after a really hard run.  I let myself cry.  I let myself be sad.

Of all the things that happened over the past few months, that last one is probably the most important.  I've always put on a brave face.  I'm not one to ask for help.  I'm not one to let go of control very easily. Allowing myself to feel sad and be OK with that, was a milestone. 

No one likes to feel sad. It's just not a good feeling.  What I learned along the way though, was how you react to that sadness that matters.  Just because you let yourself feel the sadness, does not make you a walking pity party.  Instead, it made me 100% more grateful for the people and experiences I do have in my life.  Instead of allowing the sadness to overtake me, I decided to overcome it. 

You can't truly live life if you are always thinking about those things which you do not have.  You can't enjoy the little moments if you constantly wish it was a different scenario. 

I decided to pay more attention to the little details and the moments and just enjoy them.  I spent the past 20 days compiling a list of the people that have helped inspire, motivate, and encourage me through this training.  Each of them played a part in not only getting me through the training, but also helping me through what has been one of the most difficult transitions of my life so far. 

Four months ago, I wasn't sure if I could do this.  In three days, I will cross that finish line.  There is no doubt in my mind.  I am going to enjoy every minute of that race...every hill, every stone, every cold breeze.  I'm going to enjoy it because I never imagined I would be there and for that, I am forever grateful.