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Decisions, Decisions

I’m facing a marathon decision.  Well…it’s actually two decisions as you’ll read later in the blog.   I’ve been thinking about this for months actually.  I didn’t just start thinking about this last week.

It all started after my first full marathon on June 5th, 2011.   About mile 23, I was cursing myself as to why in the hell would I have done this to myself, and, I am NEVER doing this again!  After I crossed the finish line and hugged my family, I sat in the ice bath they provided for us, thank GOD, and then we went to my sister’s apartment downtown Minneapolis where I took another ice bath and then showered.  We left soon after that.  All in all, it was about two hours after the marathon that this thought entered my mind….

I want to do another one.  I want to do the Twin Cities Marathon.

I really couldn’t believe those thoughts had entered my mind and I was a little afraid of them.  I said it out loud to my husband that day in the car on the way home and his answer was simply…”Go for it.”

I forced the thoughts and feelings out of my head and heart because I did not want to make any decisions based on my emotions.  I was physically, mentally, and emotionally drained AND on cloud nine at the same time. I did not want to decide based on any of those feelings.  In my blog “Marathon Memories” recap, I stated that I was going to wait and let some time pass before I made a decision on any future marathons, but, it’s been hard to do that.

On one hand, I can’t not describe the relief it felt to have that over with.  Not just the day, but more the training.  Marathon training and running must be faced with a completely different mindset.  You have to change your thinking about almost everything.  It’s as though you are in a different world.  You worry, obsess, write down, think, worry again about everything you are doing.  You have to be extremely careful what other activities and cross training you are doing as to not injure yourself.  You cannot miss certain runs during training because if you do and you miss too many of them, you are not going to finish…bottom line.  It’s a lot of pressure.

On the other hand, I can’t describe nor explain the feeling inside me that makes me want to do it again, even though I know what I’m in for.  There’s just something deep down there…in my gut…I can’t explain it.  I know how painful it’s going to be. I know how hard I have to work.  I know I’ll be missing sleep.  I know I’ll have to really adjust my schedule.  I know I’m going to be scatterbrained.  I know that during my first marathon training….I was in the best shape of my life.

I can’t describe the feeling of finishing.

Considering all of this for all these months, I also needed to discuss this with my husband and son.  It’s not just about me and what I want to do.  Long runs take a significant amount of time away from the family on weekends.  Our weekends are busy.  Even though the first time, I got up at 2:30am on Saturdays to get in the long runs as to not disrupt our family time, I can’t do that EVERY Saturday either.  And here’s the thing…..my goal changed a little bit, well not really a little bit, a lot bit.  I want to run in the Minneapolis Marathon on June 3rd, 2012 AND the Twin Cities Marathon on October 7, 2012.  I want to do two.  That’s an even bigger commitment.

So I talked with my husband first.  I knew what he would say, but I still like to talk to him about things.  Of course, as I knew, he was completely supportive and told me to definitely go for it.  He feels very strongly that I can certainly do both.  He’s always believed that I could to it…anything really.  He’s so supportive.

Then I talked to my 15 year old son.  But when I told him, I added that I did have some doubts.  I explained my thinking, what I wrote earlier about feeling relieved to be done, the training commitment and difficulty, not being sure that I wanted to get back into all that and for TWO marathons, etc.  He listened and then this was the conversation that followed:

Son:  I think you should do it.

Me:  Why?

Son:  Why wouldn’t you?

            Me:  Well…I’m not sure I want to devote that much time to it again.  It’s a huge commitment.  It’s a lot to                        do.  The training is really, really intense.  I’m not sure I want to go back to that.  But there’s a big part of me that does, so I’m not sure.

            Son:  You are your own obstacle.

            Me:  Yeah, but I’ve already done one.  I know I can do it…so it’s not really that.

            Son:  Yes it is.  You are talking yourself out of it.

           Me:  Hmmmmmm……(and no comment from me at this point)

           Son:  Mom, remember how good you felt when you were done with the first one?

           Me:  Yeah.

            Son:  Then why wouldn’t you want that again?  Just go do it.

And he’s 15 years old.

IF, and that’s IF I go ahead with this, here’s what I would be doing.  Minneapolis Marathon on June 3, 2012.  Twin Cities Marathon on October 7th, 2012.  Registration isn’t open yet for one of them, so I have some time to continue to think. However, I have started marathon training just in case I decide yes.  That way, I haven’t lost any time.

I’ve also thought about not telling anybody that I’m thinking of doing this.  Then if something happens, like an injury or anything else, then I wouldn’t have to explain why I’m not running in the race.  But, for me, that goes against everything that my blog writing is intended to be.  I want to document what I’m doing, what I’m thinking, what I’m feeling.  If I do decide to try for both or even one, and if it happens that for some reason I can’t finish, I have to pull out, or whatever, then that’s part of my journey and it too deserves to be documented.

Whatever I decide, I will know that I thought long and hard and gave the decision very careful thought.

Until I decide, I’ll just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

 

 

 

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Slow, But Steady

Slow, but steady

No headphones….Quiet, peaceful

Sunshine….no clouds

Slow, but steady

Rhythm of feet, rhythm of heart

Spirit soaring

Slow, but steady

Fresh, clean air

Smells of nature

Slow, but steady

Not wanting to stop

Feeling free

Slow, but steady

Completing the miles

Renewed and refreshed

Slow, but steady….and on top of the world.

 

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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Where do I even start on today’s run?  On tap today was 3.5 miles.  It’s the last day of break and I wanted to sleep in, so I planned that in my day.  I woke up, had my breakfast and coffe with hubby, and went out when I felt like it.  I had three routes to choose from, and I ended up choosing to go back to the golf course. 

This blog is titled, “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly”, and here’s why.  On my ‘Runnergal22’ Facebook page in the ‘About Me’ section, I wrote this, “This is dedicated to running….the good, the bad, the ugly. A place for me to share my goals, my stories and my training ups and downs.”  So here it is about today’s run…the good, the bad, the ugly in that order.

The Good:  Anytime that I’m out running is good.  I think that anytime that a person gets out and does what he or she loves to do, whether it’s running, walking, biking, swimming etc…is a good thing.  The even better thing is that I was FINALLY able to use my YakTraks!  Yesterday, I went and walked the golf course as part of my cross training day.  The streets hadn’t been slippery enough during the weekend for me to use the YakTraks and I noticed on my walk yesterday, that there are several parts on the course that are ice.  I absolutely LOVE my YakTraks!  They are light-weight, I could not feel them on the foot strike, and even better, I didn’t slip at all.   

The Bad:  The wind.  It was AWFUL.  It didn’t seem that windy when I took Max out this morning, but man oh man, it was terrible out there.  I usually run the course in order, holes 1-9 and then in reverse, but today I decided to start out on 9 and go backwards.  Hole 8 was the first I felt that south wind, but there are still quite a few trees to block the wind.  Hole 5 was the worst.  It’s very exposed and there was no escaping that south wind.  As soon as I turned to head down hole 5, the wind took my breath away.  You know that dream where you are running but you aren’t going anywhere?  That’s how I felt.  For every step I took, it felt like I was being pushed 4 steps back.  It was unreal.  Hole 5 alone felt like 3.5 miles.  I’ve always said that I’m a slow runner and proud to be.  But today, I felt slower than I have in MONTHS.  I’m not surprised because it was so hard fighting that wind, but man it was so slow going and so difficult.

The Ugly:  I would have to say two things were just plain ugly….the slow pace that I went and then the sasquatch look.  If any of you have seen the 1967 footage from the two men in California who they claim that the saw “Bigfoot/Sasquatch”.  The video is of Sasquatch walking and he/she/it turns and looks at the camera…know what I’m talking about?  Well….at one point after a horrible battle with the wind, I was taking a quick walk break.  Something caught my eye and I turned to my left to look.  What I saw was my shadow….walking and turning.  I looked just like Sasquatch in that video.  Big, plodding along, heavy looking.  Now, if you saw my picture on my facebook page I know that I was bundled up.  However…it reminded me of the fact that I’ve put back on weight that I had lost last spring, which I’m sure is part of the reason I feel so much slower than usual.  I just shuddered at my shadow.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve put back on weight, but good thing I’ve started counting calories on ‘MyFitnessPal’ again.  I love the show “Finding Bigfoot” on the Animal Planet.  Hubby and I watch it every time we can.  They have this saying when referring to the possibility of seeing Sasquatch on one of their expeditions…”It’s ‘Squatchy’ in these woods!”  Well, I could say today, “It’s ‘Sqatchy’ at the golf course today!”

All in all….I do feel good, even though it was difficult.  If I remember, I keep track of my running on a website called ‘The Daily Mile’ and you can log in how you feel. (I don’t always post daily on there and sometimes it’s weeks. But I do like it, if I remember to log in and keep track.)   I would put a smiley face for today because even though it sounds odd, I did feel good running even though it was so flipping difficult to face that wind.  I’m glad I got out there, I’m glad I got the run in, I didn’t give up.  I do believe that facing the tougher conditions out there will help make me stronger.   I came home, stretched, used my tennis ball on sore muscles (I will NEVER give up using my tennis ball after runs), had my chocolate milk for refuel, and had a warm cup of green tea.   A tough run, but a good run, and hopefully it will pay off!

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