Saturday, February 26, 2005

Living in the moment

Hey y’all.


Is it a little echo-y in here? Is there anybody still here?

It’s been a while. I’ve been running though. And there’ve been all sorts of stories I wanted to tell you guys. Like how on Monday morning, I re-ran the route that kicked my ass way back when (three weeks ago?) and it’s still limping from the pain of the ask-kicking I administered. The hills, they were nothing. They were wimpy, girly hills. I laughed at the hills. (Yes, the whole point of my story is how awesome I am. What of it?)

And I never told the other post-sunset runs, this week and last, on new routes and old ones, responsibly partnered up so that the boogie men of the urban nightscape kept their distance. It was fun, having someone to talk to, and it was even more fun realizing that I was in better shape than two of my three buddies. (Who’s awesome? That’s right, me.)

I didn’t find time to write about the friends I’m making at the Saturday TNT group runs, where there’s always somebody running at my pace, and where everyone is friendly and excited to be out there (no matter how unpleasantly early and cold it is), and also freaking out a little about raising enough money.

One day I’ll get around to talking about my two running coaches, who are like the two sides of a drama mask. Well, neither one is crying, but they’re polar opposites is what I’m saying: the everyman and the superman. The “if I can do it, and do it with these extra 30 pounds that I just can’t shake, then you sure as hell can, too” and the “I, who compete in Ironman races, frequently, with my Ironwoman girlfriend, and our Ironpeople friends (and will, one day, with our Ironchildren), will help you normal people in this easy marathon, because with my help you shall all become Ironpeople.”

And I need to update you all on the Life-Altering Orthotics (of doom)™ which I am now reserving judgment on, because although my knees still get sore, my shin splints, which I had so accepted as a necessary part of running that I didn’t even think to complain, disappeared completely. Immediately. And anyway the doctor told me to wait two weeks before following up. And Coach Niceguy thinks that the knee pain will get better with more running, because the muscles around the joints will grow to support them.

But all that is for another time, because today I want to talk psychology. Here’s what’s funny: when I tell people about this marathon, and how much fun I’m having training, I always say “but it hasn’t gotten hard yet.” Or “but we haven’t gotten up to really long runs yet.” And “well, we’ll see if I still feel this way when we’re running 15 or 20 miles.” The main reason I do that is for insurance. I am enjoying myself right now, but if it stops being fun in two months or next week, I somehow feel it’s important that no one be able to tell me, “I told you so.”

I approach every week with apprehension, that this will be the week where it stops being fun and easy and starts getting scary and hard. Last Saturday we ran six miles, and I felt great. Ergo, my warped brain concluded, six miles is not hard. But this week, well, that was going to be eight miles, and that would be hard. But guess what? I ran eight miles this morning, and even though I didn’t sleep all that well last night, and wasn’t feeling great when I woke up, I powered through, and the last two miles felt phenomenal. “So what,” my superego scoffs, “eight miles is no big deal. Wait until next week. We’ll just see how you handle double digits, sucka.”

Somewhere along the way, I forgot that this is all new to me, and that just running—let alone 5 days a week—is a feat to be proud of. And being able to sneer at four hilly miles is pretty amazing too. Last week, even before this morning’s eight miles, I had racked up 18, and enjoyed myself along the way. And while I’m thrilled that this process hasn’t become painful, I need to remember that that’s not the same thing as its being easy. I need to stop devaluing these accomplishments just because the masochist in me isn’t getting her thrills yet.

So, in conclusion, I rule. That is all.


Blogger susie said...

Congratulations superwoman!! Seriously, you are doing great. And I have a feeling those extra miles won't be too hard for you. Run strong!!

11:56 AM  
Anonymous BD said...

Most of my training felt much the same.

It took me days to psyche myself up mentally to run 8 miles. Now 8 is nothing. It's a standard run. It is fun and easy most of the time. And the times when it is hard and challenging? Well, they are fun and rewarding in a different way.

You do RULE!

1:45 PM  
Blogger warren said...

You rule!

2:21 PM  
Blogger David said...

What an awesome confident attitude! The best part is that you're training up to that marathon at a nice inch-it-up pace; okay miles-it-up pace. You ARE superwoman!

7:00 PM  

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