Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Running into Walls

I haven't ran since Saturday. Let me tell you guys about that. After Friday's great running/walking debacle, I really wanted to go running just to run. No pressure, no expectations, I just wanted to run for pleasure. It was supposed to be a rest day, but my legs felt fine and I was ready to go. So I make it through my warm-up walk and start running...I don't know at what pace, I didn't care. Probably still pretty slow though. At about half a mile I realized that I wasn't enjoying the run like I had hoped to. At a mile, my legs were screaming and cussing at me, and I felt really worn down. I made it about another .2 miles (roughly), and then my body simply stopped. I never even made the conscious decision to stop running. It honestly felt like one minute I was running, and the next I was just standing there scratching my head!
Ironically, I have not beat myself up for Saturday's experience like I did for Friday's. I feel pretty certain that I just pushed my body a little bit too far last week, and it finally got tired of my sh*t. In one week, I went from barely being able to run a mile to running almost three. That's a lot for one pair of legs to process. So I decided that giving myself a couple of days of rest was definitely in the mix.

If my body hit "the wall" on Saturday, that was nothing compared to what happened to my mental state. Most of the rest of the next couple of days was spent curled up in a ball and sobbing. Nobody knew what was wrong with me, and I was hard pressed to explain. I'm still not completely sure myself. I'm sitting here typing explanations out, and erasing them because they don't sound right. Its hard to put into words what doesn't have any words.

One thing it will be helpful to know about me is that I'm not really much of an achiever. I'm more of a giver-upper. I gave up on college (several times), gave up on writing, gave up several work-from-home schemes, gave up on being a vegetarian (THAT little phase lasted all of 2 weeks), gave up on yoga, gave up on weight loss more times than I can number, I could go on, but you get the point. My entire life is littered with phases that I went through, threw myself into, and then gave up on. Its literally a part of who I am. This time is different, but is it? I'm so tired. How can I put this? I have come far enough with my running to know that improvement is possible, mini-goals can be achieved and turned into bigger goals, which can also be achieved. I know that right now my body is capable of doing more than I ever thought possible. I know that if I continue to work, I can continue to achieve. Also, I have done things a little bit differently this time. I have a running partner who counts on me to do this with her. I have a blog that I decided to put out into the universe keeping me accountable. Most of my Facebook statuses for the past two months have been about running. Sometimes I even take my kids with me, and they've also seen me work trying to achieve this. ITS NOT LIKE I CAN JUST BACK AWAY FROM THIS. That is supposed to be a good thing, but over the past few days, it has turned into a paralyzing fear. The old Jennifer hasn't gone away. She's in the background, always, irritating the hell out of me. She is very impatient and wonders why we haven't run a marathon yet. She is sick of running, she is sick of trying, and she's pretty damn pissed off that she hasn't smoked in over 3 months. She wants a cigarette desperately.

I'm not used to holding her off for this long. Most of the time, she eventually gets her way and something else goes into the "tried it and failed at it" pile. Now all of a sudden, I have strangers from around the country reading my story and telling me that I'm amazing, that I'm an inspiration. While SHE laughs bitterly at that, I'm actually very touched and very much like the idea of being an inspiration. I want to keep doing that inspiration thing for as long as I can!

So, anyway, back to my sob fest this weekend. I guess what I've been trying to say this whole time is that I am exhausted, mentally and physically. I'm tired of fighting myself. I'm tired of hating myself, I'm tired of being so mean to me. But I don't KNOW any other way. At this point, I am in completely uncharted territory. I am terrified and I feel very helpless. I feel raw, I feel broken, I feel hopeless, I feel beat-down. I also feel like an idiot for blogging about this, but I have always and WILL always come to this blog from an honest place, if not a pleasant one.

I'm doing a little better today. Writing all of this down is so cathartic. I think I have a little fight left in me....maybe enough to go for a run tonight.


  1. *Hugs*
    You are STILL an inspiration to me, even if you aren't even sure where you are on the journey.
    I hope and pray that you will believe in the TRUE you enough to keep going, and that you will let the OLD you fade into the background, getting quieter and quieter as your accomplishments, and your awesomeness give her less and less of a voice.

  2. Wow. For starters -and you've heard this before, I'm sure - you're a good writer. I'm glad you put it out there. Secondly, and maybe this doesn't apply to you but I'm betting it does, please mentally "delete" any comments from folks who've known you forever and imply this is "just another phase." You're already doing a damn good job on the negative self-talk. Start protecting yourself fiercely from anyone else's negativity and soon enough, you won't accept it from yourself either.

    You rock, sweetie!

  3. Oh my lord. I am so glad you sent me the link to your blog on my blog. lol. I was YOU about 3 or 4 months ago. I have always been down on myself and have suffered from self defeat. Here is what you do: STOP. It really is that simple. If you haven't already, read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. You have to KNOW that you are capable of all things. You have to KNOW that you are going to be an amazing distance runner. You have to KNOW that you truely are inpiring. You must know this, or you can throw away those running shoes right now. The most important part of training (and transforming yourself) is the mentality of it all. It is all in your head. Your mind controls your body. When you feel down in the dumps and can't even imagine going for a painful, greuling run.. do it anyway. Get out there and instead of thinking negative thoughs of any kind, just say to yourself, 'I am amazing to have the courage to get out there and do this. I am going to do this and nothing will stop me'. Don't get me wrong, you sound determined. I don't doubt you will go all the way, but since I just did this, I feel compelled to tell you that this is nothing but part of the training process.
    I should also tell you what no one told me until I was running 6 miles a day. The first two miles? ALWAYS SUCK. The two mile mark was my hardest to get to... but after I did it a few times, I just kept on trucking. Don't be down on yourself for stopping to walk for a second. That is what running is. No one talks about that either, but rarely to runners in half marathons and marathons run straight through without some walking breaks.
    Anyway, just keep in mind, when I am on a 10 mile run, the first two miles always suck. After that, a little runner's high kicks in... any pain usually goes numb.. and you are good.

    You know inside that you will succeed. You won't let yourself down. The first step is realizing that and don't let ANYTHING get in your way.

    Okay, sorry for the ramble. lol Keep us posted!