My get up and go just got up and went

Confession time: I ditched my long run today.  Yep. Guilty. Sitting here with a good ol cup of Duncan Donuts coffee and a case of “my give a darn is busted”.  I don’t want to be an adult today.

I have had a week of…lets call them “Challenges”.  I have had emotional and physical walls to hurdle. Crazy  emotionally zapping days at work, and long days that never seem to end when you get home.  Those days where you struggle for every inch of progress all day long, longing to just go home and rest and restore for the next day only to find your house has been turned upside down, and nothing goes as planned there either- and you just fall into bed exhausted just to get up and start again the next day. Now we all have days like this…the days that Shall Not be Mentioned- ya know? I expect days like this every once in a while.  I just don’t expect them every single day, All Week Long.  So I was tired this morning…and my give a darn seems to be a bit broken. I’m not even sure I have all of the pieces I need to put it back together any time soon ;).

This was supposed to be my first ‘long’ run day.  I only had 5 miles to run…but I just didn’t WANT to.  Now I know, in the midst of marathon training, that I ran in rain, freezing temperatures, and other crazy conditions.  My give a darn was fully functional…hyperdrive even.  So what gives? Does this bode poorly for my half marathon training?  Am I doomed to fail even before I start? Will I ever recover???

Oh the crazy train inside our minds and hearts some days! Its amazing how fast we can hop on the self doubt and demoralization train. Well today I am NOT playing that game.

I could choose to beat myself up over today.  In the past I am sure I would have.  But for today, I think I will choose Grace.  I am going to give myself Grace for having one bad day after a VERY horrible no good awful week.  Sometimes you measure up and just come up short….and that’s OK.

Running is 80% mind over matter and 20% physical effort.  If the brain isn’t in it, then the body just won’t follow.  I could have forced myself out there today, to grind out some herky jerky miles….get fed up, walk, and wonder why I even bothered.  Instead, I chose to take a mulligan.  Today I chose to give in…and to give myself permission.

Sometimes its Ok to acknowledge a rough patch.  I usually just bull on through and push and push…but its Ok sometimes, to honor the struggle and allow for some rest, rejuvenation, healing.  My actual half marathon training doesn’t even  start for 2 weeks.  I am in the prep stages.  I only need to work up to a 6 mile run by then, and I am already at a fairly comfortable 4.  Life won’t stop if I give myself a break today…but it surely will fall apart if I keep pushing at already straining seams!  This very idea chafes at me though, because I am not by nature, a restful person.  This may shock you, but I am a go go go, push push push, kind of gal.  I like to reserve grace for others and don’t generally give it to myself.

God is Grace after all.  He continually gives us grace when we stumble, fall off the faith wagon, or just plain have a bad day and forget how to be a nice civil human being.  He gathers us up, brushes us off, gives us a big warm hug, and reminds us that tomorrow is another God blessed day. He’s our number one fan, always there to cheer us on, but also there to pick us up, help us get back on our feet and tell us that tomorrow can be better.

In Psalm 23,David says:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.[a]
3 He restores my soul.

David knew…he had after all, had some amazing highs, but also some very bad, no good, awful days….he’d come up short a time or two and needed restoration and grace.

So for today, I will try not to want…not to want to be more than I can at this moment, not to want to push beyond my limits for today.  I will try to slow down today and to rest.  I cannot rest in the pastures or wash in the water if I am continually running running running past them.  For today at least, I will stop and rest, restore, refresh. I will give myself Grace to put aside my agenda and plans…and simply rest.

I am sure that I will get back up, dust myself off, and run like the wind…just not today.  Today I am looking under the couch for the pieces to my ‘give a darn’…let me know if you find any of the missing pieces! 😉 I know I can get it going again eventually!!!

Off to the races!

Why yes, it has been a long time since I posted on here.  No I haven’t died, gotten an injury, or stopped running.  I HAVE however slowed it down, dropped back to 1-2 easy short runs a week…gotten rather lax about running.  Call it a vacation from Marathon training if you will. Or call it like it is…tired of running, don’t wanna have to…not gonna do it…you can’t make me…..blah blah blah.

Well vacation is officially over, and half marathon training season is here! I can say that I am 70% excited to have an iron clad schedule to stick to again ( I really am BAD about skipping out on runs if I am not in training).  I am 25% anxious and dreading the grind of being tied to a schedule, and 5% worried that even tho I just managed 26.2 miles, I just won’t be able to run the 13.1 that I have to for a half. Only as good as your next race and all that…

Superhusband and I ran 4 miles this morning.  It. Was. Hot.  We didn’t get going til around 7:15 and by then it was a sauna-like 85 degrees with 70% humidity….ugh.  As per usual, I was whining and hating life for the first mile.  Once I got over myself and my legs figured out that we were not just going for a short jog, I evened out and ran pretty well.  Apparently my muscle memory from all that training is still in play.  For the first mile all I wanted to do was stop and walk, but after that, my cruise control kicked in.  My cardio however, was a bit glitchy.  Apparently my lungs were still on vacation.  I huffed and puffed more than I would like, and that never really did settle in…but I’ll take what I can get and be happy about the 4 miles. Call me the little engine that ran 4 miles.

As I write this, I can tell that I will be a bit stiff tomorrow. Its time to shake off the cobwebs and get my body back in running shape for sure!  Mentally and emotionally I feel great.  I’ve been feeling petulant and emotionally blah…and this was a nice, mental spring cleaning.

I didn’t realize it, but somewhere along the way, I really have become a true runner…one of those people who doesn’t just run for physical gain, but also runs for emotional and mental well being…ick…ah well, what’s done is done I suppose!

So, once more into the breach…except this time its a bit less…well…breachy.  I am not flinging myself out into the abyss of a full 26.2 but rather into my more comfy zone of 13.1.  I have signed up for a doozy of a schedule though!  In addition to running a 5K a month, I will be running a half marathon in Oct, one in November, one in December, and one in February.  If I can find one in January, I may just sign up for that too just to round it all out lol.  Its a VERY tight schedule and once the half marathons start, I will have little time to train between them.

With this schedule in mind, I am going back to a plan that got me in great running shape last year.  I am using the Hal Higdon 3 Marathon plan again, but just using the first half of the plan.  I will start now and ramp up to a long run of 15 miles before my first race in October.  My goal this year, is to train and run without injury, and to hopefully PR a race or two.  Oh yeah…plus I would like to lose the 5 pounds that I gained during my Marathon taper ( darn carb loading).  Its a tough plan ( 3 days a week rather than 4 or 5) and a very tight schedule…but its good to have a plan and a purpose to my weekly runs.

So people, there you have it…we are once again, off to the races! Lets see how this season plays out!