Bacon Runner Redux

Redux: from the Latin : meaning “to lead back”, or bringing back.  The my friends is where we are.

It has been a long year of much bacon and little running.  I have been blessed with a move, schedule changes, and a lazy Summer with time well spent with my kiddo.  In addition to those wonderful but busy events, my old nemesis Plantar Fasciitis  has settled in to stay.  Those things combined had sidelined me for the end of season and Summer.

So…last year, let me sum up: I ran an amazing,  fantastic, and incredible half marathon in Moab in October with Super Hubby, and then ran a truncated half marathon at the Disney Wine and Dine ( the race was shortened due to weather) in November.  I never made it to the other three halfs that I had planned .  My heel just kept getting worse, and I ended up deferring the Diva race in December, the Publix half in February, and the Disney dark side half in April.

All in all, not what I had planned, but frankly after all the Marathon training, and hills of the actual marathon itself, both my body and attitude were a bit burned crispy. I needed a break and a rest both mentally and physically.

So here we are at the end of Summer. Just two weeks ago I found myself mentally planning running routes in my head.  School has started again, and there are no more excuses left…it is time to run.  I have signed up for two of the three races that I had to defer last season.  I will be running the Diva in December and then the Disney race in April.  That means it is not only time to run..its time to TRAIN baby!

This week was the official kick off of my season.  I am trying to slog out 3 little miles 3 days this week.  IT SUCKS.  I had forgotten how hard it is to start from almost zero miles…how the body complains, and the mind whines.  How hard it is to make yourself manage just one mile, then two, then finally three.  To finish 3 miles …and have to walk a bit…and feel utterly poured out.  It is amazing how quickly you loose condition and stamina!

Because we are all friends here, I will admit to some jiggly bits that did NOT jiggle before my hiatus.  Those bits must be tamed immediately if not sooner! Note to self: less bacon and more running until jiggly bits fall in line. Needless to say, this week has been a shock to my confidence and my ego!

My heel is still a problem too.  It hurts…I hobble.  The thing is though that it is no better or worse on my running days vs. any other day.  A whole Summer off has made no difference at all. Since rest has made no difference, I have decided to run.  I have only committed to two Half Marathons this year, with the plan to see how it goes…if my heel gets worse, I may have to cut back and run shorter races in the future.  If I hand these two OK, then I may add a race or two to the year…time and mileage will tell.

Way too late to make a long story short…but my point is this: Running is Hard.  Writing is Hard, Painting is Hard, Working Out is Hard…anything that you do that is worth effort is Hard.  When you do less of that thing, it becomes harder and harder to do it, until eventually you wonder if you even can any more. You loose some of the physical ability yes, but you also lose confidence…and that my friends, is the real killer.  I want my confidence back and I am willing to work for it.

If you have done it before, you can do it again. Period.  Yes, it will be hard, and yes it will suck…but if you are willing to grit it out, to put in the effort and time, YOU WILL Get BETTER and STRONGER.  The question you must ask, is do you WANT to? Do you want it badly enough that you are willing to get through the sucky stuff and back on track?

For me, the answer is yes.  I miss running.  I miss races.  I miss feeling strong and healthy.  I long for those hours on there road where it is just me, my God above, and the sound of my footfalls carrying me onward.  I miss finishing a race and looking for the next one. I never thought I would admit to it, but I really truly do miss it.

So,  Here we are at week one.  I am excited and scared and tired and sore…but I am running…and that makes me smile.

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New day, same run, better attitude

Right now, I am trying to get back into my groove.  For now, this means running the same route, same mileage, several days in a row. Boring yes…but it has its little surprises.

Friday I ran this same little 3 mile route.  It was hot ( duh…Florida after 8 AM…no surprise there), I was whiny ( again no surprise), and it took a lot to even manage those 3 miles with a run/walk method.

Monday I ran the same route.  Again, it was hot ( it had rained just prior to my run, and I swear there was steam in the air), I was whiny, and I had to run some and walk some more.  This run was harder than my Friday run and I was feeling discouraged.  I was a few minutes slower, and more than a few notches crankier.  As I said…discouraged and NOT looking forward to running today, on tired legs even.

Well I showed up today and it was still hot…but there was a blessed breeze!  The sky was overcast and I took that as a good sign. I faithfully set out to run my tired legs on this same route, expecting to walk ALOT.  I was surprised to feel pretty darned good right from the start.  I ran a mile and walked just a bit, planning to walk some at every mile marker like I had done for the two previous runs.  I started running again….and didn’t stop until I ended my run at 3.1 miles.   I just didn’t need to walk anymore…surprise!:)

Now don’t get me wrong, the run wasn’t all sunshine and roses. It was hot, sweaty, and I was puffing like a freight train.  It WAS however,  easier than the two runs before.  Same distance, same run, but somehow, even on tired legs, this run was just slightly easier.  Happy dance!

So here is what I haven’t said .  God has made me a runner.  I don’t know how or why.  He hasn’t given me binding speed, or endurance…I am slow and steady.  He has given me the desire and the will to run…and even to find enjoyment there.  I need to run..it is where I feel at peace and where I hear His voice.

I have been praying that He would heal my foot issues…doing all the right things, taking a rest break, etc…planning to start running again when I was better and feeling fine again.  That hasn’t happened.  My foot still hurts every day…I hobble, especially in the mornings and evenings. With that said, I am still being called to lace up and run. My foot hurts exactly the same whether I am running or not, so I have decided to run. I need to find that peace again…need to run.

I am at a point where I just show up and run.  I don’t know what God has planned for me this season.  I don’t know if I will be able to run the half marathons that I have planned or if I will need to cut my mileage back.  All I know is that I am being called to faithfully step out.  It takes a different kind of faith to step out when situations aren’t ideal…when those plans that you have haven’t panned out, or things are scary and unknown.  Stepping out and committing to running when I am not 100% is a new journey for me, but I am being called to move.  I am trying to take my expectations and plans out of the mix and just go with God’s plan…and it is harder than I expected to do so.

So each day will be a new adventure, whether it is running the same old mileage or not.  I will try to just show up…with tired legs or tired soul, and simply look for the surprises and encouragement along the way.  Here’s to one week in and looking towards the next!