Sunday, March 6, 2011

What I have Discovered About Myself Through Running

Sixteen weeks ago I signed up to participate in the Leukemia and Lymphoma's Team-in-Training.  The purpose of the team-in-training is raise money for leukemia research while preparing yourself to achieve a significant athletic achievement.  In my case I am preparing myself to run the Canyonland Half-Marathon on March 19.  Through these last 16 weeks I have run and run.  In total I have run over 100 miles in preparation for the race.  By race day I am sure I will have run over 120 miles in preparation.

Through this effort I have learned and re-learned a lot of things about myself.  The first thing I have learned is actually a lesson I had learned before.  That lesson is that I can do anything that I put my to.  Anything - there is nothing that I cannot accomplish.  I never in my wildest dreams thought I had the capability in me to run a half marathon - now I know I can do it.  When we had our "mission day" on February 26th - I went out with a goal to run 10 miles non-stop.  I didn't do.  I ended up walking for over a mile that day.  I felt like an epic failure as a result.  This Saturday during our weekly long run, I was supposed to run about 7.5 miles but since I hadn't run the entire distance last week, I decided I was going to do it.  I was so determined!!  I put myself in a mental state where I was going to succeed no matter what.  I did it!  Yesterday I ran 10.4 miles in 2 hours and 3 minutes without stopping.  I felt like I accomplished something significant for myself yesterday.  I know now that without a doubt I will be able to run the half-marathon without stopping on March 19th!  I can do anything!

Another lesson that I have learned is sometimes the best choice is the more difficult choice.  In so many cases it is so much easier to get out and run and go all out.  But that is necessarily going to get me to my goal.  Instead I have to set my pace and run to it.  If I try and push things too fast I most likely am going to fail.  It is much more difficult for me to slow myself down then to race as fast as I can.  The same applies to life at large, it is much easier to take the easy solution to a problem, but sometime you really need to step back and take the more difficult path as it is the right path to take.  I have learned this time and time again in my person life in dealing with a romantic situation.  It really would be so much easier to just get off the bus and let this person go, but it really is not the right choice and so I need to work through the difficult times with them.  Because it is the right choice.

This third lesson is something that is obvious but I tend to ignore it.  It is easier to run with a team than to be out there all alone.  When I first started running with team-in-training, I would tend to get away from the rest of the group and do my runs alone.  But as time has gone on, I have found having someone to run with and even talk with while you run is so much more motivating and energizing.  Now admitted I don't talk that much when I run because I have a hard time running, talking and breathing at the same time.  But the lesson is the same in life - it is always better to do things with others.  Since Patty died I think I have tended to isolate myself and Zack.  We really need to break out of that mold and do a lot more with others.  Having a great support network and having people to do things with is so much more fulfilling.

Another lesson I have learned is that if I am going to run more than 4 miles in day I really need to put some lube on my inner thighs.  That is kind of a joke but it is so totally true!  Yesterday after my run was complete I was so totally and complete chafed on the inside of my thighs it was ridiculous!  They still hurt.  This is a lesson that I should have learned a long time ago - but I think I am too stupid.  When I did my 100 mile one day bike ride back in 2008 I didn't use any lube and I got the worse chapped butt it was hideous.  So lesson learned in general...  when you are doing a lot of head duty athletic active, prevent chafing!!

Our weekend has been pretty low key.  Well - I should say my weekend has been low-key.  Zack went to a sleepover on Friday night and had the greatest time ever!  I ended up sitting at home watching TV.  Saturday for me was all about the run and accomplishing my goal.  After that I did a bunch of work around the house and ran errands for the rest of the day.  Today has been a Seinfeld Show kind of day.  That is, a day about nothing.  We really did nothing for the majority of the day.  Sometimes you kind of need those kind of days - particularly before heading into Monday!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.


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