Monday, April 23, 2012

Day by Day

was talking to a friend today.  She was having a little bit of a rough day, so I echoed some advice she's given me in times before when I've been out on a metaphorical ledge, ready to jump.  I told her to take things one hour at a time, one day at a time, and not to get ahead of herself.  It's sound advice, really.  When things seem like too much to handle, when you think, "I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE," all you have to do is just take things one hour at a time, and if that's too much, then you just look the next five minutes in the face and do what you can in that moment.

I thought it was rather splendid advice.  I know it worked for me before. And I thought later on during the day that it is actually quite appropriate for where I am in my training and in my life right now.  I feel like I"m just now emerging from a web of doubt and uncertainty regarding my running and my abilities and my motivation.  With all that is going on in my real life, I purposefully disassociated myself from some social networking, and withdrew from friends both on FB and in real life. I was feeling very overwhelmed.  And I didn't want to talk to anyone about my running and my training and my progress, or lack thereof.

As we get closer to Oklahoma City Marathon, the race that was supposed to be my big goal race for the spring, I realize that I needed a little bit of down time this spring. I made the right decision when I called off my full for this year. There is no way that I could have completed a marathon training cycle during the past few months without jumping off that ledge.  There were days in the past few months where it was all I could do to roll out of bed and trudge the twenty feet to my office for work.  Thankfully I have cleaning people that swing by and pick up the house, and that my boys are mostly self-sufficient, and that my husband is both extraordinarily understanding and extremely patient. Because, y'all? I kinda sorta lost my mind here this spring.  The idea of putting on my shoes to go for even a 5k run/walk/jog/slog around to the park was not my idea of fun for the last few weeks months.  I used to love running. And I do still.  But for a while in there, as I dealt with selling my childhood home, and writing proposals for work into the late hours, and shuttling kids around to their activities, and oh, hey, you know how your dad died last year?, running was the very last thing I wanted to do.  I would literally go outside, run half a block down the street and then come to a dead stop and turn around and walk home.  I tried. I did. It just wasn't there.

So following a training plan for a full marathon would have been a nightmare. Instead of running being a release, a stress-reliever, a joy of movement and energy, running would have been one more thing on my never-ending task list.  Even when I wasn't following a formal training plan I still felt guilty that I wasn't running.  I dreaded it almost. So I didn't do it unless I felt like it.  I ran trails, slowly, and leisurely, when the weather was good and I found myself with an open Sunday morning.  I walked some. I've run a few races, slowly, and I traipsed across Texas in a van with friends.  I paced my cousin to a hot and emotionally wrenching half-marathon.  I tried yoga, somewhat unsuccessfully, as the studio schedules fit into my schedule even less than a solo run. But mostly, I've spent the last few months on the couch in the evenings, watching Sasquatch and zombie shows with my hubby and the eleven-year-old.  I've spent the last few months sleeping in a little longer, snuggling with my husband for just five more minutes after the teenager is up and in the shower, before the house erupts into the cacophony of a weekday pre-school morning.  I've spent the weekends taking naps that weren't necessarily earned by hard long runs, but rather by months of emotional exhaustion. And I've slowly, with the support and love and caring of my family and friends, come out the other side.

And guess what?  I am not running a full marathon this Sunday in Oklahoma City.  And yet the world keeps turning.  Imagine that. Instead, I'm doing the half (just a half, she sez.... HA!) and then hightailing it over to Mile 23 to support my sister-who-I-choose as she comes back to finish what she started last year.  It's a slightly different crew of folks we'll have out there this year than last (a lot happens in a year - ask Miss Karis Nicole Daniels, who didn't even exist last year), but the support and the love and the acceptance is there just the same.  And it's going to be a great race.

We're coming back for you, OKC! 
And my training?  After a spectacularly hideous race at Big D half-marathon last weekend, in which I very unceremoniously had my ass handed to me on a silver platter, I have started a 10k training plan, culminating in a goal 10k on Fourth of July.  Yes, a 10k. 6.2 miles.  That's the next goal race. I miss my 2:09 half PR. and I am only going to get that back by training for shorter, faster distances for a while.  So, a 10k. Yeah, buddy! I've successfully completed the first week of the workouts, and I did better than I thought I would. I didn't give myself enough credit.  It's going to be harder as the weeks go on, I know that. So I will have to just take it day by day, and not freak out about the workouts further down the plan, but just look at each day and get that one workout done today.

And then, in the heat of the summer, the training transitions into a half training plan, for a goal half on my birthday, at Texas Motor Speedway.  It's an aggressive training plan, for sure, as I referenced a few entries back.  It is going to be intense, and it's going to be hard when that kicks in.  But I'm ready for that.  And by not jumping right back into full marathon training after this extended hiatus, I'm recognizing my limits.  And I'm not getting ahead of myself.  Instead, I'm just taking things one day at a time, one workout at a time.  Just doing what has to get done today, and not worrying too much more about what comes next.  It's what I have to do for now, for a little longer. Day by day.

With luck, I might find time to blog regularly again!!  But let's not get ahead of ourselves!!!


That Pink Girl said...

I pink sparkle heart you, your honest and your outlook on life! And I'm honored to meet you on that race course and cheer my face off for you!

And sugar, I'm cheering my face off for you off the course too. Because I know you are bound for greatness. In all aspects of life.

Anonymous said...

I admire the heck outta you for your honesty (among other things). You have endured more in a single year than many of us ever do---consider it a different type of endurance event. With proper pacing, nurishment, and recovery you will be back at it in no time. And if not...that's okay too! Take care of yourself!