March 3, 2013

The Woodlands

Hey, friends!
Yesterday was a total bomb. In a nutshell, my body and spirit hit rock bottom. I didn't complete the marathon. At Mile 10, I decided to shut it down and veer off with the half marathoners.

Physically, I could've FINISHED the race. However, somewhere out there I decided that I didn't want to just finish it. I wanted to have a good time. I wanted to be strong and competitive. I realized that yesterday was not the day for that. From that aspect, yes, I did quit. It's not easy for me to say I quit. In fact, that's the first race I DNFed by choice. It's a very hard pill to swallow. All I can say is that I am so tired of being tired. I'm just plain exhausted. I've always had a lot going on in my life, but for some reason, it now all seems overwhelming. My immune system has paid the price for it, too.

From the mental aspect of it. I have a LOT going on in my head. And stuff needs to get straight before I race again.

I'm officially on "break" from running. After talking to Keith last night, I determined that i have not had more than 1 day off in a row in over 3 years. The last time I did was when I had achilles issues and was forced on the bench. Before yesterday, I was already scheming ways to cheat on my coach and run behind his back. It's true though that sometimes you have to hit bottom before you can come up. No more scheming, no more extra miles, no more too fast workouts, and most of all, I have to start taking better care of myself.

I know that the reason for the break is to let my body heal and recover, let my iron supplements take action, and my immune system get straight again. Luckily, we have our first TWO track meets this week; so that will help me keep my mind off not running. I also very much need a mental break from running. One thing I that I tell my athletes is that even if you take away running, they are still someone special and have so much to offer. The problem is that I quit believing that about myself. And I really don't know where that happened. I think it's a combination of my job and my dissatisfaction of STILL being single and without kids, knowing that boyfriend may NEVER want to marry me. (Hi, I'm Negative Nancy, nice to meet you.) I love my job, but with teaching special needs, you don't see the gains and achievements like you do with a typical classroom. Student gains and seeing those light bulbs go off really do help teachers keep going, kind of like having a professional PR. My students do add so much happiness to my life, but the sense of "teaching satisfaction" isn't where it used to be. I think those things, mixed with my weakened immune system and low iron left me feeling just BLAH. And yes, BLAH is a word.

So, in the upcoming days I have committed myself to recharging my mind and body. Then I am going to come back ready for action.

And, after hearing Bestie's talk on Friday, I learned to always reflect on a race with something positive. Unfortunately, there is nothing positive about the race that I can take away right now. I will take away this from the training cycle.

Being someone that has major trust issues, I think I finally learned to trust three main people in my life, one more significant the other two. I learned over the past two weeks to trust my coach. I didn't do that at first. I wanted to, but couldn't. I learned to trust Adrienne. She's been my bestie for awhile, but after this weekend, I can't say enough about the kind of friend she is to me. The term "friend" doesn't even really cut it. It's like having the sister I never had. Most of all, I learned to trust myself. If I did deep enough, I can find answers to what I'm looking for.

Trust and believe. That will be the mantra the next go around.

6 comments:

  1. I think a break is just what you need. I've been reading articles about how olympic runners take like 4-week long breaks from running. Complete breaks! And then come back stronger than ever. I hope you stick to it and give your body what it needs.

    In terms of dropping out, I have made that decision before and I think it's a fine one to make. A marathon is a huge strain on the body and there is no reason to put yourself through it if you aren't going to get what you want out of it.

    Trust and believe--- great mantra!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry about the DNF. :( It's hard on the head, but better for the body if you need it.
    With all the work you put into your training in the past several years, you will benefit tons from a few days in a row off- and hopefully a good massage!
    Trusting your coach is a huge step. Without it, it's pretty hard to work as a team :) Also, I can see why Adrienne has become your bestie. She cares for you like none other!
    heal up my friend. There are race to come and they'll be there when you are ready.XO

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my friend... I am sorry. I have been there and I know how awful it feels to train hard and do everything "right" and then feel so NOT right on raceday. I think that there is still a lot of good to take from it though. It is awesome news that you are feeling a partnership with your coach now and feeling that trust. All of the training you have done is still money in the bank, and once you get yourself feeling better and take advantage of some smart rest and recovery, you WILL be strong and fast and ready to enjoy the rewards or your hard work. I hope you were still able to enjoy the time with Adrienne and that you are feeling better. It's of course ok to feel sad and disappointed, but lots of people believe in you and are cheering for you, so I hope you aren't too discouraged for too long.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your mantra kinda gives me goosebumps.

    You have no idea how much our time this weekend meant and how great it is to have your best friend around when stuff gets tough. I'm proud of you both as an athlete and coach (which you rock at) but as a person. Willing to grow and do the things that can be difficult. Even if it doesn't involve another state, time to "flip that waffle"!!

    Much, much love to you, bestie! Here's to growing and changing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Big hearts to you, sweetie! I hope you will learn everything you need to recharge and come back stronger and better!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree with the above poster. You are a high performing athlete and breaks are good for you to take. I think you should be proud of yourself for recognizing you need it and not punishing yourself through a marathon. I think this race shows really how strong you are. I'm always in awe of your capacity in running and life. Hugs to you and enjoy the break!

    ReplyDelete