August 3, 2013

Trusting the Plan

This might be one of those posts where I go back and edit and/or delete. A lot on my mind here. And just to set the stage, do any other ladies' periods turn them into a certified crazy person? Yeah, mine does, and that's saying a lot considering I was already halfway there on my own.

Last week, I started having these really terrible dreams. Really really bad, to the point where I didn't want to go to sleep at night. One night I dreamed Keith died!???!!!! Seriously, the very next night I dreamed that he told me the wedding was off and he was done with me forever. And the next night? Oh yeah, I dreamed I was being chased by an alligator, and despite me running zigzags, I got eaten slowly from the legs up! And I summarized these terrible dreams with some even crazier self-dialogue.

These dreams are signs that I don't deserve to be happy, signs that I won't get my happy ending after all. Something VERY bad is going to happen before Aug. 23.

And then the self-doubt and fear crept in.

What if Keith finds someone he loves more than me? Why wouldn't he? He's like a 10 marrying a 4.

And then the past crept in.

Kevin found someone new, and I didn't even realize it for six months! It was clearly because I was either a) bad in bed b) boring as crap and he only married me because I was a good trophy wife c) just not marriage material!

So... then this happened. I ran a few extra miles over my planned run on Wed. (One of the biggest issues I've had with being coached is trusting the plan. I've been known to run over a few... This is not a secret, and Coach and I have had many discussions about it. It is something I have been working VERY hard on.) That night Keith told me that Coach knew about it and was VERY mad. He went on and on about how disappointed Coach was in me, and how he didn't want to coach me anymore.

So, I'm really confused about how Coach found out, because I hadn't even entered my run on Training Peaks that day. In my head, there was only one person that knew I had run over that day- Sam, my training partner, BFF, Matron of Honor in my wedding. So, in my head Sam told Coach. And I was in the dog house. Funny, right?

I set off crying, yes, CRYING. In my head it was so much more than a couple of miles. It all boiled down to trust.

When my marriage ended, it wasn't just the marriage that was broken. At the time, nearly every person in my day-to-day life had broken my trust. My husband had been sleeping with my best friend for SIX months, a girl that I had been on trips with, shopping with, taught down the hall from, talked to A girl that knew me, my secrets, my life. We were besties. (It's difficult for me to reflect on that relationship as a solid friendship because I was hurt so badly. But part of the healing process is knowing that it's OKAY that you loved someone and was hurt. You don't HAVE to hate them, even though that's often the feeling that comes before sadness.)

And so here I am with Sam, the girl I share more with than any other girlfriend. We talk about EVERYTHING. I've never not trusted Sam, and she has been a really easy person to open up to. We just click in a way that only training partners and best friends can. So, in my head, she had broken my trust, even if it was just over some stupid extra miles on a run. And the thought of that rocked my world in a way that reminded me of Jessica.

And then there's Keith. Before I could even get around to not trusting him, guess what.

It was a joke! Yep. No one had talked to Coach, no one had broken my trust. All was fine in Rebecca's Little Redneck Alabama World.

And poor Keith. Without a doubt, he had no idea what he was getting himself into with that little prank. (We joke and mess with each other all the time.) I'm pretty sure he would've called Dr. Phil if he'd had his number. He spent the remainder of the day (and a lot of the next) doing everything in his power to make me feel safe and loved.

One of many sweet things he said to me after my melt-down was that everyone is not out to break my trust. I don't have to sit on pins and needles waiting for something bad to happen. GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO ME a lot, and they will continue to happen to me. Will life be perfect? No, but I can rest easy at night knowing that my whole life isn't going to come crashing down on me again. (It's kind of like the scene from Sex & the City when Carrie is trying to make Charlotte feel less nervous about her pregnancy. She says, "Sweetie, you shit your pants this year. I think you're good." LOL)


I did a 5K this morning. I had one and only one goal going into the race- win some money. Most of my friends were running in Pensacola this morning. Being that I'm not racing much there these days for personal reasons, I was kind of looking for another race. I stumbled across one a little over an hour away in Mississippi. And it offered prize money. I looked at the results from the past few years, and I felt like I had a chance at placing in the money (top 3).

Different from my other races, Coach wanted me to race for place and not so much time. (Well, duh, if the purpose is to win money...) So, he came up with 6:20 pace for the first 1.5. At that point, I was to reassess my position in the race and take inventory of how I felt before proceeding. In my mind, 6:20 should be easy for me right now. I have the speedwork to support faster than that. I had hopes to work it way down from 6:20.

The weather sucks. I'm not going to sugar coat it any longer. This summer is just really is miserable. The temps were over 80 with 93% humidity. (And I'm so warped that I was actually exited that it was *only* 93% and not 100%, like it's been every morning this week.) I am not making excuses for myself, but more looking for reasons as to why I couldn't run faster when my track work indicates it. (However, my tempo runs DO NOT indicate faster than 6:20s. I've been struggling badly to run 6:40 for only 4 miles.)

I did my usual 2 mile warm up. (Reflection- I may want to try a shorter warm up when weather is so hot/humid.) The sun was already beaming down, and my shirt was saturated. I rode to the race alone, and chose to wear spandex shorts. Yep, me- no butt, thunder thighs wore spandex. I wear them a lot in the dark privacy of my early morning runs, and they do make me feel fast. And when I tried them on with my Brooks EZ tank, they didn't look half bad. I also chose the T7s. Well, Coach chose the T7s, and I listened. The Connects are still my favorite short race shoe.

There are a LOT of fast girls at the start. (Not that I know any of them, but they are all young and fit looking and on the front row. LOL) We start and I find my place at 6:20 pace fairly quickly. At this point it feels comfortable. From the gun, I am in 5th place.

Trust the plan. Trust the plan. 6:20. 6:20.

Seeing the girls ahead of me and not trying to catch them when I still feel fresh is a mental challenge. I WANT to go after them now, but I don't. I sit tight.

At 0.75, I pass a girl, moving into 4th. I keep 4th and 6:20 pace until 1.5, as planned. Ok, I already felt like crap at this point, but feel decide that I am going to make myself hurt, and to heck with being comfortable. I work it down to 6:18 average and catch 3rd place. She fights, though, and I don't get past her until 1.75. I am now in 3rd place- MONEY!

I decide to screw the watch. The Garmin is not my friend at this point. And I start thinking of Coach's advice. Engage in the race. Former 3rd place and 2nd place weren't too far apart. I get on 2nd place's heels and sit until the 2 mile marker. She moves right for water, and I pass her.

I looked at the Garmin and it was UGLY! Then I tell myself, "Engage in the race." I'm now in 2nd place, but I can still hear 3rd behind me. Being that I have NO kick, and this is a college girl, meaning she does have a kick, I decide to just try to get away. It's now or never. Surely I can at least still place Top 3 if I blow up now. Either she slowed down, or I sped up. And then something crazy happened, I started catching 1st place.

Her coach (or maybe dad?) is riding a bike beside her coaching her along. He's telling her play by play how many meters back I am. Then he says, "She's gaining on you, and she's at least 10 years older than you!" Haha. We reach 2.75 and she widens the gap. I'm struggling to not totally lose it. I want to quit, honestly. Sweat was stinging my eyes, even though I had a visor on. I felt like I was in an oven with a wet blanket. I heard someone behind me, and I worry it's a girl. I hold on to dear life. Longest 0.35 ever. A guy blows past me with 0.05 to go. I have no kick. I push hard and finish a little under 20.

Upon finishing, I nearly passed out. I had to go sit down, and I had chills. And even though I met my goal and placed 2nd, I was frustrated. WHY CANT I RUN FASTER?????? I get some water and stagger to the car. I text the girls, the fiancé, and Coach. I go for a cool-down, which I probably walked nearly half a mile of because I just couldn't go anymore and was dizzy. I steamed literally and figuratively over the race, and then I got okay with it.

Some take-aways:
I raced in the moment, for the day, for the place. I'm proud of that. I followed Coach's plan and won myself some money! I didn't quit mentally, even though my body wanted to.

Oh, at the awards ceremony, I found out I won First Place $! The young lady ahead of me is headed to college this year and running there, making her ineligible for prize money. In fact, 1st, 3rd, and 4th were all ineligible for prize money. That helped my self-confidence a bit, too.

Summer sucks here. I'm not going to let a hot and humid torture chamber decide how I feel about myself.

You know what I learned this week? Trust in the plan. It could be the training plan, the race plan, or the life plan.


  1. Anonymous8/04/2013

    Aw, sweetie. You are totally a 10, don't doubt it. I'd bet you are an 11 in Keith's eyes.

    You do know, I hope, that all these bad anxiety dreams are your inner doubts and demons coming out - they don't mean anything other than as a window on your fears. We all have them, I think. I wish there was some magic way to stop them (you should see some of mine! Yikes!) but my only advice is to savor the feeling, on waking up, that it was ONLY A DREAM THANK GOD!

  2. What guy wouldn't want a girl that runs like that...

  3. Girl, I'm going to buy you some Xanax for your wedding. :)

    Also your ex is a total douche (excuse my language) and any thoughts based on him should be immediately discarded. Because I promise, most people in your life are not ANYTHING like him.

    And seriously, you're definitely a 10!! Have you seen your abs?!? And your legs?? HOT!

  4. The bad dreams, the doubts, the fears - I once heard someone refer to it all as STINKIN' THINKIN' and that's my preferred term nowadays! I deal with bad thoughts regularly, and I recognize it for what it is - anxiety and worry. My rational mind knows this kind of thinking is useless, so I just try to work through those thoughts whenever they creep up!

    One thing you can also do is remember you OWN rational thoughts when the irrational mind tries to take over: for example, it IS hot and humid, you ARE older than those college girls - so you should NOT be beating yourself up for what was a KICK ASS performance in that race! You dont need to run fasterm you ROCK! The next time you start to beat yourself up, just tell yourself to HUSH! :)

  5. "Tough times don't last, but tough people do". Can you tell I love that quote!?

    I don't know why we have to deal with so much crap to get to the good stuff, perhaps so we actually notice it.

    Congrats on the $$ and see you in just over 2 WEEKS!

  6. I get in trouble for little pranks like that too. I feel bad when she doesn't think it's funny (most of the time).

    Nice race!