Some Days You Have to Look Back to See How Far You Have Traveled!
…I was closing in on 14 miles and saw my wife coming towards me; she had driven ahead for the third time and came back to encourage me to the end of my run. As I crossed the intersection she came along side me as I was struggling to stay focused on putting one foot in front of the other. As a couple of cars go past I see the drivers looking at me and I realize that my wife is walking next to me and keeping up. Granted she walks pretty fast but I can’t help…is she really walking and keeping up with me? …
“Sometimes it's necessary to go a long distance out of the way in order to come back a short distance correctly.”
~ Edward Albee ~
Sunday morning I went for a long out and back training run. I had a few friends that were going to join me for at least parts of it. I woke up at 4 am and it was storming, which I am fine with as long as there is not too much lightning. A nice rain and some distant rumbles of thunder can be relaxing, and a good distraction. Two of the people who were planning on meeting me were not able to make it so I set out on my own with one other possibly meeting me at the halfway point. This being a road run was going to unfortunately give me lots of time to think about things. I decided not to focus on how far I had left to go and to pick away at it a little at a time beginning with one 5K and then began working on my second which would take me to Wornall Road. Now I was focused on getting to the halfway point and just as I was approaching it Janice met me with a water bottle and a banana; where she told me that she had to get home and would not be able to run with me but she wanted to support me. She left me to get on my way and went to hide the rest of the water for me at about the 12 mile mark (which was much appreciated).
As I ran around Loose Park and towards the second half my mind began to take over. Once again the thoughts of “what business do I have thinking I can run a 50K?” Needing to find something else to focus on I looked for my third 5K and then began working on number four. I arrived at my hidden water bottle and downed a couple of jells to keep moving and talked myself into reaching the half marathon distance and then take a walking break. Shortly after I began walking my wife passed me in her car and hollered “I found you, I’ll be back”, I had no idea what she was up to. After crossing a busy intersection I saw her running towards me. She had parked her car down the road and came back to help me finish the last few miles. She leap frogged three times to support me to the finish and I was closing in on 14 miles and saw my wife coming towards me; she had driven ahead for the third time and came back to encourage me to the end of my run. As I crossed the intersection she came along side me as I was struggling to stay focused on putting one foot in front of the other. As a couple of cars go past I see the drivers looking at me and I realize that my wife is walking next to me and keeping up. Granted she walks pretty fast but I can’t help…is she really walking and keeping up with me?
I joked with her, asking her to at least look like she was working hard to keep up while walking. I look at the people driving past thinking how pathetic they must think I am. I must look pretty sad dragging my sorry butt down the road. Thoughts and more thoughts continue to attack my brain and I told my wife I want to reach the 25K distance and that would give me about a half mile cool down walk before getting home. I even asked her at one point “if I can just barely finish 25K, how was I going to reach 50K?” She was encouraging as always asking me if the day I was throwing up behind the tree, did I think I would be where I am today; but my mind can be pretty powerful and not always in a positive way. I was somewhat pleased since that was my longest training run but it did not suppress my thoughts. My main focus right now is surviving and having a respectable 20 mile race in July. All along hoping that would answer some questions about what I really could do and what was inside me.
This morning doing an early morning 3.1 mile training run before work I tried to redirect my thoughts. I somehow pictured some conversations I had with people about my transition from a 250 pound, negative, hypertensive person to who I am today. I visualized the picture that I showed to potential clients or people I was doing wellness coaching with. I guess you can say that I needed to look back to see how far I have traveled to get to where I am; I have heard that sometimes it's necessary to go a long distance out of the way in order to come back a short distance correctly. If I look back a few years ago I would see today’s 5K run was my long run. Plus the people I have met through running still amaze me and are some of my best friends.
The moral of this little story is this: When you get frustrated and are battling the “thoughts”, stop and take a look back. If you are in a better place or at least moving forward, continue on. Find what works and has worked to get you to this point. Continue setting goals that challenge you and even scare you a little. Build your support system and allow them to brace you up every now and again; you will be there for them as well. Finally, never stop moving forward unless it is to remind yourself of how far you have traveled!