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“Never let your persistence and passion turn into stubbornness and ignorance” ~Anthony J D’Angelo
One of my distinguishing characteristics is the fact that I am incredibly stubborn. I’m betting a good deal if it is blamed upon genetics (I’ve heard my Great Grandmother was a feisty one!) Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that once I get my mind set on something, I get tunnel vision. Sometimes this is a good thing, sometimes this is a bad thing. Running and my stubbornness have a love/hate relationship. It is my stubbornness that gets me out there for long runs. It’s my stubbornness that wakes me up at 5:00 am regardless of how many times the baby woke up that night. It is my stubbornness that drives my competitiveness, that makes me want to run faster and further.
It is also my stubbornness that is driving me into the ground. A crash and burn waiting to happen.
I missed my 20 miler yesterday morning. I woke up, hot/feverish, slightly dizzy, and exhausted. This week was crazy between school, work, boot camp, running, and the kids. I sat up from 5:00-5:30 a.m. and then gave myself permission to go back to bed. But when I woke up a few hours later, I totally beat myself up over missing the run. I was grouch/mopey all day long over it, until Rich called me from work saying he switched shifts so I could go for my long run Sunday morning. What a guy. I was happy again.
Well, as it turns out, my body had different ideas, as I slept in once again. I woke up at 7:00, scrambled around thinking I might be able to sneak out anyways, and just as I was about to leave…the baby started crying. As of late, little Kain has become a mama’s boy. And feeling bad for Rich who had a rough night at work last night…I gave in. I took the baby.
So much for the 20 miler. But I already had my sneakers on and was ready to roll, so I changed the baby’s diaper, grabbed his breakfast, and strapped him in the jogger. I am not that dedicated of a runner that I can do a long run with the jogger. It’s totally mental, not a physical thing: I just don’t enjoy the jogging stroller for more than a few miles. And you have to somewhat enjoy your run if you are going to make it 3+ hours!
My little man and I got in a 4 miler in the drizzling rain. He baby babbled and I did some thinking. Why do I beat myself up so much about my running? Why do I feel like I have to do as many marathons as I can as soon as I can? Why do I feel like I have to be super mom and squeeze everything I possibly can into every free second I have?
Oh that’s right. Because I’m stubborn.
Don’t get me wrong, the reason I want to do so much is because I LOVE it. I love to run. I LOVE to race. I love to work out. I (sort of) love school. I obviously love being a mom more than any of this. And I love pushing myself to be the best that I can be. But it appears I have reached a breaking point where I’m realizing the important concept of quality over quantity.
Am I hitting that end of marathon training wall where we sometimes start to break mentally? Probably. I’m still so new at long distance, I imagine it takes a while to get used to this mileage, both mentally and physically. Either way. I’m exhausted. Mentally and physically. And I remembered some awesome advice I had been given the last time I hit a running slump. When running quits being “fun”…take a step back .
I love running. I love what it does for me and the way it makes me feel; the way those endorphins carry me through the rest of the day, helping me to excel in work, school, and even motherhood. So when that same running is starting to hurt those same aspects in my life…well it’s time to re-evaluate. I am not Deena Kastor nor Paula Radcliffe. My livelihood does not depend on my running. But my babies, they depend on me for everything. They are counting on me to continue to excel in school, have a successful career, and create the best possible future for them. They are my everything. I want to be my best for them.
Oh priorities, does this mean I’m a real grown up now? haha
So I will get my 22 miler in next weekend. A 12 miler the weekend after that, and then the following weekend I will run the Baltimore Marathon, and I will have fun, no matter what my finishing time, or my pace, or how many times I have to stop and walk. This weekend, I will finish resting, and studying for my exercise physiology exam and killer statistics exam, both on Tuesday. And everything will be alright.
Marathons aren’t going anywhere, and I will complete my 50 states. I’m not writing off the distance (I still have two full marathons in the next two months!) It’s just more realistic to continue challenging that distance when I am finished with school, and have two kids that actually sleep through the night. There’s no shame in half marathons, no doubt about that 🙂
Thanks for listening to me ramble, friends. Sometimes writing is almost as therapeutic as running, haha. But, onto some more exciting, not so dramatic news: my 100th post giveaway! I was amazed at all of the response I got for this one! I had no idea there were so many of you reading my blog! Awesome! Thanks for joining! And a HUGE THANK YOU!!! to those of you who donated to my TEAM FIGHT page for the Ulman Cancer Fund for young adults . It means so much to me that you would help out! Many kudos to you! Ok now on with it:
The winner of the “be your own nutrition experiment” 100th post giveaway is: N.D. @ Lil Runner !! Yay congrats Natalie!! Natalie is a fellow running mama to adorable baby Nicholas (see right…i love that picture!) She ran the Boston Marathon as a part of the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge just 10 weeks after baby Nicholas was born! Awesome! So if you get a chance, swing by her blog and tell her hi! She’s also selling a bunch of yummy baked goods to help continue her fundraising and meet her goal, so be sure to check that out!
Happy Running Friends!