Thursday, November 7, 2013

Blessings in Disguise

I am so incredibly proud of the things I’ve accomplished this year.  I wish I didn’t have the lingering feeling of failure.  I hate feeling it, but buried beneath the half marathon PR and medals, there it is.  It makes its way out every once and awhile, when I least expect it.  That stupid marathon that should have been… It used to eat at me continually.  I would search races around the country within reach to still attempt to train and sign up for.  I considered running 26.2 miles around town just do say I freakin’ did it.  I’ve realized now how completely ridiculous that would be, and how to just straight up GET OVER what didn’t happen this year, reflect on what DID, and look forward to the year ahead.

So, this morning at 5am and 30 degrees, mid run, I finally compiled a list of POSITIVE things that came out of my training experience, and reasons why I’m thankful for the “failure”.

  •        MOST IMPORTANTLY by NOT running the marathon, I HEALED and didn’t do serious, long-term injury to my hip.
  •        I conquered my fear of long runs.  I gained so much confidence by doing those long runs.  I was pretty darn nervous the night before my first 20 miler.  Knowing that I’ve see that 2 as the front digit on my watch definitely gives me confidence as I start my 2014 training cycle.  It’s nothing to be feared.
  •       I got what I really wanted.  I really, really wanted a 1:45 half marathon in 2013.  I was hoping to get it in June before I started marathon training.  I didn’t get it, but by not running the marathon, I was able to pick up the Omaha half and get my 1:44.
  •      I gained speed and strength.  I felt pretty weak going into the Sioux Falls half, I had taken time off, and was doing no major strength training in my healing efforts.  I was SO SORE for a solid week after this race, but it was like my muscles rebuilding and gearing up for bigger and better.  I’m really proud of the paces I ran my recent 15K and 10K in.
  •     I have more mental strength and determination than ever before.  Last year, I would never in a billion years dream of running at 4am or running when it was 29 degrees out.  This morning, I got out of my warm bed and ventured out with no real goal other than 7 miles.  No reason to HAVE to.  Nothing to train for.  I’ve learned how to take the pressure off of myself.  That is HUGE. 

    This morning I came to accept what didn’t happen this year, and embrace the positive things that did.  I reflect back on the whole Sioux Falls weekend in general, the circumstances surrounding the weekend, the heat… it wasn’t supposed to happen.  It just wasn’t my time.  But, I was supposed to try.  I was supposed to register, train, and focus on a marathon.  Every situation brings something to our lives, be it a lesson, a success, a failure, a blessing… The standard “everything happens for a reason” quote really does always ring true.

 Something random from me for the day... my new coffee flavor is Dunkin' Donuts Apple Pie.  PLEASE TRY THIS!  It's sooooo good!  I go on coffee hiatuses over the summer months, and when I come back, I come back strong!