800 and Counting…

800

Well folks, it happened. I hit my Runsolution goal of running 800 miles. (and the crowd goes wild)

I was a little worried about actually making the goal because at the end of November I took a two week running hiatus (hence no blog updates). My body was feeling run down and I realized that I was dreading my morning runs. It took every ounce of will power to get myself out of bed to run. I had a hard time completing my “easy” for mile runs, the long runs were just torturous. I wondered if I had hit a wall. It made me sad to think that I didn’t enjoy running any more. I started to look for reasons why my mentality had shifted.

I had just finished up a strenuous 3 months. It was jam packed with work events, coaching, family obligations, fun weekend trips and adjusting to married life. At the end of November, this left me feeling exhausted. Was I really exhausted? Or was I just being lazy?

I decided to listen to my body. If I felt like I needed extra sleep instead of a run, I slept. If I woke up with some extra energy, I went for a run. Throughout that two week period I only ran twice. It was about 6-8 miles total, definitely nothing to write home about. The tiger mom that lives in my head was going a little crazy.

“What if you don’t make your 800 mile goal?”

“You’re so lazy for sleeping in!”

I decided to just ignore the slave driver/goal oriented monster in my head. After two weeks, I would try and resume a normal running schedule and if I still wasn’t enjoying it, that probably meant that I needed more time off.

Last week, I laced up my shoes and with my phone (MapMyRun!) in hand I hit the ground running (punny? okay, no). Much to my relief, I enjoyed that week of runs – which made all the time off well worth it. I definitely felt the two weeks off though. I ran a couple of shorter runs and one long-ish run of 6 miles. The six miler was killer. It felt like I’d never run that long ever. As I huffed, puffed and took walking breaks to finish, I questioned the fact that I am a marathon finisher. While that six mile run scared me a bit, the following week was back to normal. I guess that rough week was enough for the muscle memory to kick in. Not sure if anyone’s found themselves in a similar position to me. This is the first time I’ve experienced training fatigue since I started running consistently three years ago. Just wanted to encourage people to listen to their bodies and that taking time off is not the end of the world as we know it 🙂

800 miles… CHECK.

(And with a week and a half to spare!)

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Endurance

hebrews12

I had an absolutely horrible day last week. There are so many areas in my life that are open ended and I hate having things open ended. That was one of the best things about graduating from college. In college there was always a paper to write, a test to study for, a group project to organize. College was an amazing time of my life, but I always looked forward to the end of the semester when my time would be my time and I didn’t have any assignments hanging over my head and taking up valuable space in my head.

At this season in my life there are several areas that occupy space in my brain, I’m planning a wedding and will be married in three months (THREE MONTHS!), house hunting (it’s not as glamorous as HGTV makes it out to be), huge family changes and some other personal friendship/relationship stuff to boot. It’s getting a little crowded in that small brain of mine, real estate is as scarce as it is in the Bay Area! Most of these things are open ended and as much as I would like them to be nearly wrapped up, these open ended issues have really started to take their toll.

The other night at dinner, my dad simply asked me how wedding planning was going. As I started to tell him about how it was stressing me out, I lost it. I let everything go and just weeped. My dad practically reminded me that I didn’t need to be stressed about the wedding, as it is just one day compared to the marriage that will be a lifetime. I nodded and tried to remind myself of that fact as I retreated to my room. Then I started ugly crying. I just felt so tired. Nothing particularly bad had happened that day, but it was the culmination of many things and I just felt like I couldn’t carry all of these burdens any more.

And as I was lying on my bed, attempting to keep my snot from getting onto my pillow, I just thought about how I couldn’t wait to go on a run the next day.

I popped up bright and early the next day for an 8.5 mile run. I met a good friend and while we were running I recounted the tsunami of emotions I felt the day before. One of the reasons I love running is the space it gives me to think and clear my head. Running is special. It’s not only good for your physical being, but it’s good for your soul.

Something that came to mind after last week was Hebrews 12:1-2:

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

After those 8.5 miles, things seemed hopeful again. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the immediate struggles I’m going through and blow them up into epic proportions. But life is not a sprint, it’s more like a marathon, maybe an ultramarathon is a more accurate description. These small bumps in the road, while they may seem big to me at the time, they can after time turn into very small things.

Lesson learned: Jesus is in control, and through him I have the endurance to run this race of life.