Cuz that’s where all fights belong. Outside!
Ohhh, it was a long cold winter. And because this year, I was free of the burden of my marathon on January 13th — it seemed the perfect excuse to retreat to the warm confines of my Spare Room and do all my runs on the tread mill. Ohhhh Boy. You have to K.N.O.W how soft I was allowing myself to be, if I surrendered myself to the dreadmill!
Funny thing was — as spring came and my new Half Marathon training schedule began…..I was pushing off and avoiding taking my runs outside. I was convinced that as soon as my Long Runs started to climb in miles that it would happen. LOL, but….the fear of going outside was S.T.R.O.N.G! It started with 5 miles on the dreadmill. Then 6.5 miles on the dreadmill. And even 7.5 miles on the dreadmill!! OMG. When the 9 mile run came — and I decided to skip it……I KNEW. I knew I had to fight this fear. I had to get myself outside, and break the unhealthy co-dependence I had built with the treadmill over the winter. Diane, the Disneyland Half Marathon aint inside on the treadmill. Gotta get out there!
And so I did!
Ohhhh, it was painful. On so many levels. Let’s discuss those levels. it’ll be an excruciating walk down memory lane!
1) First level of pain was, well…the pain! My knees and ankles and feet were screaming. The big world outside is hard. The treadmill is bouncy. My muscles and joints were out of shape and reminding me every moment. We lost alot of physical strength since before the Full — we’ve got alot of muscle-building to do.
2) Second level was the HEAT and Humidity. huff. puff. huff. puff. OMG, I can’t breathe. In my short career of running, I have been a winter runner. My first year, I ran through the winter toward an April Half Marathon. My second year, I ran through the winter toward a January Marathon. This year — running through the summer toward a Labor Day set of races…..Woooo-ey! I’m melting. My expectations of dying in the heat, well…..this summer isn’t letting me down. Hot Hot Hot.
3) The Last and Worst level of pain is in my ego. Accepting the fact that I’ve lost alot of my running ability. I’m out there, outside, on the road, struggling. I feel like a blind man, fumbling in the dark. Looking for the switch. The switch?? Hell, I am arms stretched out, searching aimlessly for the wall that the switch is attached to. I feel awful. I can’t run even a mile and 1/2 consistently. Well, not yet. I’m going to try to set my mind to building it back up. But — with this heat — I’m going to try, but I’m worried. I’m worried that I’m not going to make much progress. I’m worried that I’m going to stay tied to the treadmill. And I’m worried this 10K and Half Marathon on Labor Day Weekend is going to Eat Me for Breakfast!
But I’m going to try. I’m going to re-learn how to fight. And that’s what happens outside. Always outside. You can;t learn to run when electricity is helping you move forward. You have to learn to fight and run when the ground is insisting you stop. THAT’s when the learning happens. When you have to fight for every step.
So, I did the next 6.5 miles outside. Walk/Run Intervals, but I fought the pavement for every mile and completed it. The next Sunday — I fought myself for 9 miles. Still in Walk/RUn intervals — but I’m allowing myself to have that — for now. I need some success and I’m behind the 8 ball, so……..it is what it is. This Sunday, I had 6.5 miles again, and while every cell in my body was saying, Go Home, Go back to bed….my Spirit said Hell No. Hell No, we Are Not Going HOme, without 6,5 miles under our feet.
So I did it. I walked with some jog. It was a powerwalk — all 6.5 miles, but I did it. I pushed as fast as I could go — and felt happy that I completed the miles.
So — This Battle is gonna be Bloody. I’m coming out of this fight with a broken nose, at least! But I’m going to learn to fight, as best I can, through this summer. And I’m going to earn myself a Coast to Coast Medal in Disneyland, after completing my Half Marathon out there. I’m going to fight for it…..it’s Just Not Gonna be Pretty!
Ciao for now….Diane