async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: Can't we all just support each other....

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Can't we all just support each other....



Last night, while chatting with some of the moms at my son's football game, I ran into one of my neighbors. An accomplished runner, with multiple marathons under her belt (including Boston),  I've always been a little intimidated by her. Besides the fact that she's always so positive and bubbly. 

But there's an edge...

We greeted each other with a hug. "How come you're always so skinny and I'm so fat, even when I'm training for a marathon?" she said to me. She told me she's training for the Marine Corps Marathon in October.

She's not fat, by the way...

How do you respond to that? I told her I was training for Chicago again. I joked about how hungry I am all the time. She asked about my training and I told her I was letting my CrossFit coach train me. Her eyes got big. She laughed.

"You mean NO LONG RUNS? I'll be REAL curious to see how the race goes for you. REAL curious," she said. She told me how she used to train at the box where I work out, but stopped because she didn't want to get big. 



"I'm not getting big, " I said. "I'm getting strong." I told her how strong I've been running since I've been working with Becky. Inside, I was thinking that I didn't want to have this conversation with her. I felt like I was defending myself. It didn't feel good. And she called me skinny just a few minutes ago!

We talked a few minutes longer, while she talked about the Chicago triathlon this weekend (she's doing the sprint), and how she's needing to do more "adventures"--after all, she said, she turns 50 this year and she'll have met her goal of 10 marathons by age 50. She told me that I "have to do" some urban adventure race which sounds like a Spartan race. She told me how much fun it was.

"All I want to do," I said, "is redeem myself from my last marathon."

Again she told me how she'll be REAL interested in how my training translates to my marathon. 

I have to say that I've never considered her to be a jerk or obnoxious until our conversation yesterday. Although I have to admit that she has never been particularly supportive of my running efforts. When she ran Boston, I sent her an email of encouragement. I never heard back from her. But we've known each other for a long time and both being runners and neighbors, you would think we'd be friends. That has never happened. And I'm not quite sure why. 

Here's how I made my decision to train with my CrossFit trainer instead of following a traditional, high mileage marathon plan. When I ran Chicago 3 years ago, I used Hal Higdon's Novice 2 plan. I followed it to a "t". My 20 miler 3 weeks before the marathon went without a hitch. I ran it in 3:18. I felt great. I was ready to go. But the day of the race, I fell apart. It wa hot and humid, and I felt horrible by the time I got to the finish line. It took me 3 years to get up the courage to run it again. And since I had already been working with my trainer and was seeing great results, I decided to try a different path. 



I'm not going to win the race. I don't really have a time goal, except to finish under 5 hours. I want to finish feeling strong and I want to have a beer at the finish line. I want to celebrate with my friends. My training this time incorporates lots of intervals, weight lifting, and speed work. And yes, running. Plenty of long runs, just not a ton of high mileage weeks. I've been feeling really great about my training. And the results I'm getting.

Physically, I'll be ready. The hardest thing for me to train is my head to shut out that voice that tells me I can't do it. It's a work in progress. But I don't need people telling me that the training I'm doing isn't going to be enough. I want to prove to myself and the doubters that I can do this.

There are a lot of ways to get across the finish line. 

Thanks to my dear friend Michelle for this one!




16 comments :

  1. WOW...some people really don't have a filter.
    I too, trained with Hal Higdon's plan to a "t" in 2012. I finished my 20 miler in 3:48 I believe, and felt great. 3 weeks later in Chicago, I fell apart/blew my knee at mile 17 and hobbled the rest of the race with a 5:23 finish. It was terrible.
    Last year was redemption for me, and I trained for FVM using my own plan-with Hal's advice for long run progression. I took out the mid week long runs out, condensing my training to 2 short runs, and one long run with strength/cross training/biking in between.
    I finished FVM in 4:25.
    My point? Keep up the GREAT work, and leave the naysayers behind! You are doing amazing!

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    1. Michelle--thanks! I thought it was really weird, coming from another runner. My first marathon was about 5:23 too. Kills me because I know I've got a 4:30 in me. I agree...my training has been great! Sounds similar to what you did for FVM. But will my head keep me in the game?

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  2. YES! YES! YES! Amen to what you are saying! You handled yourself way better than I might have!

    Anything can happen in a marathon and even runners who followed all their plans from start to finish can have really awful marathons. I followed the "Run less, Run Faster" marathon for Kiawah in 2012. Nailed all my training paces and felt really prepared on race day. It is to date my worst marathon yet (5:20 something). I walked for 7 miles! I've since had a good and really awful marathon following a different plan (Running Coach plan), but the same one for the both races. Keep doing what you are doing and don't let anyone steal that joy that you have for completing YOUR goal and dream. It's not hers.

    Thank you so much for linking up with me too! You were my first link up! :)

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love hearing from people who've been there. Wouldn't it have been nice if she offered me encouragement--with all her 9 marathons of experience? Sheesh.

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  3. Um, yeah, you need to not talk to her again if you can manage it. There's no reason why she needs to be so negative, like she has all of life's answers. I'm just glad you have a healthy outlook on life and are able to let it roll off your shoulders. Hope you don't have to deal with any more negative energy like that!

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    1. Haha--I wish I could have let it roll off my shoulders, I wouldn't have written about it! But what you say is true. And what she said gave me a chance to reflect on my training, and yes, it is going well!

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  4. Gosh this kind of crap must be in the air lately. Blech. As you know, there are SO many pathways to a strong marathon. I'd never discount your plan. NEVER. I'm a girl who has probably never run more than 30-35 miles a week yet has BQ'd 3x. We're all so unique. Don't let her shake your confidence. I think you've got faster than 4:30 in you.

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    1. Now that's what I need to hear--someone like you who has BQ'd without high miles. My friend Sandy told me the same thing. I guess there are people like that in our lives to push us towards our goals. Prove them wrong, right?

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  5. Great post, thanks for sharing. I have been in this position many times, in varied scenarios. You can always pick up on when someone is a little insecure, and I think that's what is going on. I don't think she is doubting YOU as much as she is her own training plan. Everything people say is somewhat a reflection of how they feel about themselves. I was thinking of having my crossfit instructor train me as well for a 15km. It makes sense to me. Good luck and thanks for such an honest post. I can relate.

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    1. Thank you so much for your insight! I'm glad to hear the CF worked for you. So far so good. Plus I'm just all around so much stronger!

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  6. We've all "run" into women like this our whole lives. First they compliment you then insult you. Some women are just so insecure and threatened by other women's accomplishments. Fortunately for you, you have all of us and I can't wait to see you crush those run times.

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    1. To me, it just doesn't make sense since she's such an accomplished runner. I do have all of you, and I am so grateful!

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  7. That's so sad. I am in a triathlon club in my area and there are a few women like your neighbor I run into. I always want to say "You know, neither of us are in the running for prize money, so lighten up." They want to know what you are doing and then put it down and tell you what THEY are doing that's so much better. It is hard not to fall into the trap and get sucked in, but your quote is so true, it sucks all the joy out of training. I'm "REAL" curious how your training plan prepares you too, because it seems like a really fun program and is so different from mine. But I hope both of us do well in our races! Thanks for posting this interaction because I run into this all the time ... it's a great reminder to stay centered, focus on your own goals, and keep everything in perspective.

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    1. A lot of people have told me that they are "REAL" interested in my training. I've encountered one other naysayer, my kids orthodontist, who still runs 7 minute miles. But as one of my friends calls these folks: he's a "mutant". Meaning naturally athletically talented. Not like the rest of us, who have to work hard to get it done! Thanks for your thoughtful comments, and yes, my training this time around has been fun!

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  8. Gawd, what a total B. Seriously. She must not be that accomplished of a runner/triathlete/adventure runner if she can't realize that different plans work for everyone and that she shouldn't get on your case about them unless there is something glaringly wrong... which their isn't. I hope you can avoid her, too.

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    1. I never thought of her as a b before...I just think maybe hearing about my training makes her doubt hers? Who knows. I've gotten so much support and encouragement, besides results from this training, that I wasn't expecting that kind of response. Yes, I'll be staying away!

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