Showing posts with label friendship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label friendship. Show all posts

Friday, June 29, 2018

Runfessions: June

This post contains an affiliate link.

Here we are again, at the Runfessional. It's the last Friday of the month and I'm lining up with all the other runners to share my runfessions and clear my conscience. Come join us! You know you have things to share! Cleansing the sole never felt so good.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sole Food: A Week Off the Road

It's been a week of ups and downs. After facing reality and realizing that I needed to take more time off running than I thought to calm this latest PF flare, I immediately felt my willpower muscle start to atrophy. Maybe it's because I trained through injury all winter--who knows--but I'm just not feeling it right now. I'm not feeling sad or anxious or guilty--really, I'm not feeling much of anything at all.

If I had to pick a feeling, I'm feeling kind of free. In a footloose and fancy-free sort of way.

Like those pay-as-you-go wireless plans, I have no long term contracts. No commitments. No obligations.  Really, the only thing I'm working on is recovering from this injury. Yes, I need to maintain fitness, but there's something to be said about shutting off the alarm and rolling over to get a little more sleep. 

Yes, I did that this week. More than once.

I don't know this person but it feels kind of good. In spite of a less than productive week, workout-wise, I'm feeling pretty ok right now.

First, the lowdown on my workouts. Spoiler alert: there's not much to share.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The ego

Today, I had a really tough run. I had my last long run, 12 miles, on my half marathon training plan. Most of my runs have been fast and comfortable lately, and I didn't expect this one to be any different. I've run this distance many times, and wasn't feeling particularly nervous about it. But the universe has a way of balancing everything out, and I was schooled today in pushing myself hard. This run started out tough and never got easier. Lack of sleep and a little tummy troubles didn't help, either. My last half marathon, a month ago, was run with an average pace of 8:34 min/mile, and while I didn't expect to run this long run at that pace, I hoped for sub-9. I got that, but it was tough.

Humbling, in fact.

When I grew up, my mom always said never to get "too comfortable" with how things were going. One day you're up, and the next day, the rug comes out from under you. That can apply to the road as well. I think you have to be willing to accept your shortcomings as well as your bad days to really appreciate when things are going well. Everything does tend to even out, right?

Seinfeld "Even Steven"
You do have to keep your ego in check. Because if you push too hard, you're going to get hurt. Actually, every yoga teacher I have taken a class with has said: "Check your ego at the door." There's so much wisdom imparted at yoga class, but this is my favorite. It is such a great reminder that we're all students, and that we're always learning. Whether its at a job or on the road, we should have our minds open and willing to accept ourselves where we are at, at that point in time. Not every day is going to be good. Not every run is going to be easy. Some days, we just won't be able to hold a balance pose. Last week I was talking with a woman who hurt herself at CrossFit. She took some time off to train for a marathon, and when she went back to the gym, she started lifting weights she was lifting at her peak. Hurt her back, and she can't do anything right now. Her comment to me? "I let my ego get in the way."

A while ago, I wrote a post about finding the right coach. One of my friends reminded me in a very insightful comment that you have to be willing to put your ego aside and allow yourself to be coached. This is great advice. After this post, some people commented that they know enough to coach themselves. While I don't doubt that, an objective outsider may see something you might be missing. Let's face it, it's hard to be objective about ourselves. In working with Becky, I've been humbled many times--and it can be a little uncomfortable. When she was teaching me how to "clean" a bar (not what you're thinking), I was mortified at my lack of coordination. Truth be told, I felt stupid. But I was willing to laugh at myself--why not, she was! Eventually, I did get the mechanics of that move. By learning how to do that and other new activities, I've become stronger in the gym and faster on the road. But I had to be willing to put my ego aside.

Putting your ego aside is not easy for anyone. Especially in the world of distance running. I see this on my Facebook feed a lot. One of my favorite sayings is that we are all on our own journey, but when you are constantly seeing posts about people running faster than you or farther than you, it starts to make you question yourself. Am I a real runner? Why am I not faster? Playing the comparison game is a trap that is easy to fall into through social media, and I'm not immune to that either. I've got a few friends running ultras this year, and the race they've chosen sounds like fun. Lucky for me, they've included me in plans for training runs, and I'll go run a portion of the ultra with them. I have to remind myself that my body can't stand up to the grueling distance, and besides, I'm working on a different goal--a sub 4 marathon. Plus, I really have no desire to run farther than 26.2. Still, I can't help but feel a little tug that I should be running an ultra too. After all isn't the ultra the new marathon? I just read that somewhere.


The ego can get in the way of relationships too. I've heard stories about running friendships becoming too competitive, and eventually ending. Guess it's a good thing I train alone! I'd sure hate to lose a good friend because of running. Years ago, I lost a friend because of competition between our boys. Trust me, it wasn't me who was having the issue. Boy, did that one hurt.

Interestingly, I've had this issue with my sister, the one I'm so close with. She gets really uncomfortable when I talk about running, in fact, last year she pretty much told me not to talk about running at all. Because running is so important to me, it really bothered me a lot. I had to step back and think about this for a long time before I came to the realization that this wasn't about me at all. It was about my sister's ego, and how much my success at running made her feel inadequate. I don't know how things are in your family, but my sister is supercompetitive, and has to be the best at everything. Growing up, I was always the one she could best in most things, and it still plays out, even in adulthood. Since I love my sister and every other aspect of our relationship is good, I just roll with it.

In spite of the problems it can cause, the ego isn't all bad.

Today, my ego wouldn't let me quit. While I tried to keep my thoughts positive, I couldn't help but chastise myself at times for feeling so crummy. I analyzed what I had eaten the last couple of days. Sipped my Tailwind and waited for the magic to happen. Tailwind isn't a magic potion, but it gave me the energy I was lacking to push hard on today's run. Mentally, I needed this run, and I worked for every mile I ran today. I don't think that's a bad thing. I ran hard and I ran uncomfortable. My training with Becky has taught me to do that. And finished with a time I could be proud off. Miles are miles, after all. After today, I know that I'm ready to run that half no matter how I feel.

What would you have done? Would have have called it a day and stopped? Pushed through? Have you lost a friend over competition? 

I'm linking up with Tara at RunningNReading for her Weekend Update! Be sure to head over to her blog to check out all the other posts. And don't forget to link up with me for the Taking the Long Way Home book club!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A runner in real life

I received some really great news this week! I was excited to find out that I was selected to be a FitFluential ambassador and a Sweat Pink ambassador!!! I started blogging as a way to connect with other like minded individuals--people who love to run. Blogging also forces me to put a positive spin on whatever topic I'm writing about, because who wants to read something negative, right? What's been really interesting is that putting my positive face forward here on the blog and on Facebook has extended to my life outside of the virtual world as well. I wrote a post on staying positive in the winter, but I think all the things I wrote about apply to life in general. 

I've really enjoyed reading running blogs and finding inspiration through other bloggers. I have been rewarded with some amazing friendships--my local peeps, who I've gotten to know both virtually and personally--and my distance peeps, whom I hope some day to meet in person as well. When I was growing up, I had several penpals, one in Connecticut and one in Sweden, both of whom, through the magic of Facebook, I still keep in touch with. Really, if you think about it, all the runners we meet through blogging and facebook are like adult penpals. We share our triumphs and our failures. We support each other. And being recognized by FitFluential and Sweat Pink was the icing on the cake for me. I hope to continue to inspire and make you laugh. I plan on still being me, no matter what!

Since I've developed these deep, rewarding running friendships, my friendships with non-running women just don't feel the same anymore. I still keep up with a handful of my friends, women that I've been close with over the years. We still have lots of laughs and they even indulge me by asking me about running. That is a true friend, right? But with some of the other women, whom were part of the large group that I socialized with over the years, there's just not much to talk about. When the kids were little, we talked about school and activities. But now that the kids are older and have branched off into their own groups, those superficial relationships have not survived the test of time.

These kids are all in high school now! Some of their friendships have stood the test of time. How about the moms?
Last night I went to a party with the neighborhood ladies. One of the women has a white elephant party every year. I was really ambivalent about going, because being with large groups of women is kind of hard for me. I'm just not great with making small talk and navigating what can be a social minefield. But yesterday, one of my friends called me, told me she was picking me up, and that was that. It was really nice to get caught up with some of the friends I've known for years, mostly since my youngest was in kindergarten. The tone of our gatherings has changed a bit, as we've all aged, and some of my friends have gotten divorced. The gift exchange was hilarious, and I ended up with this ginormous wine glass, which was perfect! 

Can hold a whole bottle of wine! So now, when I say I'm only having one glass of wine, it won't be a lie!
I'm glad I went, but a little of this group goes a long way. Don't get me wrong, I love 90% of these women. But there's always that one person who has to make a comment that I'm not drinking or not gorging myself on the trough of snacks that's always present at these parties or making comments about how "skinny" I am or about how they see me running "all the time".  Last night, as I was leaving, someone made a comment that I was leaving so I could go home and sleep so I could go running in the morning. Well, yes, that was true, but why do you have to call me out on it? As my running friend Penny said, it's the backhand snarky, and it's b.s. 

As I walked home from the party and savored the quiet, calm night--oh, my gosh, those ladies were LOUD!-I thought about all of this. I was still feeling pretty awesome about my week and moving forward on my running and life goals. And even though this wasn't a group that I didn't feel I could share any of this with--very few of them know about my blog and why give them more fuel for the snark machine--the knowledge that I'm moving forward in a positive direction carried me home. Instead of feeling badly about myself that I don't really "fit in" with these ladies, I thought about how lucky I am that I have found people who get me. With my running friends, I don't have to try to be someone I'm not. I get to be me and that is the best feeling in the world.

I'm linking this post with Tara at Running N Reading for her Weekend Update!