I have been thinking about next year’s racing season.
This past week I decided that I wanted to do the Tough Mudder and a trail marathon next summer. The trail marathon is on my birthday. What could be better than getting up at the crack of dawn and spending your birthday in complete and total agony?? Not to mention feeling sore, sick, and exhausted after the fact.
Do I really want to run another marathon?? Do I really want to torment myself on my birthday?? I could be out spending the day having fun…getting a massage…drinking champagne…sailing…
But I love the challenge..the satisfaction of completing a goal…
Successfully overcoming obstacles is more pleasurable to me than unearned self-indulgence.
So I decided to go for it.
I almost signed up..
Then I went to the gym for a run.
My ankle started to hurt. It felt like my foot bones were twisted and grinding together. It wasn’t very painful, but the pounding on my foot mile after mile…
I ran while in pain like this several times now. It wasn’t bad enough to stop. It is like running with a small pebble in your shoe versus a sharp rock.
Friday morning I ran 10 painful miles. After I got off of the treadmill, I sat in the sauna a few minutes. While I was in the sauna, a stranger sat down next to me. She said that she saw me out on the treadmill and wanted to know if I was okay.
Are you feeling okay??
A stranger coming up to me and asking if I am okay??
Could this be a problem?
What am I doing to myself?
The pain made me more determined to fight the pain. I was, in essence, fighting with myself and someone was going to lose. I berated myself for the mile I had to walk. The physical pain seemed to even trigger emotions of other painful times in my life.
I am never a gentle taskmaster to myself. I crack the whip and get it done regardless of whether I want to or not…whether I am in pain or not.
My greatest strength is my greatest weakness. Self-discipline is a great super power to have, but…and you know that a but is coming, sometimes I need to take a chill pill and relax a little.
I am not good at relaxing. I want to push it to the limit which conflicts with my desire to do this for the long run.
If I push myself too hard, end up getting seriously injured, and have to quit running…What good is my determination??
Sometimes it is easier to show you my medals than to tell you about my struggles and weaknesses. I want to make running a marathon look easy.
I took today off, but tomorrow I am thinking about running. My ankle/foot only hurts for the most part when I am running. I have been trying to solve the problem with my foot. I think the pain is coming from bad sitting habits. I like to curl my leg under my body and sit on my foot. I want to see if it helps if I stop doing this.
So far I am still planning on signing up for the races. In the meantime, I have to be smart. I have to learn to take better care of myself. I have to recognize when exercising and being too healthy is unhealthy without a few words from a stranger in the gym. Somehow I need to develop that inner voice of reason.
I want to be in this for the long run…