Tuesday, March 11, 2014
A few weeks ago I completed my 2nd half marathon. I think that was probably one of the hardest runs I've ever done, even though everything was perfect conditions for a great run. The course was almost completely flat with just a few minor hills. The weather was gorgeous and cool. I was rested, hydrated and carbo-loaded. The energy was amazing. But for whatever their reason, my legs didn't feel up to doing their job that day. At least not in the way I had wanted them to. I finished the race, but getting to that finish line was a battle for me. I finished though after fighting through the various emotions during that 13.1 mile run. That run that took me through happiness, frustration, pain, tears, feelings of failure, complacency, determination, more tears and joy...all in that order.
It's pretty amazing when you cross that finish line what goes through your head after a run like that. After receiving that medal, I turned around and looked at that finish line and thought about the journey I just spent a few hours on. I've blogged many times about how emotions get pulled out of me during my runs, but this run was one I will never forget. It was a rough one for me and it just goes along with some issues in life right now that are rough for me, too. Did I learn anything? Yes, I sure did. I learned that no matter how prepared you are, what is meant to happen will happen. Also that I really need to invest in a better pair of socks for the longer runs, because ouch the bottoms of my feet weren't happy either.
So the goal was achieved and it's time to work towards another one. So half #3 is the Rock n Roll San Diego half marathon in June. I'm looking forward to it a lot and will take with me a different perspective in how I'm going to run this one. This one is for fun because after all, running is supposed to be fun...at least that's how I'm looking at it now.
Sunday, March 09, 2014
When you try your best to see the good in a situation, yet the good in it is so few and far between. That moment when enough feels like enough, yet that enough means you have to tear your heart into pieces and go through the process of putting it back together. When you're too tired to deal with the same thing over and over again, means it's time to change. I've tried tweaking it for a different perspective, but what I've learned is that you can tweak things all you want, but if your core beliefs are breached, there's no real fixing that.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
I'm about ready to head out for my long run and I'm reminded how fragile and precious life truly is. The running world has been mourning the loss of a Virginia woman named Meg Menzies, killed by a drunk driver last Monday morning during her morning run. She has left behind a husband and young children, as well as many others who love her dearly. Thousands of runners all over the globe dedicated their runs yesterday to her memory, and to bring awareness to drunk/distracted driving. It's so important for all of us to remember to make smart decisions with our driving and to remember we do share the road with our runners and cyclists.
When these senseless, tragic things happen, it always makes me sit back and think about what is actually important in life. The small things that seem so big just diminish when I think about never seeing a loved one again, or when I realize that it could have been me during one of my own runs. When I think about the second possibility, I think about whether I have created a legacy that I am proud of that others can look at and find some solace in if they needed to. Have I taken what was put inside of me, that was meant to be shared with others as well as being my own journey, and given it the life it was meant to have? Am I dwelling on the "small" things that seem so big, when they are actually fairly meaningless?
We all have a legacy to create. From the looks of it, Meg Menzies created one that she probably never even realized would span the globe. Just goes to show that you never truly know who you are inspiring.
Time to run...
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
I came across this article this morning and found loads of great tips, so thought I would share it :)
Happy Thanksgiving Eve!!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Such a great article! I love the way she wrote this. Brought tears to my eyes.
If the link doesn't open, I've copied it below. I also tried adding the link again underneath the text. I had to alter a few words considered profanity due to SparkPeople not allowing them to post:
"Many times, you reap what you sow when it comes to race day. But sometimes, you get kicked in the gut.
In the time that passes between base miles to race day, endurance athletes work out all the kinks that may sabotage a race. We experiment with nutrition, shoes, clothes, and gear. We study elevation profiles and course maps with more focus than anything we ever studied in college.
Many times, you reap what you sow when it comes to race day. But sometimes, you get kicked in the gut.
Last Sunday was my kick in the gut. Literally.
For the past year, I’ve written about preparing for Ironman Arizona as a way to honor my friend Carlos, who is fighting cancer. For the past 365 days, I trained well, ate right, and for the first time in my life, experienced a complete absence of nerves about race day. Last Sunday, as I jumped into the water to start an Ironman with my partner, my triathlon team, and 3,000 of my new best friends, I smiled and cheered. I was going to have the race of my life. The sun was shining, the lake was warm, and my fellow athletes were surprisingly courteous in the crowded swim. Everything was perfect.
Until it wasn’t.
Halfway through the 2.4-mile swim, I caught up to the blood-sport crowd. Punches were thrown, legs were grabbed, and I sustained a kick to the ribs.
Normally, I’d release the Kraken on anyone who dared to get physical with me, but I was too busy coughing up the gallons of bacteria-laden lake slime the kick forced into my respiratory system. Instead, I coughed it out, finished the swim, and hopped on my bike for a 112-mile ride, putting the bad swim behind me. Everything was perfect again.
Until it wasn’t.
Ten miles into the ride, I began to experience sharp pains on my side. Thinking they were simple side stiches, I tried breathing exercises to stretch out my diaphragm. That only made things worse. Still, I soldiered on. This was going to be the race of my life, dammit!
The next 102 miles can only be described as a “s*%tshow.” I vomited. I bonked. I ached and struggled to breathe. My speed on the bike devolved as the miles passed, and I reached transition surprised I was still upright. I was in more pain than I had ever experienced before.
But I still had 26.2 miles of running to do. As I stubbornly laced up my shoes, I mustered up a smile. I was going to run! Everything was going to be perfect again.
Until it wasn’t.
It’s been said that the Ironman marathon is the place where you meet yourself – inner voices that never existed before suddenly roar, weaknesses neglected in training become painfully clear, and new reserves of strength manifest themselves in awe-inspiring ways.
I met myself at Mile 10. And let me tell you, people: I’m a real a*$ hole.
Things I would never even think to say to another human being, much less one in pain, became perfectly acceptable to say to myself. Horrible, vile things blared between my ears with every step:
How is this race honoring Carlos? This is an embarrassment.
You write for a running magazine and you can’t even hold a 13-minute mile? Pathetic.
Neil finished this in 10 hours, and he’s waiting for you. I bet he’s mortified to even admit you’re his partner. You don’t deserve him.
Your family flew all the way out here to cheer you on. You wasted their time.
You let down your coaches. This is not what they trained you to do today.
Everyone’s making fun of you. Rightfully so.
Just quit. You don’t deserve to be called an Ironman.
As I ran through the crowds lining the sidewalk, I pulled my hat low over my eyebrows and tucked my chin, letting the darkness consume me. With every wretched thought, I felt my legs get heavier and heavier until I couldn’t run anymore. In front of hundreds of people, I slowed to a walk, refusing to look up.
Suddenly, I felt myself enveloped by one pair of arms, then another. As I looked up, I realized my walk had begun in front of a large group of my friends. I was in a safe place — no one could see me cry. So I did.
Christine squeezed my shoulders. Ashly gave me a kiss on the cheek and wiped away my tears. Dre put his arm around me and walked a few yards at my side. He passed me off to Jason, who held my hand as we broke into a jog. My friends Heidi and Brian radiated quiet, calm strength. My family hugged me tight at Mile 20. Neil told me he loved me and that he was proud. I smiled at a row of touching, funny signs Carlos had staked in the ground at mile 23.
With every mile, I moved away from the darkness. 14 hours and 13 minutes after the start cannon fired, I entered the bright lights of the finish chute.
As I pen this column four days later, I realize I have ample opportunity to write about “the race of my life.” I could easily churn out some contrived, inspirational tome about how I did an Ironman with a broken rib. I could write about mental fortitude or some such badassery. I could spew generic wisdom such as “pain is only in your head” or “never, ever, ever give up.”
All of those things would be a lie. On my own, I’m not that strong — the voices in my head made damn sure I was aware of that fact.
But I wasn’t on my own.
Pain is temporary. Anger is temporary. S*%tshows are temporary. Embarrassment, darkness, broken ribs: temporary, temporary, temporary. That day, I almost let myself believe they were a permanent part of my identity.
Instead, my friends and family showed me what was permanent: love, support, and joy. Few words were spoken, but their actions were enough to drown out the voices in my head. Because of them, I can do anything.
Even an Ironman with a broken rib.
About The Author:
Susan Lacke does 5Ks, Ironman Triathlons, and everything in between to justify her love for cupcakes (yes, she eats that many). In addition to writing for Competitor, she serves as Resident Triathlete for No Meat Athlete, a website dedicated to vegetarian endurance athletes. Susan lives and trains in Phoenix, Arizona with three animals: A labrador, a cattle dog, and a freakishly tall triathlete boyfriend. She claims to be of sound mind, though this has yet to be substantiated by a medical expert. Follow her on Twitter: @SusanLacke
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