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Crossing the Half-Way Point

Monday, March 05, 2012

Yesterday I ran my first 14 mile run. I had been pretty nervous about it. Something about crossing the halfway mark makes it all feel more real, and I was worried that it would not go well or that I would have to walk. I chose a different route this time. It has more rolling hills but nothing massive like my usual route. It was a really beautiful run that took me through a couple small villages, and on the run out I had Jay Peak (a gorgeous mountain) in front of me.

My ankle has been a little sore lately, and it was acting up a little in the beginning. I decided to wait and see if it improved, and it did for a while. It started aching again around mile 11, but I kept going and made it the entire 14 without walking. I felt pretty good about finishing it and even better when I realized I had done it in only 10 minutes more than my slowest 12 mile run. I didn't feel like I was going that much faster, but I think the smaller hills helped with that.

Normally, I would be a lot more ecstatic about this accomplishment. This is big for me, and I'm feeling even more confident about being able to finish the marathon. But, I was struggling with something worse than a sore ankle on this run. My grandma had a major stroke on Friday morning and has major trauma to her brain. Things are not looking good. We were basically waiting for her to die because she did not want feeding tubes or anything put in. Even if she pulls through, she has lost her ability to speak and her motor skills. I'd spent the weekend crying randomly, and I knew that a nice, long run was just what I needed.

It mostly worked. The thing I love most about running is the meditative quality. I know I've said it before, but it really is like meditation. Sure, it can be a great time to think and sort out problems, but I often find myself not thinking and just running. It's a wonderful, peaceful time. There is no need to worry about anything except the road and where I am at that moment. I love it. For most of my run, I was able to turn off my thoughts and just go. There were a couple times when I started thinking and cried, but they were short-lived. It's hard to run and cry at the same time.

I was really glad I went running. Not only did I achieve a new distance and another goal in this long training process, but I had some time to escape life. And, I really, really needed it. I'm proud of what I accomplished, and part of me wants to celebrate, but it also felt like an emotional test. I guess what I can take from this run is that running is a far better and more productive way to deal with emotional stress. Much better than comfort eating or drinking.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am sorry to hear about your grandma. emoticon I hope that foot feels better soon too.
    2206 days ago
    Your accomplishment is truly amazing and not just because fourteen miles running completely blows my mind. But also because you were able to heal yourself with it. I'm so proud of you.

    And my heart and thoughts are with you and your family. What you're going through is the very hardest part of loving someone. But know that you have your Spark Family's support as well.
    2207 days ago
    I'm so sorry about your grandmother. I played that awful waiting game with my own grandmother in December/January, though she didn't have a stroke, she just had kidney failure that they couldn't fix. I totally get the random crying. I use her old dishware from when she still lived in her house instead of a care facility, and at some point after I was told it didn't look good and it would just be a matter of time, I got a plate out for dinner, took one look at it, hugged it tightly to my chest and cried my eyes out. My other grandmother had several strokes in the years before she died, and it was really hard to see her in a wheelchair with such limited mobility in all her limbs. It just plain sucks when these things happen to anyone, particularly our own loved ones. The best comfort I could ever find was that you're not alone in dealing with such painful events. I am sending you prayers and best wishes and strength, and I hope you can continue to find peace in your running. I agree that it's a much more effective way of dealing with stress than comfort eating, which I definitely used to do a LOT, myself. Take care of yourself, and know that we are here to support you! emoticon
    2207 days ago
    I have personally never been one to work out when stressed... when I am upset I like to just sit and mope and if I try to work out I have zero energy. But I did work out on Friday when I was mad at my boyfriend and it really helped... my anger went away and I was able to just talk to him... I was pleased with myself.

    You'll rock your next big run even harder!!!! You're going to do awesome on your marathon!
    2207 days ago
    I am glad you have running as an outlet. I am so sorry to hear of your grandmother. Sending you blessings of strength and peace!
    2207 days ago
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