Day 407: Catharsis

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Preface: I'm not looking for a lot of cheering on for this blog. I just want to vent. Believe me, this blog is more cathartic than.. update-y. I have sat debating for a while if I ought to share this post with people on Facebook as well. I'm not sure how some of my friends will react to it. Still, since I have chosen to share it, I hope my friends will take it for what it is: Catharsis. I know it's not completely rational and I do know all the cliche sentiments that go with how I'm feeling. Also, some of the rants below are not 'pointed' I don't expect activities or opinions to stop, I just want to be able to express how those opinions and actions make me feel.


I woke up this morning and like I always do I opened up my Facebook app on my phone and checked to see what's going on. Yes, all the DragonCon groups are still going strong in preparation for the greatest Geek Fest on Earth. Yes, people are still beating levels of CandyCrush and begging for lives and moves to be sent post-haste. And then there are the usual posts on my running groups. "Anybody up for 6 at 8:15 pace today?" "Can anybody tell me what 5k's are coming up in September?" "

It wasn't the usual that bothered me for the most part.

But, well, there were two posts that just felt like a knife in the gut today. (and please, when I say what they were, don't go all cliche on me...)

The first one was the "What's your goal time for the one mile race?"

The second was a comment about how the race was "just a mile."

Maybe it's a function of where I was a year ago - and where I find myself now.

The Liberty Mile was my very first race. I ran it when I weighed 204lbs and I did my mile at 11:36. When I did it, I had just transitioned from the start-stop C25K method and was learning that just because I was breathing a little heavy didn't mean I had to stop. I was so proud of that 11:36 mile that I did without stopping. (Recap here:
) I remember vividly feeling unstoppable.

I also remember when a mile was a daunting proposition. I remember when 3 minutes of continuous movement felt like a monumental victory and eight minutes of running felt impossible. I remember how I spent a wickedly hot summer (90 degrees plus each day) training for a goal I had set of completely running a 5K.

And now, where I'm sitting right now with three half-marathons to my name, I find the idea of a mile scary. One single solitary mile frightens the crap out of me - posting what my hoped for time is turns out to be even more frightening. Well, scary might be the wrong emotion to convey, it's more of a humiliating thing. Others are posting their goal times and it feels like a men's measuring contest (see what I did there?) - hoping for 6 minutes or 7 minutes. Low 6's or High 5's. Sub-8's. For this girl who remembers when breaking 12 minutes was a lofty proposition and who still DREAMS of getting to sub-11... well, you can imagine why in the face of single digits it doesn't feel quite so.. monumental anymore. I wasn't blessed with gazzelle genes. I didn't treat my body for many, many years in a way that would enable exercise to become comfortable or feel do-able for me. Now, though, after two months on the sidelines I'm significantly worried that even if I'm cleared to run the race I'm going to be so much slower than I was last year. Eight weeks without running - what does that do to someone?

When you've never run or are new to running, a mile is never 'just' a mile. It's probably between 10 and 15 minutes of complete uncertainty, discomfort, and self consciousness. I'm finding that when I'm returning from injury I'm feeling that exact same way. I'm feeling uncertain about what my body can do. I have this feeling that there's going to be a fair amount of discomfort headed my way. I know I'm feeling uncomfortable in my own skin as I've felt all of the positive changes I worked so hard for start to disappear.

I think I've also lost a bit of my mental edge, too.

I'm not writing this because I need cheered on. I'm writing this because I think I need to share where I am with people. I don't talk much off of Spark with people about how being sidelined has taken it's toll. I whine a bit with the rest of the people in the weight loss study; but, I'm trying not to do that.

A mile isn't 'just' a mile - not for me. Not for a lot of other people. 13 minute, 12 minute, 11 minute miles may still be miles - but they feel like a putting 1996 Camry next to a high-octane, beautiful performance car. Both cars move - but one just seems to much more.. flashy. So much more beautiful. So much more like it's something built to do what it does.

Where do these feelings leave me? Well, I'm not sure. I'm still in limbo. I actually just got my confirmation call for Monday's doctor's appointment. I'm just kind of left to bob and flow with how I'm feeling, with the completely unintended feelings that friendly postings stir up. I just wanted to get it out there.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Right now, the first order of business is to get you back in good health and ready to go again. Everything that stands in the way of that, that in any way diminishes your previous victories and accomplishments either by statement or implication; those things should annoy anybody with half a brain. {See - that automatically implies you have at least half a brain! :-) } This is a perfect and proper forum to vent and I'm so pleased you did. Best wishes for everything to go perfectly at your Monday doctor appointment.
    emoticon You go girl!
    2271 days ago
    I have to totally agree with your opinion. I have never been a runner although I have really thought seriously about trying it. A knee injury is holding me back at the moment but I am going to keep an open mind that if I can't run, so be it. Trying is better than sitting back and doing nothing at all. I will walk, jog or combine a little of both. No matter what I or anyone else chooses to do, at least it's movement. This is not a competition of who can be better - loved your manly analogy because it's so fitting.
    2271 days ago
    emoticon I haven't been running for very long. I was thrilled when I had a 12 minute mile. A mile is a big deal and every step over one mile is even bigger.
    2271 days ago
    Running a mile.. I feel ya. I always felt anything under 12 minutes was awesome, because that was the time you had to clear to pass in PE.

    Thanks for sharing! I don't think you should feel bad posting about this sort of stuff, because if you can't post it here, what are you supposed to do? Keep it all bottled up? I'm glad you have D*C coming up so that you have a nice, non-fitness goal on the horizon to work towards. I'm looking forward to pictures! After getting my butt groped on the escalator last year, I decided to pass on D*C this year and go back to my happy little AnimeFest in Dallas. They are the same weekend, so I've always had a hard time deciding what to do with my labor day holiday.

    I hope to see some pictures of the ball gown. I am excited about that :)
    2271 days ago
    Just do it.

    Don't aim for anything, don't allow '6' minutes or whatever to influence you in any way. Most of what you are reading is probably bravado anyway. Let them 'do their single minutes if that's what they 'need'. If 'time' is all that matters they are obviously very shallow. I'm just a few weeks into walking. I can now walk over 2 miles without collapsing in agony. I've had holidays spoiled because I couldn't 'keep up', I'm determined to not let that happen again. You are doing so well and have an enduring record. I can honestly say that I don't think I will ever run a mile. Wow, I bet you thought that at one point, and now you have so many more than one under your belt with a marathon. Just go for it. Forget the rest. Your time will be the best because you have worked for it.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2271 days ago
    No cheering on here, just a reminder that you will run when you are cleared. That is more than a lot of people do when hurdles are put before them.
    2271 days ago
    Remind yourself to eat right!
    2271 days ago
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