Marathon Monday: Except It’s Wednesday

Oh ya’ll. Happy hump day=) I’ve been putting this off since Monday, because well…Summer and a new puppy, and I wasn’t sure how to combine reality with encouragement lol! I don’t want to be a Debbie downer, but I feel like my marathon updates as of late have been slightly depressing, for me anyway. I’m doing my best to keep on truckin, but there seems to be one obstacle after another. This we know of course is life, however, I’m starting to have that panicy feeling when you fall behind in your training.

I want to encourage you. I really do. But ya’ll know I also want to be real and authentic. You(most of you anyway) don’t see me every day. I could get on this blog and tell you I’ve run ten thousand miles this week at record breaking speeds even if I had done absolutely nothing, and no one would know. So, part of what keeps me accountable (hello. and humble) is telling it how it is. So here’s how it is.

My hips hurt ya’ll.

I’ve had issues with my psoas for years. It’s pesky and deep and a frustrating little sucker. With A LOT of TLC, I’ve managed to keep it under control. I’ve also taken two years off of distance running which I think has played a big roll in staying injury free. I’ve said it before, but this is not my body’s favorite distance.  I truly believe anyone can do anything. I’ve trained for and completed 3 full marathons, so I’m not saying I can’t do it, I’m just saying this isn’t my strength. I also believe some bodies are more physiologically inclined to long distance running. So much plays into that ability. Our bodies are all different. For whatever reason this time around, mine is sort of fighting me on this. I follow a smart training plan and try to listen to my body but am not seeing as much improvement as I’d like.

I’ve taken some steps backward in my training due to all of our traveling the past few weeks(which by the way, has not helped my hip situation), and I’ve decided to just start building even slower, adding a mile a week and see where I get. But first, a trip to the chiropractor is coming on Friday. I need to know if anything new has come up, or if there is something I’m missing. Sometimes we tend to see issues in other people, be it training errors, form issues, compensations etc, but we fail to see and/or feel them in ourselves. We push and push and push for the sake of staying on schedule or conquering our goals, but we also have to be smart and know when to stop and re-assess. And I’m at a bit of a stopping point where I know I need to go back to the drawing board.

In all fairness to my unruly hips, I have NOT been nursing my body the way I should. I know how much I need yoga and more time on the foam roller and stretching and regular trips to my chiropractor.  It’s Summer, we travel, we bought a puppy(I’m a new mom all over again. Thank you Penny. But ya’ll, Penny has her own Instagram, and she’s pretty stinking cute, so go give her a follow here) and on and on it goes.

I could give excuses as to why my training ins’t going the way I had hoped(I have been on this paragraph for 30 minutes ya’ll, because Penny needs to not pee and poop on my rug) or I could keep pressing forward and do my very best to cross that finish line…..stupid hips and all.

It’s easy to get discouraged isn’t it? When our best laid plans leave us feeling like we’ve failed? This, by the way, is a lie. Because so many life circumstances are out of our control. I can set my alarm, get up and do the work, plan, yoga, stretch, foam roll and chiro and still have set backs. I can do it all by the book and still have something else that pops up that keeps me from meeting a goal. Sometimes this isn’t the case and things go as planned, but other seasons involve more stops and starts.

This doesn’t make me, or you, a failure. It’s just life. Not meeting a goal doesn’t make you a failure. Having to change course doesn’t make you a failure. Because we aren’t defined by our accomplishments or failures or finish lines. Isn’t that an awesome reminder? If I could never run another marathon again(and at this rate, I may not) it’s ok, because my identity is not that of a marathoner. I HAVE RUN marathons. But there is a difference in having done something, or DOING something, and BEING something.  If my hips say girl, you are too old for this and enough is enough, then that’s ok. I’ll get on my bike and in the pool and lift more and keep running, but maybe a little less. Because I love a lot of things. But that doesn’t mean the ability to do those things shapes my identity. They are simply things I love doing.

If my doc can work wonders and pop me back into place and I can survive training with a puppy and more trips coming this Summer and all the back to school crazy, then awesome! Either way, this does not define me.

Because God is so good, and He’s up to so much good. I have said this a million times, but running teaches me about life, every single day. It keeps me humble and learning and flexible. It reminds me that I’m not in control. God has used it, through the really successful seasons of running lots and lots of miles with a healthy body, and the not so successful ones where nothing seems to click. He’s taught me to be thankful always and to appreciate the body he has given me, with whatever capabilities I have at the time.

Because tomorrow it could all be gone. I could lose my life or my ability to walk or see or hear. So, at the risk of sounding super cheesy, why not seize the day? Why not give it everything I have and choose joy and gratitude and humor and a good attitude, even if I never run another marathon. I think that’s who I want to be.  Not a marathoner. Not a distance runner. Not the girl who works out all the time or runs really fast or crosses hundreds of finish lines or has the six pack or the really nice shoulders. I want to be the girl that encourages, who exudes joy and passion and discipline and positivity. Who works hard, even in the midst of obstacles. Who reflects a Jesus who is real and alive and at work. Who is investing in my marriage and my kids and loving well. Who is serving and doing for others. Who is outward focussed and investing in friendships and the people God has placed in my life. First and foremost, before all the other stuff, those are the things that matter. That’s the good stuff. The eternal stuff. And I’ll enjoy whatever physical capabilities God chooses to give me as he chooses to give them, and continue to give thanks if he chooses to take them away.

This week I’ve gotten some miles in and am feeling ok, so we’ll see where this crazy journey goes from here. But I’m excited. I’m anticipating good things. I’m expectant of what’s to come and I’ll keep documenting it, because I have no doubt that when this marathon is over, I’ll have a story to tell. There always seems to be a story to tell.


4 comments on “Marathon Monday: Except It’s Wednesday

  1. Holy smokes Robin!!! I’m tired just reading that!!!!! Yes to our anchor, so thankful for His constant grace. But, you can give me lots of counseling as we approach the pre-teen years!!=) And yes, running 26.2 miles is extraordinary! I so agree my friend. Hugs!

  2. You’re a BIG success in heaping out encouragement to your fellow mother runners who are juggling life and running and everything in between! I’m training for my 3rd marathon (October 1st – Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon) while also going to graduate school (Concordia University, Professional Counseling) and mama to 4, one of whom just left the nest after getting married last month..lots of craziness. In the midst of it all, Jesus is my calm and my anchor. I pray your hip cuts you a break and lets you get to that marathon with enough mojo to see the finish. I hardly doubt we will ever regret doing the extraordinary (and in my book, running 26.2 miles is just that!).
    Keep writing! I love it 🙂

  3. ah Mindy! I can SO relate, as you can tell haha! I keep telling myself even if I’m walking the views will be amazing!=) And you are so right, stress isn’t the point. Just do what you can girl and give yourself grace!!! xoxoxo

  4. Such great words! I am in the same place – marathon in 8 weeks and am only up to 10 miles with IT band issues and life and work and summer and kids. I’m so stressed about it and that isn’t supposed to be the point of running or races or life at all. So it may or may not happen. Also, 6.2 that was supposed to happen this morning?? Thunderstorms……

    Ah well, Plan B if I can get myself motivated – which also seems to be a problem of late.

    Thanks for always being so real and encouraging!

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