What a couple of weeks it’s been ya’ll. Seriously. I looked at my training plan for the FIRST time in two weeks about ten minutes ago. Lord have mercy. I haven’t opened my lap top in two weeks. I haven’t looked at this blog or done any work whatsoever.
Two weeks ago today I got a call from my mom that my dad had taken another turn and that I may want to come see him. I talked to Rob at 3pm and was on a plane to Memphis by 6:30. It was a crazy whirlwind. I’m so thankful I went and got some time with him. It’s never ever a waisted visit. I had extended family that came in from out-of-town who I got to spend some sweet time with. I never regret a visit. I came home the morning of Lila’s birthday, had a crazy day packing for vacation and celebrating her, then left the next morning for 9 days to Seaside, Fl. I ran while I was gone, but my body was jacked from all the travel and the long drive to Florida. And the fried shrimp. And the mojito’s. Ahem…vacation. Plus spending every day all day in the heat lugging 3 kids and A MILLION FREAKING TOWELS and buckets, and shovels, and sunscreen(it’s ungodly how much money I spent on sunscreen, only to end up with sunburns anyway) and fish nets and Lord have mercy all the snacks. It’s a workout and I had absolutely no trouble getting lots of steps and mileage in by the end of each day, but it was different.
To top it all off, I’m standing in my kitchen, typing while dinner simmers on the stove and Jake holds our BRAND NEW PUPPY. Yes. To make life even calmer(enter massive amounts of sarcasm and a giant eye roll), we came back from vacation on Saturday night and picked up a 7 week old English Cream Golden Retriever, who we have named Penny, on Sunday afternoon. Now you know why I haven’t looked at my training plan. It’s too depressing ha!
We are totally smitten with her, and yes, we know what we’re getting ourselves into. We have an 11-year-old Golden who has had her world totally rocked. Anywho, nothing like a puppy in the middle of Summer to add a little spice to our life.
On the marathon front, my training has taken a back seat to more important things. Much more important things. I had a few moments of panic, followed by moments of not caring at all, followed by brief moments of sanity based on my experience. Life will always happen. There is no denying that and if you try to train for something with the expectation that the stars will align perfectly and nothing will happen to derail you, you will be massively disappointed. Wether it’s sickness, injury, sick kids, job stuff, travel, sick loved ones, death, a busy schedule, or a slew of other things, you WILL face something. Or many somethings. And you have to be ok with it. Roll with it. Have grace for yourself, and know where your priorities lie.
I’m not saying I haven’t had runs that have ended in tears, because I have. I get discouraged and frustrated and tripped up. But, I’m learning, however slowly, that you have to expect setbacks, and you have to embrace them with loads of grace for yourself. You have to keep things in perspective. To some, running a mile is a huge accomplishment as they may have never run before. To me, and maybe you as well, this was once a big milestone. If you have found yourself training for a race/event that takes up a lot of hours and miles on the road, remember where you started. You didn’t start with a half or full marathon, with a half or full Ironman. With a fast 5k(even if you start fast, it takes work and practice and dedication to get faster) or the fastest 400.
It’s taken work to improve. When 7 miles becomes “just” 7 miles and a slower pace than yesterday becomes enough to upset you, you know you’re in the thick of it. But don’t forget where it all began and how far you’ve come, even on your worst day. Even when the training plan goes out the crapper and you feel like you’re starting over. When it seems all your hard work has been lost or you lose your drive or motivation to keep going, think back. You’ve come so far, and somehow we, or at least I, tend to forget that. I lose sight of what the journey has been and I feel all sorry for myself when really I should just feel gratitude and thanks. Not everyone can run or be active or move every day. So enjoy the body you have, doing the things your body can do that day. Even if it’s not much compared to yesterday or last week or a year ago. Progress is moving forward even in the face of obstacles and setbacks.
And that’s life you guys. It doesn’t have to be a marathon or anything physical. Maybe you are chasing some other goal or dream or maybe life is just flat hard right now and you feel as though it’s holding you back from things you crave. It’s so hard to be in the moment isn’t it? To not get ahead or discouraged. It’s hard to look back and it’s hard sometimes to choose thanks. But it is a choice. You can choose to let the hardest runs or very worst of days dictate your emotions and attitude, or you can choose to do something positive with them. Choose to encourage someone else or use whatever you may be going through for good. Because life is hard but also, so very very sweet. And you can have both things at once. It can be hard and sweet all rolled into one, but I’m working on not letting the hard stuff take all of my focus.
This is what I’m having to remember and remind myself of often. Tackling this craziness in the midst of life isn’t easy, and it doesn’t always go as planned. And that’s ok. I’ll do my best to tackle all my mileage this week and not allow the major freak out that comes when I look at the long runs coming my way and how far behind I feel. Because seriously, I’m not in it for anything but the scenery and the shirt =)