Marathon Update: On Being Flexible

Hey ya’ll and happy Tuesday!!!!! Yesterday nearly killed me, so I’m just glad I’m alive today to write. Kidding. Sort of. Penny is doing awesome and slept all night last night. She’s a legit genius. But I suppose I’m partial.

On the mothering front however, I’ve had better days. Yesterday started rough and ended even worse. I went to bed in tears but woke up to a new day, a new start, and a total do-over. God’s mercies are new every single morning, which is what this momma needs to be reminded of every day. And I’m really not a cryer, I’m a stuffer. So it takes a lot to bring me to tears. Yesterday was just that day. As we approach the end of the Summer, my nerves and patience have seen better days. And my kids have had too many icee’s. And Chick Fil A. And XBox. Coffee anyone?

Ok. So running!

As some of you know, I’ve been having some trouble with my hips, or so I thought.  It’s an ongoing issue that I’ve dealt with on and off for the past 4 years or so.  Really, it’s all Lila’s fault ha! Babies! It’s(my sacrum specifically) caused some lower back pain and all sorts of other issues, but with the help of an awesome PT, I’m finally gaining some knowledge about what’s going on. It’s not me, it’s my <nerd alert> sacrum haha!  So that’s good to know. Meaning, it’s not necessarily an injury or muscle weakness but rather something that can be worked on over time and hopefully, go away.  No amount of stretching or exercises will help if we don’t address the root of the issue, so that’s what we’re working on now. That and changing my mechanics. Which is easier said than done.

Unfortunately, it could take some time.

This training process has been a bit discouraging. The best way to describe it is that my body is fighting against me and nothing seems to be in sync. If my mind is in, my hips or back or legs are out. If my body feels good, my mind is struggling to engage. This is the nature of the sport a lot of the time. It’s so much mental, but this time it seems to be more physical for me. As much as I try to keep saying yes, my body keeps saying no. I feel like I’m doing more harm than good, and I’m doing everything by the book. I’m a good 4 weeks behind where I should be with my long runs, but feeling oddly at peace about it.

When I first met with my PT(if you are in the north Dallas area, I highly recommend you go see Aaron Pierson at Pierson Physical Therapy), I told him I wasn’t really concerned about the marathon. Crossing the finish line at this point isn’t my goal. Being healthy is my goal. Getting through my day to day activities without constant pain is my goal. If that happens and I can cross a finish line in October, awesome. If not, that’s ok too. He said it might, but it might not. I am to run until I feel stiffness or pain that does not go away when I correct my form, which right now is between miles 4-6. So, considering the fact that I should be able to run 14 at this point in my training, I’m not thinking the marathon is looking likely.

Being flexible with training is key. I have to let it go. I have to focus on the long term, not the short. I want to run fast or short or long or hard or slow, and feel good either way(one of my PT’s goals for me). I don’t want to have to pick one. I’d love to have options and having options means taking the time now to fix the problem. Ahhh yes. I suck at that.  Reigning it in is not my strength. It makes me feel like a quitter.

But if I’m being honest, at this point in the Summer, it’s a bit of a relief. I feel like my body is begging for a break. For some help. I’ve been running through pain and dealing with the same issue for so long that I’m pretty sure it’s begging me to get a grip already and fix the problem.  And it feels good to take the time to get the help I need. There will be other marathons(hopefully!!) and I’m so excited to see what progress I can make with the right tools and a healthy sacrum and spine.

So here’s to being flexible ya’ll. To knowing that my identity is not as a runner, or a marathoner. Here’s to getting stronger. To change, even if it’s hard and takes time. Here’s to finishing the Summer strong and with less yelling and tears, because let’s be real, late Summer is tough. Days feel long and schedules beckon us to come back to them. And they will. And we’ll feel spent and tired from the constant go that is the school year.

If you’re chasing a goal, and it just isn’t going your way, can I just say there is no shame in re-evaluating? Cutting back or re-arranging your priorities. We all say, don’t quit! Chase those goals. Do whatever it takes. But I’m not a “get it at all costs” kind of girl. I’m just not. I feel with any big goal there has to be room for adjustment. We just can’t predict how life will change and turn.  I’m not going to throw my body in front of a bus for one race. I’m not going to sacrifice my family for one race. Sometimes, you re-check and get back to it, and it all falls into place. Other times, it doesn’t. And that’s ok. 

Maybe, just maybe, I tried, and it wasn’t the right season. That’s not quitting in my opinion, it’s having discernment, which I often lack, especially when it comes to training. But sometimes you feel a nudge, a pulling toward something that’s not at all what you started chasing in the first place. Right now that nudge is toward doing what I should have done years ago, but was too impatient to take the time away from training to do it, and that’s to get my body fixed.

If that means I can run or even walk St. George and stay healthy, then I’ll do it. Because who are we kidding, I’m dying to run Utah!!!! But for now, I’m putting my training plan aside. I’m going to run for enjoyment and enjoy a big getaway with Rob next week for our 15th anniversary, kid free. I’ll swim with sting rays and paddle board and not worry one ounce about how many miles I run. I’ll adjust my mechanics and do the work necessary to bring about lasting change. That’s just me, and that’s how I have to move forward. Happy Tuesday my friends and happy running and training, or resting and re-habing. I just finished my second PT session and I’m feeling all sorts of bendy ya’ll, for the first time in forever. And it feels good.






2 comments on “Marathon Update: On Being Flexible

  1. let’s do it!!! lol. I get it though, I keep wondering if it’s necessary to ditch the whole thing or just do what I can and walk the rest? I don’t know!!

  2. I am seriously considering walking/running the marathon I signed up for. I’m thinking it’s either that or ditching completely!

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