On April 16, 2012, I will do something I never imagined I would ever do, and what most runners aspire to do. I will run the Boston Marathon. I will be a part of, what is arguably considered, one of the greatest marathons…ever. I will be one of 20,000 runners who ran their hearts out and who qualified to run the world’s oldest marathon. Me! This is the same person who, just two years ago was depressed, unemployed, chewing Nicorette gum like it was the only thing keeping me alive, drinking bottle of wine after bottle of wine…a night, breaking a sweat only if my dog saw another dog to chase while I was walking him, crying about everything, mad at everyone because they couldn’t keep me happy, and hating who I was.
Yet, here I am today, finishing up week 7 of my 20 week marathon training. 13 weeks to go. 13 weeks, and I will be in Boston, running THE Boston Marathon.
I have learned a lot over the past couple of years, but most importantly my perspective on life has changed. I now look at everything that happens to me with an open mind and as a learning experience. If something “bad” happens, instead of focusing on the “why is this happening” in a negative way. I ask the question, “Why is this happening and how can I learn from this?” I look at “bad” things as challenges and as a chance to grow.
I had some challenges to overcome today, and I was tested, more than once.
Waking up with a sore back, was not how I wanted to wake up when I had 12 miles to run. But, that is what I got this morning. It was the aftermath of back flips on trampolines yesterday. I know, I know. I could have hurt myself. I did.
It was fun, but I should have known something would happen. I just can’t back flip like I could in my teens.
12 miles did not seem feasible. I was trying to figure out how to get an adjustment and a massage and run Monday instead. I was problem solving, a newly acquired skill of mine, which works very well instead of crying and throwing up my hands to every problem that comes my way. While problem solving, SP (my amazingly patient and supportive significant other) rubbed some Sun Breeze into my painful back. Then, came a shower. Then, mobility started to return, and I actually thought 12 miles was doable! This is what happens when I problem solve…my problem is actually solved. But, one solution to one problem would be too easy.
The weather Gods decided to dump some snow on Seattle. It was predicted, yes, but I didn’t think it would snow enough to stick to the pavement. But, it was sticking, and it was sticking fast. The sidewalks were completely covered, and it continued to snow harder. There was no way I was going to run outside. I was not going to risk injury again (see, I was already learning from my mistakes).
Backing out of this run was NOT an option. I was being tested.
So, I did the unthinkable. I ran 12 miles on a treadmill. I had never run more than 10 miles on a treadmill, and that was painful enough. But, I had to. I had a goal today: run 12 miles, but more importantly, I had a long term goal: run Boston. I needed to do whatever I could to achieve my goals.
So, I ran those 12 miles, on the treadmill, and yes, it was boring, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I was inside, dry, watching football, and I got to check out my form in the mirror (probably too much, actually).
I look back and ask myself, “Why did this happen? What did I learn?”
- As I enter week 8 of training, it is time to implement self care
- A problem is only a problem if you make it one
- There is always a solution. It may not be your first choice, but there is a solution
- I am lucky. My hurt back was minor. I could have sprained my ankle (which I have done on a trampoline), and Boston could not have happened for me, so…
- No more risky activities, such as trampoline jumping and back flips, while I am in training
- Treadmill running is not my favorite, but it’s a much better option than not running