You Still Have to Finish

Thanks for listening to me whine last week. And thanks even more for your thoughtfulness. A suggestion I got in response (from several people) was to get my yoga on. (Or in my case, uh, start doing it.) I’ve never been into it, but it can’t hurt, right? When we go to Hong Kong in a few weeks (see what a jerk I am? I have one of those great vacations coming up and yet WHINE WHINE WHINE) I plan to take a few classes and download some podcasts or find some DVDs.

This week has been pretty lackluster training wise – I definitely don’t feel like I’m firing on all cylinders, but it was still an improvement from the week prior, which I’ll take. I have a little IT band thing bothering me so I’ve been spending more time with my foam roller, but otherwise physically things are good. Any struggles I’ve had are really more centered around the fact that the treadmill is becoming so so SO boring. (Also, new shoes, please get here! Pretty sure too many miles on the current two pairs in my rotation are to blame for the aforementioned IT band pain.)

I ended the week with 47.5 miles, and February was 185 miles, which I think might be a high for me. So even if I felt like I was slogging through a lot of those miles about to meet my untimely demise because surely I was about to DIE OF BOREDOM, I’m keeping my promise to myself to keep up a good base while we’re here. And I guess that’s something.

I’ve been in one of those moods this past week where almost anything can push me to tears – have you ever been there? Can’t get my headphones untangled? Tears. Spilled coffee all over the counter?  Tears. Snarl in my hair that won’t come out? Aaaand tears. (Are you seeing a theme here?) During one of my random outbursts of crying like a small child, Mr. Engineer said something that’s helping me change how I think about, well, things.

“You’ve been having a tough couple of days, huh?” he asked.

*Sniffle* “Yeah. I’m just not getting any better at this.” *Snot everywhere. Unattractive sobbing. More sniffles*

“Yeah, I suppose. Mile 26 of a marathon isn’t easier than the first one is it?”

Wait, what’s that now?

He said it so matter-of-factly, so casually, I don’t think he meant to make some big sweeping generalization…but it got me thinking. Why am I so convinced this is supposed to get easier? Why do I waste so much energy being frustrated that I’m not better at this a year later?

For me, the hardest miles of a marathon are those ones in no-man’s-land around 15 or 16. You’re past the half, but uh, crap. There are still like 10 miles left. It’s certainly not when I’m congratulating myself on how great an accomplishment it is to have run 16 miles. And it’s definitely not when I’m thinking “WHY IS THIS GETTING HARDER AND NOT EASIER DON’T UNDERSTAND OMG!” To expect mile 16 to feel better than the first mile (while I realize it can if you know what you’re doing) is just silly. It’s supposed to be hard. Well that somewhere-in-the-middle mile marker is about where we’re at in this little adventure right now. There are still at least 10 to go.

I don’t mean to make some cheesy life=marathon bumper-sticker type generalization, but, damn. Maybe I’d be happier if instead of wondering why I was some kind of mutant for not liking it here, I just accepted the fact that it’s ok to not like it. No need to feel bad about it, right?

I fell apart somewhere around 15-16 in Fargo a couple years ago. While at least a million things ran through my mind that day, never once was one of them “wahhhh this hard I want to quit.” It was always “get to that tree,” salvage this mile,” “YOU BOUGHT A FINISHER’S JACKET YOU ASS YOU HAVE TO FINISH!”

So to myself, I say the same thing that eventually got me to finish line that day:

Suck it up. You can hate it, but you still have to finish.

Happy running.

7 Responses to “You Still Have to Finish”


  1. 1 Kris Anderson March 4, 2012 at 9:03 am

    You CAN do it Jenn, I know you can! You have done so much! You are made of steel and you can do it! 🙂 I have faith in you! Love, Kris

    • 2 Ali November 12, 2013 at 6:21 am

      (I’m not sure if I’m posting this in the ceorrct place as I was unable to post it from the Dashboard.)The type of physician I would like to work with is a gerontologist. A gerontologist specializes in caring for the elderly. I have a fondness for our older population. They built out society and lived in a time that many of us can learn from. I would take great pride in caring for them as they age. In my opinion, working with a doctor that shares my passion and excitement would be the ideal work environment.The type of physician I would not be as excited to work with would be a proctologist. To be completely honest, I just don’t think I have what it takes to be in that environment. It’s important to be professional in any medical environment. I believe my sense of humor would not allow me to be as professional as I would need to be. I would also prefer not to work with ophthalmologist. Several years ago I spent a week with my grandfather at a specialist to have cataracts removed. I found it very difficult to watch the videos of my grandfather’s up coming procedures. It wasn’t difficult caring for my grandfather after surgery, but I must admit the pre-op was an experience that I would not want to assist in on a daily bases.

  2. 3 Jeff March 4, 2012 at 11:00 am

    You really have developed into a strong runner Jen, impressive mileage! Sounds like Mr. E gave you some good advice, finish strong my friend!

  3. 4 Heather C March 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    First of all, you could totally make a bumper sticker life generalization if you wanted to. I’m just saying. It WORKS.

    Secondly, these realizations only SEEM simple after we realize them. It’s not easy to come to the conclusion that you may just not ever be 100% content in your current situation, because it is still *current*. Looking back, you’ll remember the trips, the feeling of “holy crap I live halfway across the world”, the sense of adventure and hopefully just the treadmill miles that you enjoy (you have some of those, right?😉 ). But for now, you live it day to day, and it’s hard. That’s okay.

    When I was nose-deep in homesickness for DC, while living in Colorado, I kept feeling that I was just supposed to love everything about the state. But I didn’t. Once I told myself/realized it was “okay” to miss DC, and accepted that simple fact, it made a world of difference. 🙂

    Anywho. You wear many finishers’ jackets proudly; this race won’t be any different.

    • 5 Mala November 10, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      I think this blog is a fabulous idea! Writing is a great way to get your totguhhs in order! And this way, if someone says something you don’t like, you can erase it. And if you say something they don’t like, they can navigate away from the page!

  4. 6 heathermangan March 5, 2012 at 5:24 am

    I struggle with the same things here in Lesotho. Another volunteer gave me me a really great suggestion: Write down all the things you gave up to be where you are. I know that it seems negative but it really helps. When I am having a hard day and all I want is a hot shower, good movie and cup of designer coffee, I read that list and it makes me feel better. It’s just as soothing as yoga, which I also do.

  5. 7 Douglas November 12, 2013 at 5:52 am

    A psychiatrist is a pcaiihsyn who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. I have a bachelor’s degree in the social services field. For several years, I have worked with children who have been diagnosed with mental disorders. It is upsetting to see children victimize at an early age and even more disturbing to see them as predators as early as 5 years of age, however knowing that I am doing my part to assist them in becoming functioning youths and adults is rewarding. The empathy, confidentiality and maturity of a medical assistant are definitely needed in this area. I enjoy establishing a rapport with these clients and helping them to find adequate coping skills to deal with their disorders, therefore I would like to work for a psychiatrist.I would not like to work for an emergency pcaiihsyn for several reasons. I will explain a few. Patients who come to the emergency center typically have serious injuries or trauma. I would not like to have my mind constantly focused on who is coming thru the door and how sever the prognosis is. Knowing myself, I know that would be my focus and I would not be very productive. Also, in the emergency room the staff has to be prepared for anything, I would prefer an area that focuses on a particular specialty. Most importantly, I do not wish to see excessive amounts of blood loss on a regular basis. Actually, not even a minimal amount of blood loss on a regular basis. Giving my opinion and thoughts about this specialty, I would not be an effective employee.


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