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.