It's Not Always About How Fast You Run..But the Roads You Travel to Get There
Posted Oct 13 2010 10:46am
Have you ever run a race and thought - "That was terrible!! I felt soooo slow, I really did not enjoy that, I DID NOT RUN FAST ENOUGH?" I'm afraid to admit that I too have heard myself thinking those negative thoughts one too many times over the past few years.
Why is it that we do that? Is it all really about how fast we run, if we finally achieve that PR we have been working soo hard to reach? What about all the little things, the smallest of details that we never care to even think about.
Towards the end of this past March, the 25th to be exact, I found myself lying in a hospital bed recovering from major abdominal surgery. Unable to sit up on my own and relying totally on my husband to pull me up, to help move my pillow and basically anything that we do not even think about.
A far, far cry from only a few days earlier when I was in the midst of training for my "big race". The Boston Marathon. I had worked soo hard to get there, I was soo close, and within a blink of an eye everything was taken away.
I had not been feeling very well since about January- persistent fevers, abdominal and joint pain and talk about the fatigue. It sure makes training for a marathon difficult but I would be dam*** if I was going to miss my chance at Boston.
So, I pushed on each day. It wasn't until I had CT scan that they found an mass in my abdomen and I would require surgery a.s.a.p!!!! What!! I can not even explain the fear I felt as a mother of two young children. Boston was no longer on my radar and I could care less.
After surgery and staying in-and-out of the hospital with complications, I was left unable to run for about four months, let alone even walk comfortably. It turns out I have something called Crohn's Disease, not a glamorous thing to have, but at least it was not what they thought it was, cancer.
There is one thing I can say (many people may think I am nuts.) I feel truly blessed to have gone through that. It is in those frightening, dark moments, that I learned the most about myself, what I am made of, and the way I think about moments in my life is completely different than in the spring.
My running used to be all about how fast I could run and that is really all I cared about. Forget about the fun along the way, going for a run just for the fun of it without worrying about my pace - the pureness of running had been wiped away and I was obsessed with splits, the newest gadget and not being satisfied with a race unless I placed in the top three.
Now things are different. The first week I started back it took me 20 mins to walk a half mile. I am not kidding, I was that sore and stiff. I recall I was soo swollen my neighbor man asked if I was expecting. Ha! That will teach him to ask a girl that again ;) But, even in that moment, 20 minutes felt like winning a marathon. I could move and that was all I needed.
I am now back to running. I have run a 15k and a half marathon this past month. I am not setting records or caring about my speed. I am just out there enjoying the moment and my ability to be doing something I love soo dearly. Someday, maybe, I will again try a shot at Boston. But, for now, I am just enjoying the roads and taking it all in.
Now, I would never wish what I went through on any of you. However, the one thing I can say is sometimes we all can use a little reminder to sit back and enjoy the moment. Enjoy the movement. Enjoy the scenery. Enjoy your health and the ability to go out and run.
Every now and then, take off the watches, forget about your splits, feel the sun on your face, take a look around you and just enjoy the road you are traveling.