Sunday, January 5, 2014

Defeat Followed by Redemption

In the event that you missed every person on your Facebook page complaining about the snow and cold, it, a lot and it was flippin' cold! With 14" of that white stuff on the ground I found myself in a bit of a marathon schedule shake-up. I was unable to run my short distance on Thursday due to the storm, so I ran 3 miles on Friday, leaving me with a Saturday rest day and a Sunday long run. Unfortunately, the city of Melrose is pretty horrible at clearing sidewalks, so I was forced to climb aboard the treadmill.

For me, running on a treadmill is so much harder than running outside. The scenery doesn't change, it gets terribly boring and I am forced to keep the same pace, rather than allow my body to adjust naturally. So, there I stood on a treadmill at the Malden YMCA (which by the way is WAY nicer than the Melrose Y) with 10 miles ahead of me. I was hydrated, fueled, and strapped in with my new Amphipod water bottle. I was ready to go...or so I thought. Miles 1-4 were solid, but once I hit 5 and realized I had 5 more to go my mind started to wander. My body grew tired, I realized I had to pee, I got completely bored with my view and to make matters worse, the lady next to me needed to be wearing more deodorant. By the time I got to mile 7 I had to quit. I tried playing the mind games, but I just couldn't continue. Frustrated with myself, I did what I have learned to do when in a running predicament: text Coach Pamela!

Pamela recommended that I hop on the elliptical to finish my miles and end with a 5 minute fast-pace run back on the treadmill. Being the good student that I am, I climbed onto the elliptical, still angry with myself for giving up, and rode it out for 2 miles. Once I hit 2, I quickly jumped off and started back to the treadmill. I was determined to finish my miles...and RUN them! I ran the last 2 miles at an 8:30/9:00 pace. I had something to prove to myself and pushed it until I literally couldn't stand it anymore. Satisfied, I sent Pamela a text and re-read some of her other motivational comments that I quickly glanced over while in my tizzy.

I focussed in on one very important statement that my dear Coach made: "Think about all the people that don't have the option of suffering thru a crappy run on a treadmill..." In that moment I realized why my run had been so terrible. I lost sight of why I was running. I was too busy trying to play the mind games that everyone tells me to play to make the time go by faster. I was focussed on my awesome pace. I was thinking about other things than the task at hand. I've said it before and I'll say it again: running, at least for this marathon rookie, isn't about pace, distance, time, cute running clothes (ok, maybe a little) its about purpose. I needed to bring myself back to the reason I embarked on this journey to begin with. I was too busy being a runner and not being ME: the non-runner who accepted a number to run for those who can't.

You better believe that when I strap on my shoes next week and hit the streets for 11 miles I will be thinking of those who can't. In fact, next week I dedicate my run to Nicholas, a former Spaulding patient, my Coach's brother and someone who 9 years ago today lost his ability to run and complain about those crappy encounters with the treadmill. Next week is for you, Nick. You're a fighter and so am I!

1 comment:

  1. Way to push through it. Treadmill runs build mental strength and also shows everyone how crazy one is..or just very determined. You..You're determined and you did it. It could have been worse. I ran 13.5 miles on a treadmill last year and all the same things wondered through my head. So you're not alone in your journey of 26.2.