Week 16 (April 18 – 24) – Lessons in self doubt

I must admit that I don’t enjoy tapering as much as I thought I would. It’s nice to have the extra time and to rest my legs, but I am definitely stressing out. The stress magnifies the bad runs, making them feel even worse than normal. How am I going to run 26.2 miles when running five is hard? How am I going to do this?

Monday: Rest
I had planned to do a short 3 mile run, but I had to leave work early because I had a horrible stomach ache and was very nauseous and dizzy. I attribute my sickness to the big plate of nachos I had for dinner on Sunday. Note to self: must stick to healthy, non-greasy food for the remainder of training.

Tuesday: 3.1 miles (27:10)
My calves hurt a little, but I felt pretty good in this run. I powered up the Dexter hill and felt strong.

Wednesday: 5.6 miles (50:10)
Wow, this run was brutal. I wanted to stop running about 10 minutes into the run, and boy did I think of every possible excuse to quit after my first loop around Greenlake. My mind was overflowing with negativity. From miles 1-5.6, all I could think was, this sucks. My calves hurt. My calves hurt a lot. It’s cold. It’s windy – too windy for running. Crap, it’s raining? My underwear is uncomfortable. My shorts are too short. I’m fat. I have a muffin top. My arches hurt. I’m slow. I suck at running. Why am I running a marathon? Did I mention that my calves hurt? And my arches hurt too.  How am I going to run a marathon in 1o days?

It was really bad, but I forced myself to keep going after my first loop around Greenlake to get my five miles done. In the midst of the negativity, I tried to tell myself that it would get better, that the first few miles are always the hardest. My calf and arch pain mellowed out during the second loop, but it was still a hard run to get through. Not so great for the confidence either. According to my dad, there is a lot of self-doubt in long distance running. And I am definitely experiencing that.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 8 miles (1:16)
My legs felt bouncy and rested, but I was much more winded than normal. I had to walk a few times to lower my hear rate, which was disconcerting. I tried to focus on the positive (the fact that my legs felt the strongest they’ve felt in weeks), but my breathing concerned me. Have I lost some endurance? Have I not trained hard enough? Am I doing something wrong?

Sunday: My nephew was born! My sister went into labor on Saturday and had the little guy at 4:21 am on Sunday, April 24. He’s an Easter baby, and he’s absolutely perfect. My mom and I drove up to Bellingham in the morning to meet him and spend time with Ceann and Brian. It was the first time that I’ve ever held a very newly born (aka 8 hours old) baby, and he just melted my heart. I’ve been excited to be an aunt, but seeing and holding him for the first time exceeded my expectations. It blows my mind how I can love someone so much that I’ve only known for a few hours.

Total: 16.7 miles

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3 thoughts on “Week 16 (April 18 – 24) – Lessons in self doubt

  1. Muffin tops! Remember seeing those at the grocery store. Also, you aren’t fat and don’t have a muffin top…ENOUGH!!!

  2. LESSONS IN SELF:

    Albert Einstein once said:
    “The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation FROM the self.”

    I once heard an interview with a woman who had climbed Mt. Everest (not to be confused with Mt. Rainier). She said:
    “With every step I took I surrendered more and more of my self.”

    If we want to know what courage feels like, we must first accept and embrace our fear. If we want to live a life faithful to all that we are capable of being, we must first listen to every single stupid doubt. There are no shortcuts. There are no cures. Ready or not, this is it. Are we ready? I think we are. Let’s line up at the starting line and see what happens. It just might turn out to be a whole lot more than a long run.
    Who are we when we are too tired to take another step?
    Who are we when we are so immersed in what we are doing that we forget all abaout muffins and fake tans and uncomfortable underwear?
    Who are we when we realize that we are so much more than what we do for a job?
    Who are we when we realize that we are so much less than all the loud static distracting us?
    Who are we?
    Maybe this is all stupid and cliche. Maybe only a knucklehead would want to run a marathon. Maybe we should just sleep in this Sunday, drink coffee and eat donuts. Maybe….
    No, it is time to let go of all the doubts and find some faith.
    It is time to be afraid so that courage might manifest itself.
    It is time. It is our time. Let’s run and see what we discover about ourselves. Let’s run!

    Your running partner,
    Dad

  3. P.S.

    I ran 3.2 miles today in 30 minutes. I didn’t feel all that great. I am worried. I’ll never be able to run 26.2 miles. My hip flexors hurt. My right hamstring was a little tight. I couldn’t seem to get into an easy rhythm. I’m not a real runner. God, this is all so foolish. Why did I let that Megan talk me into this.
    It doesnt matter how many times I do this; it’s the same old story. I sure wish there was a way to skip this phase of doubt and fear. As of now, however, I haven’t discovered it. Who is that voice in my head questioning my aspirations? Does he have to be so mean?
    It seems we are in the same boat; so I guess we’ll just have to paddle it together. I think we will be just fine once we get into that great big river of runners.
    I have faith that Sunday will be a BIG day for both of us.

    I’m glad we are doing this together.

    Dad

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