Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Shamrock Run That Wasn't

Today I was supposed to do the Shamrock Run in Portland, OR.  A 15K with some serious hills and a whole lot of green.

Today I was supposed to kick last years time to the curb and show off all my badassness.  (I know, not a real word, work with me here.)

Today was supposed to be a fun day with old friends and new friends with laughter and stories.

Today was none of that.  Instead today was about sleeping, doing homework and being sad.  Not even close to being as much fun.

I have been fighting a cold all week.  First my throat was sore, then I was coughing.  Saturday I woke up with a slight ear ache.  It wasn't too bad at first so I took some Advil and went on with my plans for the day. We drove up to my friend Christa's house to pick up my Shamrock Run race bib and shirt.  I haven't seen Christa for years and it was fun to see her and visit for a bit.  But while we were visiting my ear started getting worse and doing this weird crackling thing that made me just cringe.  We didn't stay long and headed back for home.  We stopped at the Woodburn Outlet stores on the way home because Joe needed some new triathlon gear.  At this point I was in a lot of pain.  That was a very long shopping trip.  We got back in the car and I was just exhausted and I hadn't even done anything other than try to manage my pain and wait for Joe to finish shopping.  When we got home I took some more Advil and fell asleep in the recliner.  When I woke up my ear was completely plugged, had a ringing in it and sound had this weird echo.  Kind of like when you get feedback on your phone and you get an echo of yourself talking.  Or a TV is on in another room on the same channel.  It just sounded weird.

I went to bed early and I was so tired I knew that getting up at 4:00 a.m. in order to drive to Portland, find parking and be at the start of the race by 7:30 a.m. was not in the cards.  That was a hard decision to make.  I took Nyquil which totally knocks me out and I get really solid sleep.  I only take it when I know I can sleep in or I can go to bed early enough that I will be fine in the morning.  I slept until 7:00 a.m.  It was awesome!  Between the puppy and work I can't remember the last time I slept 10 solid hours.  In spite of that I have been napping all day so evidently my body needs the rest.  So I sleep for a bit (with the puppy snuggled in) and then work on homework, sleep for a bit, work on homework, repeat.  I finally finished my homework so now I can nap some more.

Me and Bailey.  She is SO CUTE!! :-)
It has been hard to see all the pictures of my friends at the Shamrock.  They are having so much fun and I'm not there with them.  There is a teeny part of me that wants to be really hard on myself for not going, that part of me will suck me back down into my funk.  But overall I know that I made the right decision and my body (and my students tomorrow) will thank me in the long run.  I'm hoping tomorrow I will feel good enough to get back to my training for the half marathon in April.

I have been thinking a lot about my goals and what I want from my running.  I want to enjoy it and I want it to help me be healthier and more fit (as in wearing a smaller size of clothes and not wheeze when I do strenuous activity.)  I have spent much of the past three years working on long runs and have had successes, especially in the past year.  Lots of PRs and overall a faster pace.  Yet the weight comes off SO slowly and the speed goes up and down.  I know that part of that is because of the other things that have come up and my body has had to adjust to new medications and new ways of eating.  Adjusting takes time.   Knowing it and being happy about it are two different things.

I think I'm going to spend the summer working on getting faster on my 5K and 10K races.  I did four half marathons in 2013 and one big relay race.  I can go distance.  Now I want to get faster.  Funny, I totally got sucked into my first half marathon almost four years ago and I think I skipped the enjoyment of getting better at the shorter distances.  Another benefit would be the shorter runs for training during the week.  Right now work is super busy and the last quarter of the year is usually crazy.  So much content to cover, so little time left.  Trying to keep up with that sometimes puts running on the back burner.  I'm hoping that focusing on the shorter runs will make it less stressful for me.  I also have a bike ride to get ready for this summer so maybe it is time to mix things up and try some new things.   (Tour de Cure, if you want to sponsor me check out my blog about the ride:

I have a habit of being really hard on myself for things that are really rather silly in hindsight.  I push myself and then get frustrated when I don't see the results I want.  Circumstances the last few days have made me really look at that and I have decided to quit doing that.  I will do my best and that's all I can do.  Some days life will get in the way of my best.  New puppy, end of the quarter craziness, sickness, activities with my family, grad in general can get in the way.  I need to not look as those things as obstacles but rather see them as the beauty that is my full, crazy, wonderful life.  I have an amazing family, fantastic husband and great friends.  The only person who is criticizing my efforts in running is me.  I need to stop doing that.  The last few months have been hard.  The next few weeks look to be shaping up to be more of the same.  But I will remember I have an amazing family, fantastic husband and great friends.  Even when I don't run.

Trying to be proud. 
There are people I love that I know are in a deep, dark pain right now.  I share some of that pain but at the same time I know it pales to what they are going through.  It puts things into perspective.  When I run this week it will be to help my hurting heart.  I'm not going to run for speed or distance or for any training plan.  Even if I only run one mile it will be okay.  I will use my running time this week as my prayer time for the hurting family.  God has a way of using horrible situations to help us grow stronger. Some days though, I don't want to be stronger.  Sigh.

Sorry if I rambled a bit today.  Lot of things rattling around in my head.  Think I am actually looking forward to a Monday and the distraction of my fabulous students.  :-)  Not sure if I will wear my race shirt or not, since I didn't run.  Feels a little like I shouldn't because I didn't earn it by running.  On the other hand, I made some good choices for me this weekend that should be celebrated.  So maybe I will wear it.  Need to wear something green for St. Patricks Day anyway.  :-)

Today was the day that I was supposed to run the Shamrock Run.  I didn't and that is okay.