Sunday, March 02, 2008

On Change

Yesterday, when I composed that post, I had just had a pretty tough week at work, then had my car bumped enough to do a little damage, and then tried to go on a 10 mile run, only to get about a mile and a half out to just feel a lump in my throat which I couldn't explain. So I stopped, turned around, listened to Jack Johnson's "All At Once" off his new album, walked home, and then cried. For no particular reason. I just felt overwhelmed.

After relaxing, playing some Rock Band, and having (finally) a good night's sleep, I decided to try again today. JayZ went down for a nap, and the sun was out and it was near 50 degrees (my favorite running weather), so I donned Brooks Comeback Hoodie, my iPod shuffle, the Garmin, and my shoes.

And I thought I'd try again.

Here's a rough estimate of my internal monologue.

Wow, it's nice out here. The snow is melting, the sky is blue, and I don't even have to wear gloves or a hat. This rocks.

Even the air smells like spring. I'm not naive enough to believe that this means spring is officially in Northeastern Ohio...I've lived here long enough to understand that March is, at best, schizophrenic in its weather patterns. But this is a taste. And the sun sure feels good on my face.

Today is Jackson's 5 month birthday.

Today is 5 months until I'll be diving in the water at Steelhead.
How has it already been five months?
Here it goes...mile 1. BEEP


9:09.

Huh. How 'bout that. That's exactly the pace I'll need to hit to run a 4 hour marathon in the fall. Heart rate is good, but that's a little fast for a ten mile run. I'd better slow down. I'd like to hold this thing around 9:15.

Oops. There's a puddle. Damn. Now my feet are wet. Oh well...it just means it's warming up.

I wonder if Jackson woke up yet.

There's an Obama sign. I wonder what's going to happen this Tuesday. Our state's gonna play a pretty big role here. That's kind of exciting.

I need to make a final decision. There are things I love and things I despise about all three of the big candidates. I think I know who I'm going to vote for Tuesday. I think.

Okay, here comes Mile 2. BEEP

8:56

Huh? (Makes a strange face) Okay...heart rate's still good. Where did that come from? Regardless...I'd better slow down. I can't hang for 10 miles at this pace.

More Obama signs. No Hillary ones. Interesting.

Mile 3. Here I go...BEEP

8:47

Okay, what the FREAK SHOW IS GOING ON.

Is this some kind of joke? Am I running downhill AND with a tailwind?

But this is the same route I always run when the snow is melting. Melty Snow Route is great because I can run on sidestreets and avoid slushy sidewalks and stuff.

Heart rate is still good. RPE is still relatively easy.

I guess I'll...go with it?

You should.

Why?

Because. I'm trying to show you something here.

Am I going to keel over after ten miles at this pace?

Nope. I'm trying to show you.

Show me what?

You're not the same.

I know that...I'm having a hard time trying to figure out who exactly I am now and how to be this new person...

Well, just stop already.

What?

I mean, stop. Stop analyzing. Stop worrying. Stop comparing. Just do this thing.

Do what?

Be what you're becoming.

Okay...

Understand that you can't stick to some schedule you might have used before. You need to be flexible, you need to bend more. You need to cut yourself some slack.

I know...I'm trying...

And I'm trying to show you just how much you've changed.

How so?

I'm trying to show you how strong you are now.

(silence)

You never believe me. You always try to talk yourself out of it. So I'll just show you, now, out here, how strong you've become.

(silence again)

And then I just ran. I just ran at a pace that felt good, and at a heart rate that was appropriate for a longer run. I heard a few birds. I saw kids making slushy snowmen out of the heavy, melting snow. I saw other runners out, enjoying the day. I saw what my watch said, and I could hardly believe it.

Before I knew it, I was back at home. A far cry from yesterday's failed attempt at a run. I finished my ten miles.

At an average pace of 8:53.

8:53.

?!

My body has always, always been smarter than me. Time and time again, it's tried to tell me what should be obvious. What I should know anyway.

I am strong enough for this. And getting stronger every single day.

I know today won't be the last time I see snow on the grass. I'm sure we'll have another few storms here in March--and they are traditionally the worst ones of the year. Last year we got a foot of snow on Easter in early April, for crying out loud.

But Spring is coming.

Things are changing. Including me.

And whatever storms might still brew in my mind, today showed me that the sun is coming. The weather's getting warmer. The sky didn't turn dark last night until almost seven.

Things are changing around here. Mostly with me.

So, hopefully, you'll stick around to watch this. I have a feeling it's going to get pretty good.

14 comments:

Love2Run said...

I love your monologues. Enjoy the ride ;-)

Jennifer P said...

I've found that since having Isaac there is a place in my brain and my heart that makes me dig just a little deeper and try a little harder and it ends up feeling effortless. It sounds a lot like your run today. I'm so much smarter and stronger than I used to be.
As for the other I want to do it all but I know I can't but don't care because I still want to do it all anyway -- been there, still there. I really find reading your blog helpful knowing I'm not the only one. (but usually insanely jealous with the times and training you're pulling off...)

Michele said...

wow great run!!
Has it been 5 months already???

Heather said...

Amazing. Loved the report

jbmmommy said...

Glad to see your post. I had Blogger issues and couldn't comment after the one that sounded a bit down. After almost five years of being a mom I have no idea whether I'm doing it all as well as it can be done. But doing things as well as I can has been good enough. And I've never run an 8:53 pace for anything- you're completely kicking butt on it- all of it. I look forward to hearing more, take care.

Mojo said...

Wow! Time flies. You are doing great, running ten miles after giving birth five months ago. It gives me hope. Now, I can even imagine riding a bike right now. Got any good bike stories? :)

ff_jeff said...

Good for you. Nice run. It's always great when you have a run like that, so pyscologically satisfying!

I M doing Steelhead also...I'll wave as you pass me!

IronMatron said...

You're right to trust yourself--the self that forced you to listen!
I'm glad you had a good, strong run. You needed it and you deserved it!

Spring is coming. rebirth.

Mallie said...

I can't believe he's already 5 months old. Time really does fly. And it sounds like you were flying on that run. Congrats.

Lana said...

OMG - that sounds so familiar. After my failed 4hr attempt at Rocket City, I went out and ran a 16 miler with a group of fast people who were running 8:30 - 8:40...I kept thinking "What am I doing? I can't really do this." But I just let it go and ran, and finished right there with them at like an 8:35 pace....I couldn't believe it.

It's crazy how we let our mind or our pre-conceived thoughts box us in. We can do so much more...if we'd only allow ourselves to.

Great run, girl. You can most definitely go sub 4 this year. Don't let anything or anybody tell you different.

triguyjt said...

awesome post..
i love the line
"be what your becoming"

happy 5th month to the little guy
and wow..5 til steelhead...

time flies
your are right about the schizo weather..huh??

Try@thlete said...

It's all good and I hope it stays that way for you.

monica said...

i too am CONSTANTLY AMAZED at what my body is able to do and how it's able to recover for the next workout. it's like when i lost some weight. i couldn't, wouldn't believe i was anything but a size large. took me forever to throw out the fat clothes, but now i never wanna look back. thanks for reminding me to "be what i'm becoming"

Kim said...

fantastic sara!!! what a great run! congrats!