Hop Hop Half-Marathon Race Recap

This was supposed to be my last race celebrating the last few days as as a 38-year-old, and the race to ring in a new year as a 39-year-old. A week prior to the race, I kept looking at the weather and the prediction went from sunny with high of 50+ degrees, to rain and temps in the 40’s the day before. I kept visualizing both scenarios and told myself regardless of how the weather played out, I was going to be grateful and remain mentally strong throughout.

 

My mum-in-law, sis-in-law, and nephews came to visit us during Easter Break and we trekked to Anthony Lakes to play in the snow. It was a GORGEOUS sunny day.

 
On Friday morning, we took off from Eastern Oregon to Portland, Oregon. The race was on a Saturday, which is unusual in Portland (I prefer Saturday over Sunday races anyway) and both the half marathon and 5K were capped to 1,500 runners combined. I ended up paying $89 (with registration fees) for the race, which included a technical t-shirt (the shirt ran big, but I didn’t bother to swap), a giant egg medal, and a mimosa flute. The course was described as “extremely flat” but if you are from Florida, you would have vehemently disagreed with that description. Though the course wasn’t hilly, “extremely flat” was not fully accurate because there were a couple spots that required some quad work, but not for a prolonged period of time. The event organizers offered four different bib pick-up days dispersed throughout the city of Portland, which made it extremely convenient. Registration was also available during bib pick up and my husband indicated he really wanted to run the half, so he registered on Friday when we ended up picking up our bibs.   

 

Race Swag

   
I failed to eat breakfast on Friday (I don’t recall what I did that made me forget to eat), so we grabbed McChicken Sandwiches with pickles and ranch dressing out of convenience. The four and half hour drive required a couple of restroom stops (the 3-year-old, twelve-year-old, and four-legged-furry baby accompanied us), making the trip close to five hours. Because I have been battling some hamstring and butt pain, I MADE SURE to stretch and roll as much as I could inside the vehicle and outside of the vehicle. My body aches were my main concern going into this race, and I spent a couple of hours on Thursday wrestling with the thought that running could possibly further agitate my hamstring and butt and considered not showing up. In the end, I decided that if a race was going to side line me, then I obviously wasn’t healthy enough for marathon training either way and not to run Newport Marathon. Thus, this race was a perfect way to gauge whether I should continue training for Newport Marathon or not.

 

Views of PDX from our hotel. This was Easter Sunday.

 
 My carbohydrate loading feast the night before took place at the Olive Garden, where I indulged in salad, breadsticks, and pasta primavera with grilled chicken. My husband opted for Fettuccini Alfredo, and I made a comment that should I eat Fettuccini Alfredo the night before a race, I would most likely end up with diarrhea (lactose intolerant here). In all honesty though, I don’t care for creamy, buttery or cheesy sauces – or cheesy anything for that matter. By 9:3o pm, I was pretty exhausted and I did hip flexor and hamstring stretches, along with side plank leg raises and clams before calling it a night.

 

Triple tasking by rolling my derriere, foot and legs!

 
Because I was supposed to run 15 long miles, I thought I would do a warm-up mile prior to the race and then do a one mile run cool down after the race. Let’s just say, that didn’t happen because we got to the starting line with thirty seconds to spare before the gun went off. Much to my chagrin, we ended crammed up in the middle of the pack. We were so rushed, I ran with five packets of Extreme Sports Jelly Beans on my left hand and my cell phone on the right.  I did manage to be responsible enough to consume a  UCan Cinnamon Swirl Power Bar 45 minutes before the race. Once the gun went off, we found ourselves behind people who were walking or going at a pace considerably slower than ours. Shook off the “should have been here earlier, could have gotten  closer to the front” thoughts and weaved around the people in front of me. Since we also did not arrive in time to use the portable bathrooms, my husband was still carrying around a serving of Fettuccine Alfredo in his intestines. Fortunately for me, I managed to take care of that detail at the hotel. We figured we would find a portable bathroom on the course somewhere and he could do his thing. Sadly, the closest portable bathroom was not until mile 6! Around the second mile, my husband’s stomach had slowed him down, and I made the decision to keep going. 

 

The Easter Bunny ran the 1/2 and my husband snapped a picture of him. He actually started off really FAST, but he slowed down and his suit gave everyone something to smile about during the race.

 
On race day, the weather was nearly perfect. There were a slight breeze, temps were in the mid 40’s, and although it was overcast, there were no visible signs of rain. The crowd had also thinned down enough where I had plenty of room to run comfortably.
I think I have mentioned some time before that I don’t tend to race against anyone in front of me during a race because I feel that the journey of each and every runner is unique, and I don’t aim to elevate my journey over someone else’s by passing them. Now, if I were an Olympic athlete, that would probably be a completely different story, but since I am not, I am comfortable enough to allow others on the course to pass right by me. However, between miles five and seven, there was this cat-and-mouse game happening between another runner and myself. She would slow down, and I’d pass her. A few seconds after passing her, she’d sprint past me and she’d slow down again. My thoughts were, “I am not racing you and I am not trying to beat you.” However, after six times of going back and forth, I decided I was just going to pass her once and for all and not give  her the opportunity to sprint pass me anymore. Either I would fatigue and she’d smoke me towards the end, or I would run strong enough where she would not be able to catch me.

At a water station after the turn around point that my husband snapped of me.

Mile 8 is usually when my body starts feeling the half-marathon race. The hamstrings, my back, and my shoulders are especially susceptible to the pounding of the distance and when it begins to lose its form. So when mile 8 rolled around and neither my hamstring nor my back were feeling fatigued, I thought to myself, “Have I been taking it easy this entire time?” The mapymyrun app stated I was running at an average pace of 8:08 and it made me wonder if I was at a pace where I could beat my PR from the Run 4 Luv Half-Marathon I ran a year ago. With the realization that I was not hurting, I mentally pushed my body to refrain from seeking the comfort zone. I told myself, “You don’t train so it doesn’t hurt. You train so you can tolerate it.” When I saw the finish line in sight, I still wasn’t sure whether I was on pace to PR or not, but I looked to the side and saw 1:48:24 on the clock as I sprinted past the finish line! I was in complete disbelief! I then took a look at my running app to check how close or off I was and saw 13.23 miles in 1:48.40! I got a two minute PR without expecting it! My husband came in at 1:53 after two portable stops (and he learned his lesson about Fettucinni Alfredo). Oh, and the runner that I decided to pass at mile 8, she never caught me. Marathon Training continues! Which means I ran an extra two miles after my race to complete the scheduled 15 mile long run.

 

That’s a wrap!

 
Do you race against someone in front of you? Have you ever eaten the wrong food the night before? How early are you to your race?
 

Mental Training

I am officially on Spring Break and see light at the end of the tunnel in my job. Because my job is one that requires long hours of sitting, I have also made an effort to do some yoga stretches every four hours and to get up out of my seat and walk around the building every two hours. Stretching, rolling, and strengthening are also happening at home every night before I go to bed and every morning when I wake. Although there is still slight discomfort present in my hamstring and glute, I have felt the pain decrease. There have been a few occassions where I have found feeling sorry for myself and wondering if I will be able to even make it to the starting line of the Newport Marathon, but I have not allowed the negative thoughts of defeat to knock me down. If anything, it makes me even more determined to take care of my body and treat it right in order for the favor to be returned.

  
The weather here has been absolutely erratic. Winds, which don’t seem to bother any of the people who grew up here,  seem to be present every time I have to run.  I’ve chosen running outside with the wind over the treadmill in order to train my brain to be tougher. Although I don’t think I have quite mastered, or embraced running with wind, I am proud of the fact I still manage to face and run against my nemesis.  My long run this last Saturday tested my mental fortitude. The stormy gray clouds were filled with a smorgasbord of snow, rain, and sleet. But it wasn’t  mother nature’s fickle palette bothering me. It was the WIND that really set me off on a tantrum the size of a two-year-old. For the first two miles, I found myself swearing at the weather conditions, whining about the fact there is ALWAYS wind in this city, and asking God for a break. Even though I knew my attitude stunk, I was so deep into how I felt, I couldn’t seem to get past my funk. So I began to pray. I asked God to help me get over my self-pity. I wanted him to remind me about how fortunate I was and how trivial my tantrum over the weather was.

  
With each step I took, I named something I was grateful for and continued to do so until mile four, where I finally felt God’s peace. From there on, it was as if the wind had turned into a soft breeze, caressing the path set forth in front of me. I no longer had to pray to recognize how fortunate I was. “I don’t HAVE to run. I GET to run!” That moment right there was a moment of triumph for me. More often than not, I am unable to get myself out of the whirlwind of negativity and walk away feeling completely dejected. This past Saturday though, for the first time since I can recall, I had MENTAL RESTRAINT and won the battle. My mind was not in control. My marathon training this time around is not focused on time. The focus is to achieve a strong mind. It is to tackle every run with gratitude. To prevent the negative voices in my head from overtaking the voices of reason and the voices of grace. How will I measure mental success? I will praise God no matter the CIRCUMSTANCES or the RESULTS.

  
 

Achy, Breaky Butt

My butt hurts. There was a time my butt hurt, but that was in my twenties when I went roller skating and I landed on my keister pretty hard. Aside from that time, my buttocks have never really hurt like the way they have been hurting this past week. Most shocking was how sudden it came. Last Saturday, after a long and slow 10 mile run, I found a rather dull ache on the inner left cheek (sorry, TMI). It was strange, because I just could not pinpoint a logical source for the onset of the pain. After much pondering, I’ve come to the conclusion that my sedentary profession (I administer standardized testing and write lengthy reports that nobody reads) may be the culprit of my frustrating ache. So, I spent a significant amount of time searching the internet trying to find ways to combat an achy butt. It seemed like the consensus was: stretching, strength training, and rolling. For the last two days, I have been diligently doing just that.

Rolling with my homey!

I signed up for the Newport Marathon, taking place June 4, 2016 in Newport, Oregon. It is a rather anticlimactic way to announce it considering I made a big deal of how I was in search of the ideal Marathon. It was my intent to write a rather enthusiastic post about how I had found my close-to-ideal marathon race, but the intent was competing with the thousand and one thoughts that race through my mind from the time I wake, to time I finally lay me down to sleep (How many more days until Summer? I want to visit Japan. I want to attend an Australian Open tennis match some day. It would be so much fun to run a Marathon in Greece. I am feeling anxious and don’t know why. My daughter needs to get up early to take a shower tomorrow. Why is it always windy in this darn city? Please God let me die without ever having to wear a diaper. My three-year loves Avocado and Salami sandwiches. How many licks does it take to the center of a tootsie roll pop? My poor husband is going to be canonized a saint for putting up with me.) I could go on and on, but it is not my intent to bore anyone to death. However, if you suffer from insomnia and this post is making you sleepy, then read away to help you get some decent sleep. Anyhow, where was I? Oh, yes, my marathon.

 

I can blow bubble gum and think a thousand random thoughts at the same time.

 
Newport Marathon, in 2010, was my first Marathon. I pretty much crawled my way to the finish line with giant crocodile tears and snot running down my nose. It was frustrating and NOT FUN in any way. The reason why I picked it this year was because that day is available and does not seem to conflict with any other responsibilities. The course is familiar to me, so I know what to expect. The temperatures in Newport during the month of June are preferred temperatures (low 50’s and either sunny or overcast). We also have family that live near the coast which we can visit while we are there. It seemed like it was meant to be! However, with the recent introduction of the butt-ache, I am now neurotic there will be a Eugene Marathon repeat. There is a vicious battle playing out in my head right now, and by the end of the day, I am mentally taxed trying to balance the tug-of-war between my neurotic thoughts and positive thoughts. For now, I am taking each run one day at a time, and praying, rolling, stretching, and keeping the faith that whatever happens with my body between now and June 4 will not diminish in any way shape or form who I am as a person and all the work I put into what I do.

 

Visiting McCall, Idaho during their Winter Carnival this past February. It was so much fun!

 
There is also a half-marathon I am registered to run on March 26. Since March is my birthday month, I thought I would bid adieu to 38 with a bang and welcome the possibilities that life will offer as a 39-year-old (my last year in the 30’s – yikes). The 1/2 marathon is the Hop Hop Half, and it takes place in Portland, Oregon. Hopefully it will not be wet and windy, but at this point, I will be happy with whatever mother nature throws my way because once again, my main goal is to get to the starting line healthy and cross the finish line with a positive and grateful heart.

What adversities have you had to face during training season? Do you tend to see the glass-half full or half-empty?

Wind in my Sails

There hasn’t been much running or blogging happening on my end this past month. In a way, it feels like I have lost the wind in my sails. My job, which was supposed to have been a twenty hour a week job, has snowballed into a 30-35 hours per week job. While I have always understood that a job may sometimes require a little extra time past the allotted pay to get done, 10-15 extra hours per week was not an expectation I had when I originally accepted the position. The stress has caused me to be physically exhausted while experiencing restless nights trying to figure out how to get all my work done on time.

Three weeks ago, I stated my case to my supervisors, and this past week, I was informed that starting next week, my hours would increase! I tell you what, there is nothing more uncomfortable than advocating for myself and risking the chance of coming off to my supervisors a whiny employee who is unable to manage her work load. However, I knew if I didn’t say something, I would grow resentful and eventually resign. At the end of the day, I figured my self-advocacy would either lead to change, or affirm that resigning was the right option. Thank goodness the former and not the latter panned out, because I GENUINELY enjoy working with students and administering assessments to help them access their academic potential.

 

One of the many work demands required me to attend a three day workshop in Portland. While i enjoyed all the new knowledge I gained, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting my old stumping ground. Boy do I miss Portland and all of the amenities a major city offers.

 
Work, while stressful, has not been the major culprit of my low mileage. In January, when I ran my first half-marathon of the year, I ran with an uncomfortable pain on my left arch and heel, which in turn caused a jolting pain in my left hamstring. Furthermore, I also ran the race with severe stomach and back cramps and I  attributed all the cramping to that biological time of the month. It wasn’t until I got to my hotel room after the race, used the restroom (in a rather painful manner), and noticed small like crystals in the toilet that I learned the cramps weren’t due to the time of the month. In reality, I was passing KIDNEY STONES! I spent three days after my half-marathon drinking excessive amounts of water, running to the bathroom, and bracing the pain. Fortunately for me, the stones were small enough to pass naturally and there was not further medical action needed. When studying my eating habits, the following was discovered:

  • I was not consuming enough water throughout the day
  • I was exercising with a dehydrated body
  • My kidneys were working extra hard to filter the six supplements a day I was consuming with very little liquids in my system
  • I wedged myself into the coffee drinker category, further dehydrating my body
  • When I was drinking “water” it was carbonated (Perrier) water, another diuretic because of the carbonation.
  • Since November, I went from consuming 40-60 grams of protein per day, to 90 and above grams of protein per day!

There has been a good amount of snowfall in the mountains this year. This is so good for Oregon considering the awful drought we experienced this past Summer. We took a drive to the top of the mountain and snapped a picture of this quaint cabin.

Thank Goodness I did not suffer from larger sized kidney stones after the drastic dietary changes I underwent! Thus, my water intake has now increased, I am now in the social-occasion coffee drinker category, I’ve decreased my protein intake to my pre November levels, allowed carbs to continue to be the major source of my nutrition, stayed away altogether from carbonated water, and flushed all of the supplements down the toilet – which is where they were ending up any way. The experience has only confirmed what I have always known; what works for one person does not necessarily mean will work for another person (me). Our bodies are unique machines, and while there are health guidelines that are important to adhere to, the guidelines are not a step-by-step written in stone subscription to how every individual should be governed (no different than parenting).

 

My husband and I recently ran a snowy trail and boy did we get our socks wet! So excited Winter is coming to an end and Spring is right around the corner.

 
Because I have been training without a purpose since the end of the Marine Corps Marathon last October, my training has felt like a job without pay. This means I HAVE TO FIND A RACE. I am planning on not running at all this week to allow my hamstring the maximum amount of rest, but would like to schedule a half-marathon race taking place in the next eight weeks or so. I’m also STILL trying to figure out a good marathon that will give me an opportunity to train properly. Because of some personal scheduling and conflicting travel schedules happening this Spring and Summer, I have not been able to find the “ideal” marathon.  I may just have to take the plunge and sign up for one so that I can be forced to figure out a way to make it work instead of the other way around.

 

While short, the three snowy/slushy/muddy were extremely challenging.

 
There have definitely been family adventures this past six weeks, and I am hoping I get to further detail our family outings in the next post or two.

Have you ever had to advocate for yourself at work? How did your speaking out turn out? Do you think you consume enough water throughout the day?

 

 

Simon Cowell In My Head

There have been so many times when toeing the line to any race – or a run for that matter – has felt like placing myself in front of the American Idol stage with Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson before me. Sometimes I feel pretty confident, and the voices of Randy Jackson “Yo Dawg, just keep doing your thang” and Paula Abdul “When you wish upon a star, you just might become one” take center stage of my brain. But more often than not, when I am not confident at all, or a run is turning out to be more challenging than expected, Simon Cowell’s voice starts creeping into my head.

  • “You are terrible. Quit while you are ahead.”
  • “You are an awful runner. Don’t waste your time running anymore.”
  • “Your running will definitely take you places. I can see you running to a dead end.”
  • “You’re a complete and utter running mess.”

So why are such comments so much more shocking and damaging to our psyche and harder to shake off than kind comments? Because muck like a hot flame can inflict pain and scar upon our flesh, so can words inflict pain and scar in our hurts and minds. Hurtful words can be a traumatic experience to our reasoning and decision-making process; impacting the way we see ourselves, the way we interact with others, and the way we respond to the events occurring in our lives.  Think of how important it was when you were in school and received feedback from your teacher after submitting a writing paper? Or the choice of words your supervisor uses when interacting with you or your colleagues. While I am a firm believer that honesty is always the best policy, and that the truth always sets you free, there is a difference between being honest and being cruel. Yes, I completely agree there were certain individuals on the stage whose voices were unpleasant and most likely would never make it in Hollywood. Nonetheless saying something like “As an executive producer, you are not the voice I am looking for my company” seems by far more professional, just as honest, and way more tactful than saying, “You are a waste of my time.” The latter’s aim is to be cruel and hurtful with the guise of being honest.

Ha! Ha! Grumpy Cat never takes things too seriously.

This weekend, I will be toeing the starting line of my first half-marathon of the year 2016. There will be no doubt in my mind Simon Cowell will interject his opinions during my run and be as cruel and as hurtful as possible.  The challenge for me will not be to ignore the voice, but to re-phrase each hurtful statement into a positive truth.

  • “You are terrible. Quit while you are ahead.”
    • If I QUIT, I will FEEL terrible. Don’t quit.”
  • “You are an awful runner. Don’t waste your time running anymore.”
    • Everyone experiences an awful run, but one cloudy day does not mean the sun ceases to exist. Therefore, one run does not make you an awful runner.
  • “Your running will definitely take you places. I can see you running to a dead end.”
    • But even running to a dead end is further than where you started.
  • “You’re a complete and utter running mess.”
    • If I don’t look like a complete and utter mess, then I am not running. I am lounging. Embrace the utter running mess.

The truth of the matter is, Simon Cowell is here to stay and I cannot change him. Perhaps there is veracity in some of the things he says. Maybe I will never be the fastest runner. Maybe I will never be the first person to cross the finish line. Maybe I will never qualify for Boston. There is one thing I am certain I can do though. I can tame the blunt and hurtful statements and rephrase them in order to motivate myself to be faster, to cross the finish line even if I am last, and to see how close I can come to qualifying for Boston.

Simon Cowell, i’ll take you on with some serious mind skills.

How do you feel when you toe the line? Do statements like Simon Cowell’s ever pop into your head? How do you tackle those thoughts.

 

 

REMAIN POSITIVE

After hours of searching the internet for a half-marathon race, I think I finally found one. I’ve thrown in the towel trying to find the perfect race. When you live 4.5 hours from the closest major city in your state, you’ve got to just accept what you can get.

Living in a small town sometimes makes me feel like I’m castaway off on a remote island. I can only get out though if I remain positive.

The race is actually next weekend, which is not a shocker at all given last minute sign-ups are my preferred registration methods.  Because the race is one four race in a race series, the price is the same regardless of whether you sign up the first day, or the last day, so the $75 fee ($81 with with darn registration fees), while steep in my opinion, is the fee every person registered paid. What will be an out-of-pocket expense though will be gasoline (so happy the price per gallon is low right now), lodging, and the food associated with the trek from  Eastern Oregon to Portland, Oregon.

My expectations for the race are not very ambitious. This past week, I chose to take a break after pain on my left foot emerged during a seven mile run on Wednesday evening. Since I do not want a repeat of what happened last Spring, I took notice of the red flags of pain and made the decision to give my feet some rest. At this point, a HEALTHY year is way more important for me than a PR year. I would much prefer to cross the finish line slow but healthy than sit on the sidelines with an injury. Thus, my expectations will be to finish as strong as I can but as healthy as I can. This race will give me a baseline of my training performance since running the Marine Corps Marathon last October.

 

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.  ~ Denis Waitley

 The MOST IMPORTANT goal I have for this race is to remain POSITIVE. Perhaps that is the most valuable lesson I have learned throughout the past years of racing. A negative attitude is pretty much the demise of any obstacle you want to tackle. If the weather is crummy, I want to remain positive. If my effort seems hard, I want to remain positive. If I feel like I weigh 900 pounds and my legs feel like clay, I want to remain positive. If the course is challenging even though it was described as flat, I want to remain positive. If there aren’t enough water stations or spectators on the course, I want to remain positive. If the course is packed and I am gridlocked with runners who are taking a leisure stroll in the park, I want to remain positive. If I am being passed by a man on a wheelchair with an oxygen mask on his face, I want to remain POSITIVE. Well, seems like I have covered all of the scenarios that ruffle my feathers. If any new scenarios pop-up, I shall be ready.

 

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow. ~ Helen Keller

 

Stubborn or Perseverant

A feeling of discomfort made its presence on my left foot the last couple of days. The left foot is the foot I injured last spring after frantically pursuing a marathon goal of 4:20. While I did achieve my goal, I spent six weeks on the sidelines healing from a ruptured plantar fascia. So, two days ago, when the dull and not-so-intense pain made its presence and did not make a quick exit, I made a decision to take a running break for a week.

 

My seven mile run this past Wednesday after I decided it was best to take a running break.

 
You Live you Learn

The disappointment of not being able to run was so grand, I vowed not to ever be in that position again. The red signs had been there all along, and I chose to ignore them. When I look back on my training notes, I wrote numerous side notes of, “discomfort on my left foot” for almost four weeks straight. Then, there was the fact I kept changing running shoes (Hoka, New Balance, Mizuno, Brooks) thinking the problem was due to exterior mechanics. Had I actually listened to my body, and taken the time to give myself a few days of rest, I would have perhaps given my foot an opportunity to heal. Instead of being perseverant, I was being stubborn.  Because hindsight is 20/20, I am now making sure to heed the red flags of physical pain.

 

I found my running shoes! Nike Vomero 15. Took them on a 20-mile run for first test-run and knew they were the one.

 
Tame the Fictitious Thoughts

If it hurts and your life does not depend on it, stop running. Too many times, I try to push myself mentally for fear of being weak should I make the decision to stop. I place myself in these imaginary “life-or-death” scenarios and must emerge as a victorious and courageous heroine who overcomes the odds stacked against her. Silly, I know, but it’s how my mind works sometimes. I’ve come to understand that I don’t need to be a martyr in every single one of my runs. It is completely natural for me to immerse myself in a role in which all of the problems of the world rest upon my shoulders. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed by what is happening around me, that not being able to solve or make a dent in the injustices that occur around the globe take a serious toll.

 

Greensboro Lunch Counter on display at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. At a time when segregation was still legal in the United States, four African American students sat at a “whites only” lunch counter and remained in their seats when they were refused service. I am always inspired by these courageous acts of heroism.

 
My runs are not just for the challenge of getting stronger and faster, but to atone for my shortfalls and relieve myself from the amount of pressure I place upon myself. When I refused to pay attention to the red flags of pain last year, I likened the physical pain parallel to others around the globe who struggle with the difficulties of their day-to-day life. While I don’t ever want to take for granted the blessings I have, nor do I want to be insensitive about the plight of others, I need to stop the fictitious thoughts that stopping during a run because I am hurting makes me weak. It makes me a human being, made out of flesh and bones. I need to understand that the measurement of courage and strength is not dependent upon the threshold of pain. Courage is measured by doing what is right regardless of the repercussions of said action. In my scenario, it would have been more courageous to stop training and accept that running a marathon at the time was not the right thing to do. I was being stubborn.

 

My scheduled 8 mile run was replaced with a quick 2 mile speedwalk with my stubborn yet sweet dog.

 
Short-Term Sacrifices for Long-Term Success

Last year, my mantra was, “Stick to the Plan.” Because I had always tackled every race with a care-free attitude (nothing wrong with that approach, I just wanted different results) I felt like I needed to stick to the plan in order to see the results. This year, my mantra is “Short-Term Sacrifice for Long-Term Success.” There have been many a times in races where I have seen senior citizens out on the course enjoying the gift of running. Their presence brings a smile to my face, and it makes me pine for the opportunity to race during the latter stages of my life. In fact, I would love for my final days of my life to be out on a running course, being pushed by my children and grand children should I be unable to use my own body to propel myself across the finish line. Thus, it is my intention to see running pauses as short-term sacrifices as mean for long-term success. While I definitely want to pursue goals to test my strength and endurance, ultimately, running longevity is  my desired goal. This is what being perseverant is all about. It is about being able to discern between the voices of rationality and fiction. About recognizing when to push past the pain and when to listen to the pain. It is about winning the war despite losing a battle.

 

Overlooking the Washington Memorial from the World War II Memorial. My trip to Washington D.C. renewed my belief in the determination and resiliency of the American People. I feel so privileged to be able to call the United States of America my home.

 
Do you recognize when you are being stubborn or perseverant? What circumstances have made you decide to stop running?