This summer I made a very conscious decision to SLOW DOWN my pace and decrease my fall race plans to something more manageable. After battling injuries for 8+ months, my body and my brain needed a break to keep running forever and not just for this season of my life. I decided to just love the run.
So first, I stopped worrying about pace for races and training runs.
After that, I exited our Ragnar team.
And eventually had to admit to myself that a marathon was not in the cards for me this year.
ALL good decisions. The right ones for my body, my family, and my overall happiness.
But, as many decisions do, they came with a price. The women I had loved running with for months and months were too fast for me to keep up with. I watched the Ragnar pictures in my Facebook feed and listened to the stories with a sense of loss – not for the mud and craziness they dealt with, but for the bond they all felt after the experience. And on Saturday runs, I have had to turn around to finish my 6-8-10 mile runs while my friends went on to 14-16-18.
And it stings. All of it.
So I’ve been flipping the negative. In “real” life – every time I start to have a critical thought about myself or someone else, I try to stop myself and flip it around to a positive thought. I haven’t become too pollyanna, but I have found myself feeling much kinder and more generous to my fellow human beings.
It is SO hard to see my name further down on race results than last year’s races. But after the race — my body doesn’t hurt for hours. I don’t feel like my digestive system is at war. And I’m excited for the next one just to be lucky enough to run.
Feeling left out of a big event is terrible. But that weekend – I spent time with my beautiful family making memories. On Monday morning, I felt great about my work and ability to focus. And the 5k race I did that weekend, with my AMAZING friend Beth, was a phenomenal bonding experience in itself. Without mud.
As for the marathon… I am still working on processing that one. I KNOW my body is not up for 26.2 miles right now. Maybe it will be next year. But I felt great after my slow and steady 8.61 miles on Saturday. And I could have done more. So I cherished the miles I had with my friends and bid them well as they continued down the trail without me.
So I’m focusing on slaying the green eyed monster (in my head it’s a dragon in case you are wondering) and making a daily decision to OWN my choices. They were hard choices. But I am so proud of them because they are future focused – something that has historically been very hard for me.