Sunday, July 15, 2007

Afraid to fail... I don't try. This has been a part of me that I have been trying to change. I feel it creeping back in right now, so I am hoping this post and the support of my running buddies will help me get past this. I didn't notice this pattern of mine until the past few years. I realized that I often give up before I have a chance to truly fail. It is easier to say I didn't try than to say that I tried and failed. In 9th grade, when I got my first A-, I stopped caring because I knew I wouldn't get valedictorian. When I ran cross country, I was not very good and my little sister was such a natural runner that I just casually jogged through races chatting with the back of the packers. I only ran one year and decided I wasn't good enough to try any harder. So, what made me start running again?
During college, I gained the "Freshman Fifteen and then some," so I ran and did other exercise to lose weight. I ran with friends, but never consistently. After I got married, Jeff and I ran a little together. I have always struggled with my weight, and running was the one thing that I could I could do to get back in shape. When I moved to Oregon 6 years ago, I heard about this little race called "Hood to Coast." :-) I thought it was one of the craziest things I had ever heard of. When I found out my work would be sponsoring a team, I signed right up! It would be six months after I had my first baby, and I thought that was the perfect amount of time to train. I lost the baby weight, felt great, and Hood to Coast was very interesting that year. Let's just say I don't recommend it when you are breastfeeding, ha ha! I ran it the next year just to have a different experience! After I had Emily, I needed a new goal, so I set my sights on the marathon. (Looking back, I should have started with a half marathon, but I never claim to do things the right way!) The training went awesome, and I am proud to say I only missed 1 day of training in 5 months, even with a newborn baby. The marathon didn't go as well as I planned, but for the first time I discovered I actually ENJOY running. I had finally reached the point where a 5 mile run felt just amazing. I finally called myself a "runner."
The next phase of running occurred when I found an awesome running group. These women, moms, and friends have truly inspired me and made me a better runner and a better person. That has been my favorite part of running- the friendships. Suzie and I became quick friends and as we started training for the Ogden Marathon, we began relying on each other for more than just running support. As a stay at home mom, I love the feeling of accomplishment I get after completing a goal. It seems like no matter how hard I try, there are things out of my control when it comes to the little kiddos. Whether or not I run is completely up to me and I love to have that checked off before they wake up. One of my favorite things to come home to is a quiet house with everyone asleep. I have cried, laughed, rejoiced and found peace on our runs. I look forward to more of this as I get more comfortable in my running again. Which leads me to now:
I am in a funk and I am trying to figure out how to get out of it. Running was going really well at first, but now it is just not as enjoyable for me. I feel every movement of my body, where I used to just feel free. I can see myself giving up hope for St. George, but I don't want it to be because I am afraid of failure. If my body is truly not ready for marathon training again, then I am okay with that. If it is just me giving up, then I am not okay with it. So, my question is, what should I do? I was not able to get in a long run this weekend due to circumstances I couldn't totally control. So, my first step is to go for a long run tomorrow morning. If I can do that it will be a huge accomplishment. I will report back. Thanks for listening. I hope this running bio wasn't a downer.

(Edited to add: Woo hoo!! I ran 8.25 miles this morning. (This was my long run for last week.) It wasn't easy, and I had to walk a little, but I did it! I think having an easier week last week might have helped. So, I am back in the game. Wish me luck! (By the way, I missed you this morning, Suz. I hope you are feeling okay. I am sure I will see you later.))


Chelle said...

M&M, I think we can all relate to these feelings. I know I can. It really is tricky because as I was reading I thought "my gosh, she just had a baby a couple of months ago-- a marathon is a tall order!"

But then, I did the same thing after having my fourth baby. I had her in October and set out to run the Newport Marathon (on the coast) in June. It was nice to have something to focus on, but I wonder if I didn't push it too hard. And as (bad) luck would have it, we moved back to Utah 4 weeks before the marathon and I ended up not running it anyway.

I guess I would say this: If you feel like you can do it without having it turn into something that is punishing-- then go for it.

Congrats on a strong 8.25 miler. That is an awesome step in the right direction. And thank you for your honesty in this post. It's nice to know that we all work through the same emotions!

cherl said...


Your post reminds me of something...

Not exactly the same thing, but one of the things I've been working on is to finish my runs strong. I've gotten much better but I used to almost "give up" once I knew the finish was near. Suddenly I'd want a walk break, I'd slow my pace, etc. when I really should have been finishing strong. It's a weird thing but definitely something I've been resolving.

A similar thing happens when I run loops. I avoid them at all costs because once I see the finish line, I'm mentally done. The Champoeg race you did with three out and backs would have done me in.

Glad to hear you are back in the swing of things. You really shouldn't be so hard on yourself. YOU JUST HAD A BABY! I think the October marathon is ambitious, but I'm still cheering you on. Just be careful not to push too hard.

Suzie Petunia said...

M&M, you are an amazing woman! Just like everyone has said, you need to keep things in perspective: you just gave birth AND you are nursing a baby! You are doing AMAZING for having taken off as much time as you had to. Remember, it was much longer than I had to take off - you are making up for lost time very fast! I am so glad you are feeling stronger! You'll be back better than ever in no time.