Getting Back On The Horse, BQ OR BUST TAKE 3!
When I got on the plane to London this April, I knew it wasn't going to happen. I was hopeful that a miracle would happen (I managed to get an entire row to myself so luck was on my side) but the evil muscles in my ass that had derailed my final month of training weren't playing fair and though I was hopeful, I knew the chances were slim.
Spoiler Alert-- The pain in my ass didn't magically heal overnight and for the first time in my life, running broke my damn heart. (That still feels silly to say but it is what it is.)
There's something about a marathon that kicks your ass but before London, I didn't understand how painful it is to give your best and not get a chance to see what you're capable of. All of my marathons pre BQ or Bust were personal but in very different ways. I toe-ed the line to prove to myself that I could do it and have as much fun as humanly possible along the way. Truth is, as crazy as it sounds, running a marathon is really, really, really f*cking fun! (I know. It's sick. Don't knock it til' you try it. Unless you have tried it and hated it. In which case...well...you still probably get it.)
I didn't think I would want to try to BQ again. The reason I decided to chase impossible to begin with was because I caught myself saying that I didn't believe in myself enough to make it happen. So I went for it totally unsure about what was possible, but eager to give it my all.
After London, where I thought I was ready to make it happen but went on to have a particularly devastating day, I didn't know if I'd want to subject myself to that disappointment again.
So I took some time away to try to fall back in love with running. Feel free to roll your eyes at me but it honestly felt like a bad breakup. And when it comes to breakups, the only way you learn to love again is when you let yourself love again.
ALRIGHT. THAT WAS REALLY CHEESY. I HEAR YOU! I hate myself a tiny bit for saying it, but it's true. The only way to move forward is to get back on the horse knowing there's a chance your heart is going to smash into a million pieces again. And granted, it's a little bit more complicated than that, but here's where I'm at:
I promised myself that I wouldn't try again unless I was doing it for the right reasons. And at the time I said that I didn't know what that meant. But today, I get it. A part of me wants to try again because I don't know if it's possible. I know I can do the training. But I don't know if I can make it happen on race day. And I'm excited about that. I'm excited to try again and see what I'm capable of when I give everything I have towards making my impossible, possible.
Right now, there's still a lot of specifics to work out but I can say that I've been building my base and getting ready so that when the time comes, I can hit the ground running. (CHEESY CHEESY CHEESY JOKE.)
I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'm nervous. Honestly, I think it's because I know what to expect that I'm intimidated. There's something magical about being totally oblivious to the doubt, fear, workload, and pain that's to come. It's freeing. But thinking back to Chicago and how painful that race was, I'm terrified of those moments when I need to say yes to pain.
This go around, especially in the beginning when everything feels like crap, I just want to continue to run with gratitude. I just spent six months running with pain and this Sunday, it was the first time I ran a strong 9 miles pain-free. And the overwhelming feeling of gratefulness I experienced yesterday is something that I hope I can hold onto for the rest of the training cycle.
I know it's just running and sometimes when I write these diatribes about running and training, I can't help but ask myself why it matters. But here's the thing, running helps me put my strongest foot forward in every single aspect of my life. It challenges me in ways that nothing else has and forces me to wrestle with my pre-defined limits and doubts.
Just yesterday, during that long run, we took off at a much faster pace than I was told we were going to run. I panicked. I started coming up with excuses to let them go without me and before I could catch my breath to get the excuses out, I realized that I was still telling myself what I was and wasn't capable of before giving myself a chance to just try and see what happens. (A lesson I learned over, and over, and over, and over again during BQ or Bust...)
Here's the thing about time goals, fast and slow are irrelevant. Strong makes sense to me. Some days, everything clicks. I can run fast as hell and I feel like I'm flying. But most days, I spend the majority of my run looking down to make sure there aren't 30-pound weights attached to my ankles. It all comes down to effort level and for me, running fast doesn't make sense or motivate me. But running strong does.
Chasing time goals is a lot like learning a new language. It feels clunky and uncomfortable and you doubt yourself every single step of the way, but if you can get out of your own damn way and do your best, eventually, with enough persistence and patience, impossible becomes your new normal.
So this month's goal is to just get out of my own damn way and show up for myself.
The vlogs are coming soon so head over to my YouTube channel and hit subscribe to stay in the know!
And this time around, I'm not doing this thing alone. I'm going to need the #BadassLadyGang to chase your own impossible right alongside me! But more info on that is coming soon!!!