So far the New Year has lead me to do a lot of reflecting.... Having a big goal such as Qualifying for the Olympic Trials when I can barely run 10 minutes pain free seems... Irrational... But I know it's not.
I've been very focused on the negative in this postpartum comeback process... and when I look at the last 5 years of my running career, given the amount of changes my body went through, it's actually remarkable!
November 2013: My first Marathon- 3:05:42
January 2014: Slip on Ice, Kicked at Work, Injured
November 2014: Diagnosed with Fat Pad Impingement Syndrome (yes, I was unable to train that entire time.... I have a long, long, long list of things I tried to get me a diagnosis or heal me... but that part is not relevant anymore- I needed surgery)
November 2014: Found out I was pregnant and had to cancel surgery
March 2015: Knee Surgery
August 2015: Gave Birth to Raea
April 2016: 20 seconds off of my PR half
May 2016: Calf injury right before my marathon
June 2016: DNF marathon due to injury
September 2016: Two hospitalizations related to unknown allergies.
October 2016: Marathon PR (and some XC pr's too!)
November 2016: Pregnant
August 2017: Gave birth to Maebel
November 2017: Calf injury
January 2018: Start training
April 2018: Boston Marathon, sub 3:00hrs
December 2018 (?): OTQ
That's a whirlwind! A crazy roller coaster of ups and downs! I'm so hard on myself that I would only look back and see the negatives. I have so much baggage with this sport (that goes back well before 2014) but when I look at the list above, what I see now is "Damn, I still PR'd after a surgery and a baby, and two years off from running? Imagine what I can do with some consistency!? "
Instead of looking back to see where everything went wrong, I only want to look back to see what went right... or don't look back at all!
Take out the trash
"Take out the Trash..... The trash is the thing that is keeping you from the only thing that matters.
I had some pretty big changes externally in the past year (I mean, I grew a human), But I also had a lot of internal changes as well. A lot of it had to do with letting go of things or people or ideas that didn't serve me in the way I need. This may even include getting rid of friendships that are no longer good for me, or getting rid of something as simple as a TV show... or unfollowing someone on instagram or facebook that for one reason or another, doesn't necessarily lift you up.
I was surrounded with a lot of negativity for a long time, and realize now that I was actually swallowed by it. Sometimes you think something is good for you until you have been freed from it for a while. You have more energy and are less tired, you feel enthusiastic about new beginnings and big goals rather than unsure of yourself. I've taken a step away from some things that I truly valued at the time they were part of my life and realized that I was not getting out what I was putting in or not getting out what was essential for me at this phase in my life.
The crazy thing is that in November of 2014 I remember crying tears of sadness and fear when I found out I was pregnant. It was a total shock. They require a blood test before surgery, so I got one. I tested negative so I proceeded with Pre-op tests. I had 7 Xrays in my hip and knee area as well as an arthogram, lidocaine injections, and an MRI just to be thorough... so when I still didn't have my period the week of my surgery, I took another test and this time it was positive. I freaked out. I was angry. I assumed my baby would die because of all the tests, or what if it lived but had terrible birth defects because of my decision to get all those tests?! I'd feel horrible! I even, selfishly, though WTF?! "I just got a diagnosis! I just got married, this is not what I wanted!" I always pictured myself hitting the Olympic Trials Qualifier before kids, traveling before kids, having a house (as opposed to living with my husband and 3 other teammates) before kids.... but God always has a plan.
Having my kids has taught me a true lesson about "living in the moment" because kids (babies especially) don't know any other way! They don't know about yesterday, they don't know about tomorrow, they only know about now... and while that can be insanely difficult when your 2 year old daughter is being demanding and can't understand the word "wait", they truly are my teachers; my best coaches when it comes to "Taking out the trash"
Additionally, everything important to you becomes impeccably clear. It's easy to get rid of the things that don't help you progress, because you really don't have time for anything else. In January 2015 when I slipped on ice, I had announced my official retirement that morning (I was calling in my Brett Favre retirement, because obviously I'd be back as soon as temps were above freezing) and I can't help think that God threw me on this 5 year roller coaster to get right here where I am now. Maybe the roller coaster would have been shorter if I didn't resist so much... but I see the plan now (if I got things the way I originally planned, I would have run Boston 2017 and I'd be pregnant now... But WOW Maebel is so perfect! How could it ever have been any other way?!). I have a newfound love for this sport that I started to hate (simply out of the constant obligation to be doing it...) and I've found support in the places I once mocked (yes, instagram... if you want to be an elitist and make fun of my instagram pictures, or my fitsnap usage, or my strava, that's fine. I'll just add you to my growing pile of trash.) I'm doing this for me now. No one really cares if I qualify for the Olympic Trials or not. No one really will judge me if I don't get up one morning because I'm tired from being a working mother, no one really cares what I do anymore. I run for a team, but we run for the love of it, and if it's not fun we don't run at all. There's no pressure on me except for the pressure I want. All I'm doing now is Three things every day that will help me get to my big goal... and maybe I'll never reach my big goal, but so far every day I've put in the effort, I feel more alive and more free than I have in years.
I'm hungry. Hungrier than I ever have been, and I'm not going to stop until this goal of mine stops keeping me up at night. (melatonin for the win!)
Thanks for all your support!
What helps you stay in the moment?
What are things you have had to let go of to propel yourself forward?
When you stop and think are you someone that criticizes someones hard work because it's not the way you do it?
Be honest with yourself, It takes way more energy to be negative than it does to be positive!
Welcome to my blog! I blogged my entire pregnancy in 2017 and I had high hopes for where I could take my running after baby number 2, but my body had other plans. At some point I got too discouraged to write and recently realized that it is essential for my personal growth and development to keep putting feelings into coherent(ish) thoughts. I still hope to run sub 2:45 in the marathon one day, but for now I’m trying to focus on the process and I’m learning to enjoy it. You can come along for the ride, apologies in advance for grammatical incorrectness!