Sunday, June 24, 2012

Beyond C25K - Awesomeness Doesn't Give Up

I ran for the first time in almost a week today.  It was hard.

This is the first week since I started running where I just kind of let myself slack off.  It reminded me of how easy it is to let things get in the way.

Funny - because the the song I've chosen for my final performance for burlesque class is, "Things Are Getting In The Way," by Corey Glover.  And it's true - things are always getting in the way in my life.  And if there's one thing I've really learned is the key to my health and happiness it's to stop letting things get in the way.

This week it was work, and kids, and even my own body that got in the way of me running.  But mostly, it was my attitude.  For 9 weeks I didn't let any of those things get in the way and I only skipped running when my body just really couldn't do it. So, I know that this week, I LET things get in the way.

It's SO easy to slip back into those habits.  SO easy to focus on others, or do what other people want me to do rather than insisting on taking time for myself and doing what I want to do, and just saying no to anything that isn't what I want or need.

But I will be better about all of that in the future.  Because the effects of not putting myself first suck.  I got progressively crankier as the week went on.  By yesterday, Saturday, I could barely contain myself from screaming at everyone - and sometimes I didn't.  Over and over again, I banished people from my presence because otherwise I knew I would get mean and nasty with them - and for someone who is generally pretty nice and sweet, I can do mean and nasty on a level that no one deserves to experience.

I also got progressively more depressed as the week went on.  Feeling that everything I've been trying to do for the last couple of years is just worthless - all my goals unattainable.

I think I've lived with a kind of functional, low-level depression most of my life.  This kind of depression that almost seems normal and is easy to not even recognize as being depressed.  In the weeks since I started running, that depression has lifted.  But the funny thing is I wasn't aware of it lifting.  The same way I hadn't fully noticed how much it was a part of me - I didn't notice it letting go and drifting away.  But now, when I don't run, I feel it descending again - and I'm aware of all the ways it takes over and slows everything in my life down.  Everything is so much harder to accomplish when that depression rolls in.  And the really nuisance of it is that it makes it hard to push myself to do the one thing that can make it leave again.

Which is why the more days that went by without running, the more it seemed like there were too many obstacles in the way of going out for a run.

Fortunately, yesterday, I realized what was happening and made up my mind to get up this morning and run before the inactivity took root and I let myself sink even deeper.

And it was hard.  I've been sticking to the short run since I ran in the 5K.  I want to get faster, and  I think if I can keep doing the 2 mile run until it becomes easy, then I will start to really pick up speed.

There was a race in the park today - and those can either inspire or discourage me.  Being in the mood I was, I got discouraged.  People were whizzing past me and I felt almost like I was crawling rather than running.  The worst, and most discouraging thing - which usually happens at least once a run - is when someone WALKS past me.  Today, every time that happened I just wanted to give up.  But I didn't, I kept running.

And it was hard, my legs ached, my knees hurt, I got a little winded a couple of times, I felt a twinge in my right calf that told me it could burst into a full on cramp at any moment. But I kept running.

For the first time in many weeks, I felt like I wanted to do walking intervals.  The running just felt so hard and time and again, I thought, if I could just walk for a few steps, I'd feel better, but I didn't.  I kept running.

And as I came to the end of my run, I realized that I was a full song ahead of my playlist than I was the last time I ran.  And because I'd had to wait to cross the race in the park, I had actually started running about a half a song later on the playlist.  So that put me about a song and a half ahead of what I'd run last time.

I cut about 6 minutes off my time.  I ran around 6 minutes faster than I had last time!!!!  I spent the whole run feeling like taking 5 days off had caused me to lose ground.  I was beating myself up for having to start over, because I had slacked off.  I ran along feeling like a bit of a failure, a quitter.  And in the end I discovered that I am still making progress!! I'm getting better all the time!!  I'm not a failure or a quitter.  I'm succeeding in ways I don't even see.

And that's kind of the story of my life.  I'm ALWAYS better than I think I am.  I'm always doing more than I believe.  I'm always achieving things that are huge, when I think I'm doing something trivial.

I have to start trusting and believing and seeing, as my 13yo would say, my AWESOMENESS!  I'm pretty amazing!!! And the first step to believing it, I guess, is at least being able to say it!!

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