Remember three months ago when I talked about my goal for 2010? Well, it’s been really good for me in terms of not letting me feel sorry for myself. I am amazed, seriously. There are days when every step feels like a jackhammer in my lower spine, but I make myself run through it because I need to get in 19.2 miles over the course of the week. It’s so easy to fall into a pattern of asking “Why me?” when you suffer from chronic pain, but it’s such a pointless question because there is no answer (at least none that will make it easier to swallow).
Having something else to focus on has been a big help. As the miles tally up, I feel this overwhelming sense of accomplishment. What seemed like such a huge goal on New Years day still seems challenging but within my abilities now. Thomas Edison said, “If we did all the things we were capable of doing, We would literally astound ourselves.” I am pleasantly surprised that I’ve made it past the first quarter without throwing the towel in, and moreover that I haven’t let the mileage pass me by. I’m doing this, and I am so proud of myself! 695 miles to go!
It also shows me that all my excuses had no basis in actuality. I DO have time. I CAN work with my body to get the long runs in. I DO enjoy more from running than just being done. Golly! Where was this person 10 years ago? I graduated from high school in 2000, and I remember feeling grateful as I shook the principal’s hand because I would never have to run a mile in phy-ed class EVER again (not that I could ever run the full mile). SURPRISE!
So, my longest distance to date has been just shy of 12. Nick and Jeff are trying to talk me into a half marathon this year, but I don’t want to commit. If I could pick the day of the run depending on how I feel, I think I would be up for the challenge, but I am scared that I will wake up on race day and know that I’ll be done after five miles. Sometimes the body just isn’t willing…and I am coming to the realization that most runners probably don’t have good pain days and bad pain days and that’s how they can be so confident signing up for a race on a specific day.
I do three runs every year, two for me and one for Nick. My two benefit Cancer, and his benefits UW Athletics (we all have our causes). I am okay with the two 5K runs that I sign up for because 3.1 miles doesn’t take any training (trust me: I’ve run them just fine after being inactive for months). The 8K run of Nick’s is next Saturday, and I have butterflies.
Nick has been super understanding, knowing that my back has been acting up for the last month (thus the steroid injection last week [which has not helped]). He has given me an out, should I prefer to walk instead. The thing is, I know I’ll feel bad about myself if I enter the walk. I felt bad two years ago when I walked because I was only two weeks out of major surgery, and I had more of an excuse then! I don’t know what my mental block is this year: I run distances of five to seven miles regularly every single week without a problem. I guess it’s some sort of performance anxiety—or, more likely, I remember that moment last summer when my back went out during a run, and I never ever want to feel that level of pain ever again.
So, wish me luck, because I know that I will sign up for the run. That’s just what I do: I set impossible goals for myself and then develop an ulcer stressing over them.
Actually, strike that sentence about luck. WISH FOR RAIN!