Oh god, everything hurts today. Yesterday I had some slight discomfort in my glutes but today I have pain in my glutes and my quads. They always say that two days out is usually the worst and I would agree.
Add on top of that I got up and ran this morning. I didn’t want to. My body said not to. My body screamed to stay in bed and sleep more. But I got up and got dressed and made my way out the door. My exhaustion was such that I didn’t get stop to get my Run Gum. Thankfully I remembered my headlamp and ear buds.
The run was incredibly sluggish. My legs never really loosened up or felt like anything less than concrete blocks. I listened to my Amy Poelher audio book and pushed myself forward through 3.5, 12 minute miles. I literally felt like I was running in place. I missed the caffeine boost from the RunGum as well as the distraction that chewing gum provides me. It helps me focus on my breathing and gives me something tangible to focus on other than my legs, the miles and the decision I made to become a marathon runner.
However, during the run I was able to come to the realization of what exactly I was struggling with related to the race on Sunday. (In case you haven’t been able to tell by now I am often plagued by paralysis analysis). I realized that Michael was incredibly focused on the finish. He was focused on getting us to the finish line as quickly as possible. Perhaps it is harsh, but it seemed like he enjoyed the attention and focus that being with John brought. I realized as I ran, slowly towards home, this morning that my issue was the focus that he had on the day and how that focus had overshadowed the rest of us so forcefully.
Regina and I had discussed the strategy (albeit sort of causally) and how we would accomplish the task-our discussion were journey based not completion based. Also, Regina and I have an intuitiveness with each other after seven years of training and running together. There is just a flow in our running probably because we are focused more on the process and the getting there. And that in lies the difference. We, or I should say I since I don’t want to speak to Regina, were focused on the journey NOT the destination. In the scheme of things, it is the journey that is most important to John. He didn’t care how fast we got there since all he cared about is that we were together. He enjoyed the sights and the sounds and the people. I realized as I slogged my way down Market Street that I was upset that the day had been turned into something unplanned.
I was frustrated that someone was trying to manage not only our group race experience but mine as well. I was frustrated and angry that someone was attempting to push me beyond my comfort level into an area that I knew I couldn’t go. I know my physical limits and pushing 10 minute miles after running 8.5 miles wasn’t something that I could do without injury.
But I also realized, that during all of the stress of the day that I had tried to remain flexible. That I had decided when things weren’t going as planned and I got separated that I would just run my race to the best that I could. I had some focus on the destination as well but I realized that I had allowed myself the moment to step back and refocus my perspective and goal.
In the end we all made it across the finish line, John was pleased we were there and he thanked me. My frustration with my performance was self induced flagellation and that all I was doing was eroded the good aspects of the day. I think once I realized the root of my struggles I felt better. I acknowledged the issue and have spent the rest of the day feeling better about the race as a whole.
Fingers crossed that the muscle aches will in fact be better tomorrow, since that will be day three which means theoretically they should be all gone. Or at least one can hope. I am incredibly grateful for the clarity that running provides me and my over analyzing self. I am grateful it affords me the opportunity to look into myself and see parts of myself that I can’t always see right away.
Running is such a fascinatingly brutal self loving sport.