Saturday, August 3, 2013

The middle: Hal Higdon Marathon Training week 11-12

I hate the middle. I hate the middle of anything. I have a very hard time being clear and focused and confident when I'm in the middle of something. I want to give up and quit. Period. I like things done yesterday. There is a middle part in every run and I realized early on that I needed to learn to get comfortable being in it. Some people can naturally envision the finish line and are motivated by it to keep going when they hit the middle. That wouldn't be me. My natural tendency I struggle to overcome is fear and self doubt when I am in the middle. I have a hard time seeing the forest through the trees. 

I think it started as a kid when I felt in the middle of my parents divorcing. They divorced back in the 70's, let's just say not in the most amicable of ways. Life went something like this at 5 years old: two weeks settled in living with my mom then every other weekend with my dad. I would cry on Saturday mornings at 10am when I left my mom not wanting to go and leave her. And then I would cry Sunday afternoon at 4pm when my dad returned me to my mom not wanting to leave him. Worst. Time. Of. My. Life.  Feeling stuck at 5 years old smack dab in the middle of the 2 most important people in your life sucked.

So yip. Probably why I hate the middle.

Moving on.

So shockingly, (said sarcastically) I'm struggling being in the middle of my marathon training. I'm anxious and squirrely and I haven't been able to pin point why until today's run. Today as I ran I felt like puzzle pieces were flying at me and I wanted to stop and write them all down so I wouldn't forget. Unfortunately I couldn't so here are the pieces I remember and how they fit for me. This happens to be my specific baggage I've shared but you could substitute your own at any point when you run. It all just starts fitting in and making sense in some weird way. 

Week 11-12 Hal Higdon Marathon Training

Physically I went from really tired to energetic to tired again. The 16 mile long run last week was the toughest I've ever experienced physically and emotionally. I almost quit. I think being that close to quitting after coming so far scared me. I started questioning whether I can do this. Running had helped me quiet the fear monster inside me but he reappeared after the 16 mile run.

I decided that the fear monster lived near the start line for me. 

Exhausted. Sore knees. Pain in my hips. 2 purple toe nails. Pretty, huh? My inner girly girl found some cute pink nail polish to hide the toe thing :)

What are you doing? You are 41 years old. You are too old to try to run a marathon. There is no reason to keep going. You will injure yourself. You won't be able to run and all the weight you lost will return. Nobody cares about your running or your writing. Stop this craziness.

Enter the finish line fairy.

You can do this. Look how far you have come. You are finally learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. "When you are too tired and sore to run with your legs... run with your heart" Open your eyes and appreciate all the support you have from the people that love you and care about you that are waiting for you at the finish line.

Kids are powerless being in the middle. Adults aren't. You are only in the middle for as long as you choose to doubt yourself and stay there. 

I think I can almost see the finish line in the distance.