One year ago today, I ran my first three miles post-humerus fracture. I ran three miles in Central Park with a couple of incredible friends.
It was hard. And glorious. And it left me smiling like a fool and feeling sore in the best possible way . It’s been a very long year, filled with many ups and downs, and brought with it many lessons. This year taught me patience, perseverance, courage, determination, and that I have an indomitable spirit and will when something is important to me. It taught me to embrace what life throws at you with great fortitude. I think that the greatest lesson I learned this year was to never, ever, give up; no matter how frustrating or hard it gets.
I’ve been training for the Ottawa Half Marathon for nine weeks now. It’s not at all what I expected it to be. I’m not at all where I thought I would be when I signed up. I signed up for this race high off the finish of the Richmond Half Marathon. A race that far exceeded my expectations. I had spent six months rebuilding, getting stronger, and basically starting over again with running. Sure, I had a few setbacks during training for Richmond, but overall things went pretty well and crossing that finish line made me feel like I was BACK.
Fast forward a few weeks, to right after Thanksgiving, and I completely fell apart again. All I could think was, here we go again.
By now, we all know my body and I didn’t start 2015 off on the right foot. There were still so many unknowns going into training for the Ottawa Half Marathon. Am I strong enough to try again? Can my body handle increased mileage again? Should I take the season off and shift my focus just to strength? Needless to say, these thoughts kept me awake at night. I continued to focus on strength and cross-training and kept my mileage pretty low as we entered March and I was really starting to feel stronger again. As April quickly approached, I had a choice to make. I could take the rest of the season easy or I could be brave and push my body’s limits a little and see what happened. In the end, I chose the latter and so I began April “training” once again. April was pretty good!
I had some tough runs.
I had some great runs.
I ran races again.
I started doing speedwork again. And for the first time since October, I ran 100 miles in a month again. And it felt good. Really good. But if I’m being honest, I couldn’t help but feel like it was time for more. This race wasn’t supposed to be my easing back into things. It wasn’t supposed to be my building back up again. It was supposed to be my chance to push hard. My chance to set a scary goal and work my ass off to achieve it. It was supposed to be my first attempt to PR the half marathon since the 2013 Long Branch Half Marathon. I guess I just thought that Richmond was for building back up again and easing back into things; not Ottawa. I would be lying if I said wasn’t feeling a bit frustrated that this was turning out to be the same. But like my Mom always says, “We make plans and G-d laughs.” So, in the past two weeks, I’ve tried to shift my attitude, look at it differently, and take it all in stride. I’ve decided to accept this is where I’m at right now. Being frustrated only makes you frustrated. It doesn’t change the situation. So I’m focusing on the positive.
I’ve had some pretty strong runs.
Well, not this weekend, but in the past couple of weekends.
There are still three weeks left to go until race day and a lot can happen in three weeks, right? Whatever race day brings I will be grateful. If I’m just there to experience my first international race, and enjoy the weekend with my friends, that will be enough. I will do my best to run a strong race for where I am right now. That’s really all you can ever ask of your body, isn’t it? I will look at this as another building block, a stepping stone, to hopefully being strong and healthy enough to train for a marathon this fall.
When I think of the difference a year makes I can’t be frustrated, I can t be disappointed. I can’t be upset with how my body has recovered from a traumatic injury. So I will continue to focus on the positive, follow Coach’s plan, work hard, believe in myself, and run the best half marathon I can for where my body is now. Three weeks to go and counting!
Have you ever been injured and had to start from zero more than once?
Favorite song from your current running playlist?
Have you ever run the Ottawa Half Marathon?
Best advice for staying motivated when a PR isn’t your goal?