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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Chances Are...

Race week is quickly approaching! I can't believe how quickly the past few months have passed.  I remember doing a short run with Kelsi Nutter back on June 18th in Duluth, and talking about how in 2 days I just needed to get the trials qualifier for fear of having to run another marathon this fall. Two days later, I raced like a fool. I watched the wheels come off earlier than they ever had before during Grandma's Marathon, I crossed the finish line a full 4 and a half minutes off the standard.  I knew I had a whole lot of work to do prior to running Columbus in a few months. 
Finishing Grandmas in 2:47 with a heavy heart and mind.
Thinking of all the work I had yet to do to attain my goal was overwhelming. About a month after Grandmas we made a move with our family to Columbus Ohio.  It was hard to leave behind my favorite trails, a job, family, friends, and my Cleveland Elite Development teammates. Knowing I would have less support, and having to do my long runs and workouts alone felt overwhelming.  I crumbled.  For 2 weeks I struggled. How was I going to pull of training to run faster with less? I focused on the negative, what I didn't have, rather than what I did.  I went to Akron a August 15th to race the Rubber City Series 10k. I felt completely wore out. I warmed up with my teammates, happy to have them by my side again. But the 2 weeks prior had gotten the best of me. I ran 2 miles and scrapped the race. The first DNF I have had since the Twin Cities Marathon in 2008, when I had a broken foot, and dropped out shortly after mile 11. 

I knew I had to do something, and now! So I made a decision. Let this go!  I reminded myself how many miles I had run in the past alone, how much my teammates, friends and family support me even if I am not right next to them.  I promised myself, no more sulking. It was now or never if I was going to show up in Columbus ready to race. It was time to grind out miles. Juggling being a mom while running 90 miles a week was still hard, but choosing to let go of feeling like I was losing something, and embracing my current situation proved to be a huge step forward.  My training turned around, my fatigue levels changed. Yes I was still tired, but I didn't feel like I was under some cloud.  This was a choice. I was going to train hard, and come out the other side stronger. My husband and kids deserve a happy mom and wife, and I won't settle for being unhappy. 
My adorable family
Since Grandmas I have run just over 1000 miles and have only 60 or so to go to the start line on October 18th.  My workouts have gone very well, and my attitude has significantly changed. I am excited to race next week, and I feel that the miles and workouts alone have made me all the stronger, and somehow better able to handle the challenge before me. Not only in running, but as a mom, wife, friend, and family member. As far as the race goes, I am going to race a bit smarter this time, and hold myself accountable for every mile.  I know that my fitness has improved, and I am ready for this challenge. 26.2 miles will never be easy, it won't give me any favors, and I will have to take what I have worked for. My mantra is the same, I am STRONG, I am SMART. My goal is the same, qualify to the Olympic Trials. As far as a person goes, I am going to enjoy things. Not let worry steal my joy, and while this will always be something for me to overcome, I don't want to get in the way of my own, nor my family's happiness any longer. 
The goal- get back to the Olympic Trials (this is a pic from 2012)
I have said this before and I will say it again.  "Am I excited?  Yes.  Nervous?  I hope so. Scared? Never!  All the miles, all the tears, all the times I wanted to give in, but wouldn't let my mind win. My legs have done it a thousand times.  Now I run with intelligence, and heart. After all, chances are the fascination." It's almost time to put my hard work to the test.  I am excited to do it next to Ellie next weekend!  If you are in the Columbus area please come cheer us on.  If not please follow us, and cheer from wherever you are!  We appreciate all the support. Running wouldn't be what it is without the amazing people we have around us.  It's race time!   

Ellie, (also known in my blog as Ellison) is in the middle, and we get to tackle Columbus together! 

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