I was so excited for my long run on Monday. 12 miles. 1.1 miles short of a half-marathon. This also means that I’m half-way through my training, aaaand it also means that this next week is one of two planned recovery weeks: much shorter runs, and much more restorative yoga to give my muscles and joints a well deserved/earned break. Like The Weekend says, “Girl you earned it!”
Yes, I did, The Weekend. Yes. I did.
Oh, the Horror!
Things started so well and then about .75 miles into my run, the absolute unthinkable and unimaginable happened. The single most terrifying event for a runner about to run a long-distance.
It wasn’t an injury. My shoe did not fall apart. It wasn’t a mean-looking dog chasing me down the street (I actually love dogs; especially the ones that everyone’s afraid of like pit bulls and rotweilers so that would actually make me happy).
MY iPHONE DIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I forgot to charge it and almost as soon as I started running the screen went black. I was stunned. I was shocked. I was in disbelief. Denial. The horror!!!!
How will I know my distance? How will I know my pace? How will I run without my music? How will I go on?!
Do I keep running? Do I go home? Does it even matter?… Somebody tell me what to do!!!! Help!!
I’m just going to curl up into the fetal position and weep. How could I have let this happen?!
What’s the point?
There are those zen runners you see that, admittedly, kind of make me roll my eyes (whatever!) who just lace up their sneakers and go. No watch, no headphones, no distance tracker. Nada. Nothing.
This is not me.
I’m a wee bit of a data geek at my core so I love seeing numbers: distance, speed, pace, averages, personal bests, beating those personal bests. I thrive off of seeing the numbers.
Plus, since I’m not working right now, seeing the accomplishments of my run listed off in data gives me a sense of accomplishment; something that I’ve found to be really helpful when feeling less-than-accomplished on the job search (some days I just loathe looking at those job posting sites).
So, in my mind, if there’s no data then it’s like I didn’t run, so what’s the point?
Me, Myself, and I
After a moment of disbelief, I thought “Well, I know where 5 miles is on my planned route. All I have to do is guess-timate the 6 mile marker and then turn around and come home and voila, 12 miles.”
So I did it! I threw caution to wind! Made lemons out of lemonade! Made a molehill out of a mountain! (I know that last one’s not the correct saying, but just go with me here…)
And the very unsuspecting part of it all is that I really enjoyed it. I had no idea that I’d enjoy spending time with myself and my thoughts for (what I think was) 1 hour and 50 minutes. I listened to the rhythm of my breath, I heard children laughing, I heard dogs barking, I heard my own thoughts, I solved problems, I daydreamed.
Life happens when we make other plans
The same scenario can play out in life when things don’t go as we think they should be planned. We will do every and any thing in our power to get life back on the track that we think it should be, but how is that fair to ourselves when what is on the other side could be something far better and much more aligned with what we need in that moment than our puny little human brains could have imagined?
I think the universe, or God, or whatever you want to call it, really badly wants to show off but we so rarely let it because we’re too hung up on controlling every little minute of our lives. Too hung up on staying comfortable.
That really is one of the best gifts that this training is teaching me. Running long miles can be really uncomfortable, really painful, but if I want the reward of crossing that finish line on May 1 then I have to keep going through it all. The only other option is to quit because it got too hard and that would feel, to me, worse than finishing and dealing with the pain; finding ways to feel great amidst the pain.
It’s always better to just go with it. Trust. Flow. Dive in and go.
See you on the trails and happy running, friends!
Days to Marathon: 66