An act of survival

I have been having a hard time with running lately. Mostly, because after the Claire Witch Trial I was in a lot of physical pain. I knew that run would be harder than our actual half marathon but the fear of feeling pain like that again has kept me away from running. I’m still up and moving because I knew that’s what Claire would say. Go for a walk or go for a shake out run. I even ran a 5k and got a new PR. Still, I was struggling with motivating myself. I had admitted to Claire that I wasn’t sure why I was running. That’s the hardest thing about running. You have to want it for yourself. You have to be selfish in that way.  

There are a lot of ways that people and the internet will tell you how to find the motivation again. I know all of those suggestions. “Tell yourself you GET to run”, “reward yourself with new running items”, “don’t wear any technology – just go run”. They can all be helpful, don’t get me wrong. I guess this whole post is a reminder of what I get to do or more like what I can do now.

The first time I ran a race was in 2010. It was in October and I completed a 5k in 53 minutes. November of that same year, after training for 9 week prior, I ran a 5k in 45 minutes. My pace was 14:446yearsago

Training for anything is hard. Training is work. Sometimes you make it fun but really it is ritual and it is work. I get a little frustrated with training when it feels like work, instead of being fun. Worrying about when can I fit in my long run. When can I just get in the milage for the week that is being asked of me. How do I fit it all in, still stay mentally fit at work, be there for my partner, friends, family? How do i drink enough water, eat enough food, stretch the way I need to?

2011 I trained with my first group and I met and made some amazing friends. The finish line photo of my 10k is one of my favorites because four friends ran back to find me and run me to the finish. That 10k was 1:35:54

I made big running plans and started to have wide-eyed dreams of running. I ran the Boliermaker 15k in 2:34:46 – I completed it. It was hard. I was 250lbs at that time. Walking back to the car was difficult.

first run of 20122012 I trained for my first half-marathon. My first 5k time in 2012 when starting training was 49:08 with a 15:55 pace. I trained with a new group with some old friends.It wasn’t a good group fit. Medically, the coach believed I couldn’t achieve the goal. It was a struggle and I was stubborn. I completed the half marathon in 3:34:00. A stress fracture had me sit out for awhile after. I tried in 2013 to train on my own for another half marathon. I ran that one in 3:43:25. I gave up after that.

2015 my old friends I liked from my first running group were trying a new group called New Beginnings. I was coming off two major surgeries but wanted to do something physical again. The first time I was able to run the entire SUNY loop I completed it in 49:33 with a pace of 16:47. New Beginnings Season 01 (NBS01) I ran the 5k in 44 minutes flat.

NBS02, I told Claire my goals. To get as close to a 30 minute 5k as I possibly could. A year ago today she took me out on a secret run where she had me run a 5k in 37:54 with a pace of 12:13.

My season 2 5k was 36:55 with a pace of 11:55. NBS03 I moved up to the 10k group, I made a lot of great friends in the New Beginnings group and Claire believed in what I could do when I couldn’t believe in it. I ran the season 3 10k in 1:10:20 with a pace of 11:28. Making the decision to move up to half marathon training with New Beginnings (NBS04) was two fold. 1. My swolemate and running buddy was in for it if I was. 2. I wanted to beat my old Hudson Half time. I wanted to show my new body what I could do.

That leads me to now, where i’m stuck. My new body felt pain like my old body did. Listen I get all theyearago logic behind it. You push a body, it’s gonna hurt. The emotions, that’s where I am stuck. Fighting through pain and hardship has never been my problem. Seeing the successes, that has always been my problem. In my last 5k I ran it in 34:17 with a pace of 11:03. Claire even reminded me how last year I would have killed for an 11 min mile. Until I saw the photo reminder from a year ago today, I was still stuck in not feeling successful.

The half marathon is 12 days away. For me that is a big deal. It’s also a big deal to our 5k, 10k, and Ragnar Relay groups. While this whole post has a ton of numbers and times and data, i’m trying to not get swept up into that. The Claire Witch Trial was fucking hard but I completed it, my body survived it, my spirit was challenged. That’s what the head unicorn knows is true for each of us in our journey.

“It was was fucking hard but I completed it, my body survived it, my spirit was challenged”



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