I turn 30 in a little less then a month and, my apologies for being a bit stereotypical, but it’s freaking me out a little bit. I think the freak out all comes down to the fact that I thought I would have more about life figured out by now.
So, inspired by reading the fantastic posts that came out of Reverb10, I decided to do a little reflecting of my own and one thing surfaced right away – I am not very nice to me. Take, for example, the marathon I ran in October.
The Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in Denver was my third marathon. The day of the marathon, I felt great. I was a little undertrained, having skipped too many of my weekday runs and drinking a little too much wine during the training period, but I still felt great. I was also armed with The Galloway Method where I was running 7 minutes and walking 1 minute over and over. The idea behind this method is that the lactic acid is flushed from my muscles every 7 minutes keeping my legs fresh longer. (Read more here)
By mile 15, I had set a new personal record (PR) on the first half and I was on pace to run about a 4:20 marathon, 17 minutes faster then my PR of 4:37. All of a sudden, my IT band decided I was going no further at that pace. It felt like someone stabbed me in the side of the knee. I limped into an aid station at mile 16 to get some ice. I was sobbing so hard that I could only pull myself together to say, “I only need some ice, please” when they started talking about getting an ambulance. All I could think is, I’m not going to make it — not to the finish — but to my goal. I briefly considered just getting a cab to take me to a large rock I could crawl under for about a week until people stopped asking me how it went. I decided against it and limped / trotted / shuffled the last 11 miles to the finish.
My Ninja was waiting there for me. He ran his first marathon that day completely barefoot. He finished in 4:04. He was fantastic, and so happy. He congratulated me, told me I was amazing, and that he was so proud. I felt like a giant failure.
It hit me a couple of weeks later. I felt like a huge failure for finished 26.2 miles about 8 minutes slower then I had run the same 26.2 miles last year. Seriously?! Who feels like a failure after running 26.2 miles? Me.
My friend and coworker at Room 214, Wendy Hofstetter, happened to tweet this the following day: “all I can do is my best, and my best is different every day.” Wendy and Lauren Maynard met me at mile 19/20 and walked / jogged me to the finish line. I owe them my finish because they were joking around and encouraging me on when all I wanted to do was sit down and cry.
So here’s the thing about not being very nice to me… I had several successful runs leading up to that day. How many did I celebrate? Not a single one. I congratulated my Ninja (who trained with me) and after the long ones we would have mimosas and omelets (the breakfast of champions). I never thought, “Linz, you are the queen of Saturday morning endurance runs! Can you believe you were out there for four HOURS?! You kick ass!” I just thought, “wow, I should have run a little quicker.” “The weather could have been a little better.” “I’m really getting sick of that route.” “I had to walk too much.” Every single one of those thoughts is negative. Every. Single. One. Bad Lindsay!
I was in a yoga class at CorePower a couple of months later. (I don’t love yoga because I feel clumsy and I don’t look cute sweat dripping off me.) At the end of class during the shavasana (called “Dead Man’s Pose” because you just lay flat on your back and let everything go limp) the instructor told us to “thank your body for all the amazing things it can do.” I thought, holy shit, my body carried me through 26.2 miles and I never said thank you!
So, in my 30s, I resolve to appreciate the things I can do and be nicer to myself when my best on one day is not quite as good as I was hoping for.