Moving On From Self Doubt

Yesterday I ran the EY River Run Classic Half Marathon.

RIVER CITY 2011
This was my first ever half marathon, back in August of 2011. (above)
I had just finished nursing school, just started my dream job as an emergency RN, just got married, and was in the best shape I had ever been in up to that point. I was able to train with three friends who through running became some of my best friends.
The race kicked my butt. It was painful, it was hot, it was hard. I left feeling more accomplished than any other day in my life. Non-athletic Sarah just did something few complete. She ran a half-marathon. Running was an outlet, a way to prove to myself I was capable of anything I set my mind to.

Flash forward to July 10, 2011: it was a humid, overcast day. One of my best friends and mentors signed up, and paid the $70 just to pace me. I was full of expectations. There was no doubt in my mind I wouldn’t achieve my 6-year goal of running a half marathon in two hours and thirty minutes-just one month ago I ran a 2:34 with digestive issues.

By 8km my  mind started to collapse. I started trailing behind, loosing time. I started thinking about how stupid I was for trying to conquer such a lofty goal (4 minutes faster in less than a month). My toe went numb, and then incredible pain. I was nauseated, my hands were swollen. I started working myself up so much I couldn’t breath because I was fighting back tears.
This is pretty much how the rest of the race went. I beat myself up emotionally. “You can’t do it”, “Just quit now”, “Why did you ever think you could do this? You aren’t an athlete!”, “What a bad friend, wasting Rebecca’s time”…. and on and on it went.

I knew my goal was gone….and then a few minutes later, a PR was also gone. I basically whined, and cried on and off from 8km all the way to 20km. I was ready to pull out my debit card and call a cab. I threatened to hitch hike home. I didn’t fuel properly, because I had already given up in my head. I drank way too much water, not enough salt…and hardly any carbs. Becky wouldn’t leave me. She encouraged me. She pushed me to work harder, and she pulled back when she saw emotionally I couldn’t push harder. She tried to remind me, just ONE MONTH ago, this would be a GREAT time.

At 2:42, 3rd to last, with tears streaming down my face, I crossed the finish line.

RIVER CITY RUN 2016

Today, after almost a full 24 hours of sulking, it brings tears to my eyes. Not because I am upset with myself for the time anymore-but because I was my own enemy. My own self-though process destroyed me. The race was over in my head after it had barely just started physically.

I took my time to sulk. I am now surpassing those demons that told me I wasn’t good enough on race day. I am good enough. I am MORE than ENOUGH.

I am pulling out of the full marathon in September, not because I think I can’t do it…I know I can. I want to love running. The best part of running is the self awareness, and confidence it gives me…. I lost that somewhere in this race.

I have two more half marathons this summer, one in august and September (switched down from the full). My biggest goal being to show myself love, and the love of running again. Run for enjoyment. Run to prove to myself I am ENOUGH.

…Because I am. 🙂 On to bigger, better things. SEE YA LATER SELF DOUBT.

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Saskatchewan Marathon

Sunday was the Saskatchewan Marathon in which I was running the half marathon. Having only gotten out of a boot cast for a bad sprain two months prior, I started the day with my only goal to get close to my old PR.

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My HEART was a different story. I wanted to break 2:30 for the first time. One of my best friends was pacing the group, and I knew with her encouragement I could do it.

The first 5 km of the race was through residential area. At first I was dreading this as I find residential BORING. However the first 5 km everyone was still close together, it doubled back on itself and there were tons of people cheering. By the time we got to the river trail I thought, oh wow! Its just like starting a regular run, I just have to go a shorter distance now!

Running a 7min/km pace felt hard, but do-able. Around 12km I realized I had to use the washroom and use my inhaler, but didn’t want to stop and risk loosing my pacer. I ate two gels-pretty much forcing them down on Becky’s advice knowing I would need the energy later. By 14km, I NEEDED to stop [I was majorly regretting cutting my digestion time pre-race by half an hour]. I picked up my pace to PAST comfortably hard, hard as I could go to get to the washroom for…

SOME SPECTATOR KID TO SWIPE THE ONLY BATHROOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I couldn’t wait. I knew if my pacer passed me, I would have a really hard time getting back to her.

I slowed for a mini-tantrum. HA! My eyes were watering, I had rage inside me [yes, I know, kids can’t hold their bladders…rationally, I’m not mad….irrationally in my “IM GOING TO KILL A 6 YEAR DREAM” head I was RAGING. It was all I could do not to scream at the mother as I ran by. There were literally public bathrooms 300 meters away.] Becky caught up to me and I am sure she could tell I was defeated. She pointed out the bathrooms up ahead and I went for the sprint. I knew if she got more than 30 seconds ahead of me I wouldn’t be able to catch her.

I sprinted along the course to the public bathrooms. I went faster than ever in my life, one minute.  I sprinted back out. I saw Becky in the distance. I ran as hard as I possibly could. Possibly harder than I ever had to try to get back with her and the group. I could see her in the distance for a full 2-2.5km. She was SO close, but I was burning every ounce of extra energy I had to try and catch her. TMI alert: I was running so hard, I vomited in my mouth, and swallowed again in an attempt to KEEP GOING.

I approached the south bridge which has a slow incline. She was at the end of the bridge [thanks to a bright orange tank I could find her]. I tried as hard as I have ever tried for anything. The incline started, and I just knew, I couldn’t keep this pace any longer. I would have to push myself to try my best, and PR as close to 2:30 as I could.

I slowed my pace back to my goal pace and kept going. Within another 2-3 km my pace slowed dramatically. I was 1 minute slower per KM. I downed almost an entire pack of gel dummies desperate for energy. All of that sprinting wore me out early.

I knew that if I didn’t PR at least, I would never forgive myself for giving up.
I pressed on at 90% effort. The hardest I have ever worked in a race, EVER.
In my head I kept calculating how many minutes behind I was. FINALLY I was on the final stretch. I could see the finish line.
400 meters left, I had plenty of time to PR. Becky  ran back for me. All I could say was “I tried so hard to catch you” through tears. I was so emotional I could barely breath. I had to beg her, and a few seconds later, my husband, not to talk to me so I could at least breath and finish strong. Becky took my camel back to lighten the zone and I ran the last 300 meters at a pace around 5:28 according to my watch. If you saw me dragging it in, you probably would have thought I was a robot. I wasn’t smiling. My eyes were on the prize.

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I finished in 2:34:59. 11 whole minutes off my previous personal best. Almost 5 minutes off of the dream I had been chasing for 6 years….and while I didn’t believe I could achieve until mid race, had my heart set on.

Now, I am selfishly bummed. Im trying to be so happy with my accomplishment. I PR’d by such a large amount. I ran the hardest emotional and physical race I have ever run. I all out sprinted 2.5km…..and I can’t stop thinking about 2:30.

I could have done it. I COULD HAVE DONE IT.
The fire is inside me. Now to find a race….

PS. Don’t ask me about aid stations or any of that jazz- the only ones I really remember were at 4km and 14km[with the dang kid], but I was so zoned in and focused I can’t remember. I DO know 14km only had ONE porta potty. I know they were often, I was just trying to run my hardest and zone them out. I wore a camel back with my energy and water.

STOP IT!

I need to address something here that is very VERY very important.

If I hear one more person tell me the secret reason they have never run is because they are too self conscious…..
I have heard this sad fact from at least 5 people this month. Tiny people, less tiny people, large people. Young people, old people.

PEOPLE! You are beautiful. If you are walking, shuffling, running, darting, ANYTHING, you are doing better than the majority of north americans sitting at home on their couch.

Screw them. Screw the kids who teased you as a kid. Screw the “elites” who make you feel slow. Screw bad body image.

We are all beautiful, and doing the best you can, and running is such a joy and gift because of just that-it teaches you to love yourself, and that you are capable of so much more than you think.

So whether you are 600 LBS, or 90lbs. 10 years old, or 80 years old… Lets get moving. No one else’s opinion should ever determine our health.

(PS. Me and all my ‘running friends’ are commending you…It takes incredible strength to get out there. Starting is hard, we were all there once.)

The End.

Love, Me.

Hope & Infertility

My Marathon has come and gone. I have a beautiful medal hanging in my kitchen…a perfect 42.2km technical shirt hanging in my closet.

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I have conquered one of my biggest life goals. Now… I have to put all of my energy in to a different but important one.

For those of you who aren’t aware. My husband and I have been struggling with infertility for nearly 3 years.

For three years I have debating sharing this with the world. While I have been very open with people I know on a day-to-day basis…opening myself up to criticism on the internet is a whole other ball game. Most people know the vague details of our struggle, few know the minute ones. I truly believe that couples shame and fear shouldn’t have to be hidden. I believe that community is so important in this journey…and for this reason, I will share as much as my heart can bare as we start the next leg of the journey.

Next month we will be starting to undergo a series of costly fertility treatments. While we have had some minor ones already-this is the “real stuff”. Within the next 1 month to 1 year, we will know if it is possible for us to conceive a child.

Over the last three years I have found a lot of ways to not get attached to the idea of a biological child. I resigned myself to adoption (which is definitely something I would like to partake in one day, but I would also love to experience pregnancy once if I am blessed with that experience), I told myself I didn’t really want children, I convinced myself I would be a terrible mother, I told myself children would interfere with my life goals…anything to avoid the pain that is infertility.

I thought I was okay with the life we have. I was okay with life without a biological child. I was very excited for the future…and where that may lead us with a possible adoption story. Then we met the fertility specialist. My whole plan going to the appointment was to confirm what I already knew in my head: I am a barren desert..and no forms of life will grow here. When I was given my “statistical odds” of becoming pregnant naturally vs. IUI vs. IVF….I was weary and hesitant. Then, something in the last week since my appointment has changed. I can’t stop researching fertility treatment statistics, reading success stories, etc.

Hope. Something I haven’t had in a very long time has resurfaced…..and it is utterly terrifying. For the first time in a long time, I think if the words “You can not conceive naturally” are thrown at me again…I might just fall apart. I feel so fragile…..anticipating the worst, and hoping for a miracle….

So now we wait, and hope. Within the next month our first treatment will start and we will start the waiting game to discover if we will become parents….

We are young, we are hopeful. Fingers crossed, Prayers sent. xo

Birth-goals

Well friends, another beautiful year has come and gone and on Friday I will be turning 25! I make birthday resolutions for each year of life-because really, what significance does new years have? Nothing really. I’ve made some big scary goals this year!

1. Conquer a full marathon: I’m all signed up for the Vancouver Marathon on May 3, 2015. TERRIFYING!

2. Take a non-race vacation: California? Texas? Florida? Some of the few places the hubby and I have been discussing.

3. Stick to a budget to pay off debt and save for a house: I hope to have a specific portion of our debt completely paid off, and to have a specific amount in savings. 🙂

4. Practice yoga at least once a week: Hot yoga at least once a month.

5. Re-learn guitar: Song TBA….I have yet to get a guitar, or pick some songs.

6. Swim in open water: Scary Scary Scary. Since learning to swim, I have still be petrified of open water-its just so unpredictable! I hope to go snorkelling, or lake swimming, or something fun.

7. Reach 170lbs or less while still maintaining/building muscle: This morning I weighed in at 179.6lbs (I had a goal to get to 180 by the end of fall), I feel great and am happy with where my body is, but would like to continue to achieve better HEALTH. 🙂

8. Purchase water/vaccines through world vision: This has been on my heart lately.

9. Floss EVERY day (and stop cancelling dentist appointments): Oy. I am a chronic dentist appointment canceller-I hate it so much, and also a floss-skipper.

10. Create and keep a monthly cleaning list: Id way rather clean a little every day, then a TON every week or two.

11. Get Waxed! OUCH.

12. Purchase and start biking.

 

Gopher Attack Half Marathon

ImageHappy Easter! Wow! We did it. The first half marathon of the year has finally come, and passed. Grey Robin, G and I travelled to Regina on thursday afternoon to prepare for our race the next day. G and I were running the half marathon (21.1km) [G’s FIRST half marathon], and Grey Robin was running her first full marathon (42.2km). I am beyond thrilled with how G and Grey Robin did! As for myself, this was a personal WORST for time, but we were batteling 50km/hr headwinds as well as rain/freezing rain. I used muscles I didn’t even know existed getting through the wind. By about 16km I had severe shooting pains in my right knee-which was strange since I didn’t have any injury issues during training-I think it may have been due to the extra effort needed to battle the wind. I ended up finnishing in 2:58. VERY SLOW, but I am still SO proud. My goal was soley to finish, and in those conditions it was incredibly hard. I am so proud of myself mentally. I didn’t hit a wall, or ever feel like I couldn’t do it. I was optimistic through the entire race. Yay! The mental battle is always harder than the physical battle for me. I actually starting ugly crying as I crossed the finish line because I was so proud. We didn’t end up getting a group picture, but G and I snapped a selfie quickly before starting…I was so lucky to be able to run the first half with the love of my life.

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While I am sick now with a throat/chest viral thing, I am already getting excited for my next race-hopefully May? I just NEED to kick the bad time in the butt!

Note: I didnt get to see Grey Robin cross the finish line….devestating or what?! I had to go to the washroom and held it for so long and when I finally decided to go was when she came in. DARN IT!