Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2013: Learning Patience


Here were are, a brand spanking new year, January 1st, errr 19th, 21st, 23rd!!!  (I hope "blog more" isn't on my resolution list - if so, it's going to be one sucky year!)

Time to write down my dreams for the year....be bold and ready I say, because if I write them down and put them out there, well, anything can happen, right?!

I've been thinking about the new year when the calendar turned and what I want from it, as we all do.  A few weeks ago, I was a little frustrated.  Frustrated that my aging body isn't responding faster to the training I'm putting it through (and I'm putting it through a LOT).  Frustrated that the clock is ticking louder and louder to that big 5 0 day in April, and frustrated I wouldn't be ready.

Why I was so frustrated that this slower than molasses in January progress my running is taking was also frustrating me.  Frustrated that I was frustrated.  Awesome!  (That always makes you sleep well at night!)  I've been a girl who has always had a race goal and then trained towards it.  (Well, let's just not count last year!)  But after Chicago last fall, my intentions in hiring a coach was to have him help me get fit and ready for whatever I decided I DID want to do.  Fit first.  Race second.  I had no real races scheduled for this year (other than this one - yikes!), but as the calendar flipped, I couldn't help it, my head wanted to race, because I'm pretty sure it's illegal to sit out too much of a year without racing.....and one race in particular started stirring in my pea-brain, and this was a little trail race this summer.

So in preparation for my little 'maybe' trail race come summer, I signed up for a 33k trail race in Moab - which just happens to be in about 3 1/2 weeks - gulp.  I won't 'race' this race, I am no way race ready (and it's super hilly, as coincidentally is my little summer trail race) - I just want to use this race as a test, of sorts, to seek out my mental self and give my physical self a check to test it's current fitness.  If all goes well in Moab, then I'll click that 'register' button for that summer trail race... if it doesn't go well, then I'll just cry and pout and blame everyone in my path (except myself! :)).

Last week my plan had a "long, vertical run" in prep for the Moab 33k.  Mind you, I've been in super slow MAF training for 3 years months.  3 months of crawling, want to slit your wrists, relatively flat miles. "Vertical"  and "long" in one workout had previously been non-existent so this was Pretty.  Dang.  Scary to see it on the week's plan.

I literally spent hours deciding what trails were the ideal verticalness for my weak climbing ass glutes and hammies (and you wonder why I don't blog much??).  I decided on a place where I thought there'd be an ideal amount of 'up'; a trail that's on the other side of town from where I live, so a bit of a jaunt, but I ran a race over there a few years ago and had a blast. I thought it had a the right amount of climbing without it (hopefully) killing me.
Bear  Chase 1/2 marathon - 2011
I started the run feeling anxious yet ready to roll.  But as soon as I started, instantly something felt off and I started to get really frustrated.  I can't even tell you what was wrong other than my pace was ridiculously slow and it was - well - frustrating (my new favorite word, apparently).
Just to prove I was there!
I climbed the first hill...Mt. Carbon....

Had this amazing view from the top looking to the west...
And to then to the east...
Downtown Denver
Ran down the back side of Mt. Carbon and across the now frozen streams...
The same one I crossed in the pic above

Back up some big-ass hill and greeted to this ...


And back down the hill to my car with about 8.8 miles in one loop.

And I feel like hell.  My back and neck hurt from my Camelbak.  My head was pounding.  My legs ached.  My glutes were on fire.  I was breathing hard.  My HR was high.  I was tired, hungry, and my water tasted like crap (I'm certain my son used it climbing recently and didn't wash it out.  Yeah, let's blame him).

So I start out for lap 2.  Same 8.8 miles, round #2 because "long" wasn't long enough at just 8.8....

And suddenly, as I look at my 10:something pace, it just hits me - like a big whop on the side of the head:  I LOVE this sh!t!!!.

This: The PROCESS of wanting something so bad I don't care how much I hurt to get there.  The process of getting "there" when there really isn't a fixed point other than getting fit.  The process of watching my body slowly transform into a runner's body again and away from the pathetic blob of a  mess was in.  The process of working hard to reach some arbitrary goal that I'm not even sure what it is.  I am noticing changes for the first time in like - EVER!  And isn't that what this is all about?  Without warning, it suddenly was!

Patience, patience, patience.  I haven't had much of it in these past few months (as my coach can attest :)) but suddenly, as I hit my 2nd lap feeling like regurgitated dog food, I just felt a sense of calm and peace and I embraced the new process of meeting myself right where I am.  I cranked out those next 8.8 miles - at a pace that resembled a child learning to crawl - and I didn't even care.  I finished it - 17.6 vertical miles.  That is progress....

and next time I'll finish it even stronger.

I'm not sure how, but somewhere out there in that long, vertical slow run, I have found peace in learning to live in the "now" -  and that's what my goal for 2013 is going to be: Trying to stay patient.  I don't allow myself to have many moments in my life.  I rush and worry and have cereal for dinner some nights and I sort laundry and I yell at my kids to do their homework and I sometimes sleep.  Having moments is not usually on my agenda.  But today was a moment!!   I will get stronger.  I will get even fitter.  And eventually, I may even get faster.

But for now, I'll embrace where I am at while holding on to the intentions of where I want to be (thanks, Kim :)).  It will all happen....with a little patience - and a hell of a lot of hard work.

Happy 2013!  Remember, as always - run strong!

50 comments:

Jen@runfortheboys said...

This spoke to me today! "I just felt a sense of calm and peace and I embraced the new process of meeting myself right where I am." What a great goal/thought/attitude for running/racing/life in general. I need this for life in general right now. Thank you!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Great post!! Made me think, I like to think I can think every once in a while

Johann said...

Nice Jill! I can relate to almost every word. I am also going through this "train my butt off but don't feel progress" thing. Must be that looming 50... We will make 2013 great!

Jim ... 50after40 said...

(it just hits me - like a big whop on the side of the head: I LOVE this sh!t!!!) Best thing I've read in a while that explains crazy runners perfectly. A lot of time I bitch and moan because I've gotta go out and keep the pace over 9:00/mile - I swear it's much tougher than running fast ... but at the end of the day, every step is worth it. Best wishes. (I'll look forward to your Valentine's Day report sometime around St. Patty's Day - ha)

onelittletrigirl said...

The "process of getting there" is so damn hard! But isn't that what we are all fighting for, really? I know that is the only thing keeping my patience in check right now!

Love the cartoon!

Robin said...

Sounds like a tough run, those are the worst, but definitely character building. You'll get there, just be patient with yourself (easier said then done). Beautiful photos, looks like a nice place to run.

bobbi said...

I f*cking LOVE this post. Maybe more than any post you've ever written.

My goal for 2013 is really simple. Have a really really lot of moments. More trails. More peace. More beauty. More friends.

Less RACE. Less PACE.

More FUN :)

Matthew Smith said...

Woohoo! Way to run, girl! And, I must say that you've got such a beautiful place to do it, too! That 33k has got nothing on you. :) Keep up the good work!

hiker mom said...

Awesome Jill! You rock! Love that you went back up for a 2nd round:) Patience can be so hard, but very worth it. I need to remember that:)

Tasha @Healthy Diva said...

Awesome run Jill! Proud of you for sticking out the second loop. I probably would have wanted to go home and take a nap if it were me. I don't do well with anything vertical.

I am having to learn patience too, it is not easy. Maybe we could learn together and share tips/tricks?

Dan said...

Good luck at Moab and I hope you make it to Leadville.

SupermomE12 said...

"Don't try to rush progress.
Remember - a step forward, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction.
KEEP BELIEVING." - Kara Goucher

You are doing great! Keep at it. :) hugs!!!

Kate Geisen said...

Ah, your readers have to learn patience while we wait for your blog posts. ;-) Love you!

My teammates keep talking about the Silver Rush 50, and it sounds like a great next DNF for me except for the time and money involved in getting there, even with a teammate-in-law to stay with. Dang it. Then I could get to hang out with you, too, because something tells me you're going to be there.

Loving the happy I hear in your words. I totally get what you're saying, too, that there's something so exhilarating in moving towards a target, even if the movement is slower than we want.

Kandi said...

What a great post! I hate being frustrated because I'm frustrated. Luckily it doesn't happen that often for me.
I really need to get out west one of these days. My best friend went to Moab once and I loved seeing her pictures and hearing her stories. That race sounds beautiful!

XLMIC said...

This is VERY cool :). And I love that comic :)

I wish you many more lovely and patient runs!

Jeff Gallup said...

Awesome.. I love it! Can't wait to hear about Moab... what a great place to run!

misszippy said...

Very cool! You are making progress, grasshopper! I think Moab will be a much richer experience for you with that attitude. Keep up the great work.

So, we'll look for the next post around March? ; )

Teamarcia said...

I love this my friend! I love that you're having 'moments' especially with things moving in a positive direction. Running is a bastard sometimes (ok lots of times) and then we get a 'moment' that makes it all more than worth it.
Miss you!

Kenley said...

Happy New Years to you Jill. It is actually appropriate to say till the end of Jan if you havent said it before to some one. Incredible views there. I am jealous. I am not going to ask about the temps though, it might change my mind. lol. Patience yes, that is something that my coach is drilling into me as well. .....and the HR training, oh my. lol. I wish you great success in 2013 and may the rest of your kick ass runner's body come out of its veiled existence. I dont know what I am saying, but it sounding kinda cool. Take care. See you out there some time. I might need some unwashed camel back great tasted shitty water.

Char said...

There are a couple of'me too's in there for me. I turn 50 (in March so I'm officially way older than you). And I've embraced the now this year. I don't know what's ahead so I'm just going to enjoy the ride. Your run sounds just magic!

Terzah said...

There's nothing wrong with cereal for dinner!

I'm so glad you had a moment. I'm a big believer that moments like that can't be planned anyway--that's the beauty of them. If you try to plan for them, you'll just have more frustration. You're doing all the right things and I'm so happy it's starting to come together for you.

Karen said...

That "little trail race" looks a little hard. Yikes! Running 50 mi for your 50th year sounds about right though :)

ThePetitePacer said...

What a great post! How inspiring! Thank you so much, and the very best to you!

bangle44 said...

Wooo!!! Thanks for this positive post! Great stuff. Have a fantastic year!

Mike said...

Awesome! Going up several mental running scale points heading out for the second loop is simply spectacular. I'm really happy for you and looking forward to the Moab race report.

ajh said...

You are one tough lady and will accomplish what you set out to do.

Jenny @ The Little J-Bird said...

This is wonderful! :) So happy things are turning around!!
I just don't know how you can stand living there in Colo. The views are awful! ;)

pensive pumpkin said...

I.
Love.
You.
So.
Much.

*hug so big it makes you squeak*

Irene said...

That's probably the word I need to adopt. :) Happy New Year, Jill!

Mike said...

I don't know about meeting up for Leadville or Pike's Peak but how about a blogger meet up March 24th? I'll be in Breckenridge but can meet up with you and Kathy somewhere convenient if it works out for a run, hike, coffee, lunch, etc. Any local races that day? You and Kathy could run circles around me while this flat lander gets owned by the altitude :-).

Jamoosh said...

Those are some amazing views. Better than my views.

Glenn Jones said...

I'm adopting the "let's do it without pain" model. Mine's not working to well haha!

Adrienne said...

Besides putting in the actual mileage, it's that quandry of "being where we're at"-whatever that actually means that is where we really become better runners-or just better people...anyhow...

Its no secret we've both battled setbacks in the past few seasons-and you said it best-embrace it all. This is what we've got now. But that isn't going to always be the case.

Stay strong, my friend!

brg said...

so glad you had a good day. You'll rock the Moab race!!! :)

HappyTrails said...

That one "moment" will morph into many moments in 2013. You will do it!!!

Meg said...

Patience, so tough! You are getting there...day by day, stronger and stronger in ALL areas! This will be an exciting year for you, I just know it.

Carlsbad is on Sunday, I had a few flashbacks today from last year. This should be fun...even though we're only cheering!
Love ya, hang tough!
meg

Raina said...

Loved reading this Jill. It is a happy place to feel strong and confident and to LOVE where you are with running. It does take a TON of patience to get to that strong place. You have been very patient! And it will pay off big dividends this year. LV will be FUN. No little race though :)

I can feel the smile in this post. Happy for you!

Anne said...

I totally felt that moment with you :) you are going to achieve something amazing Jill! I guess that was a case of being out there and doing "whatever it takes"! :) Loved this post!

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Coy Martinez said...

What a great post and it speaks to a lot of us and how we have all felt this last year at some point.

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Molly said...

I had a job interview the other day, and they asked me what one of my weaknesses is....yup...I'm impatient!

This really spoke to me on many levels, I'm always focused on the next thing, and like you said, it's important to be present in not just running, but with everything. What's that saying? It's about the journey as much as the destination?

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Caratunk Girl said...

Hey stranger!! I am trying to comment on blogs again and be less of a loser. :)

I love this: "I just felt a sense of calm and peace and I embraced the new process of meeting myself right where I am."

I am also not very patient BTW.

PS - I am in Colorado at the end of March/early April. We should talk!!

Raina said...

Love your new header Jill! :) You look HAPPY doing your thing.

Black Knight said...

Very inspiring post.
Beautiful header and beautiful pictures. My favourite is the photo where you cross the river: very epic!
Have a good running 2013.

Thomas Bussiere said...

Love this post and relate to it in so many ways. My 50 is in Dec, and the body is slow to recover.

petraruns said...

OH Jill how I miss you ! Even though we've never met I do feel like you're such a firm friend and I KNOW where you are. Rather - I am right now where you were and I need to get to where you ARE! I need some of your positivity and patience! Great post my love and NICE work on that run!

TX Runner Mom said...

Wow, awesome run! Love the views! I am not very patient either...maybe we can both work on that this year! :-)

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