Coming Back

This Sunday is the Broad Street. It will be the third time I have run and the first time I feel completely unprepared. I am slow, I am overweight and I have not run a real distance in a long time. All of this would be okay, it isn’t who I am but where I am right now, except I didn’t plan to be here. I planned to be ready. Life happens.

Last year when I ran, I knew I was coming back too fast. But I thought that would be okay. Even though I often hurt when I ran, I pushed through. I spent a lot of time paying for that, and have recently felt myself returning. I have seen glimpses of who I was, and I these have helped motivate me to push forward. But I am not who I was, and I have to be honest with myself. Sunday should drive that home. Circumstances in the last three weeks have taken the guts out of my training. Also, I think the training plan I was following actually made me less strong, if that makes sense.

One thing I have realized in the past two years is I need to really listen to my body. I know you read a thousand articles about this, but then the training plan seems to become the book of wisdom. It isn’t. The best training I have ever done, I cobbled together myself through reading, and then just getting out there and setting reasonable goals.

When I started this whole endeavor, I didn’t know if I would be able to sustain. I did. I became militant about running and biking. I let it take over my identity instead of seep into me and become a part of me. That’s part of who I am. All out, all or nothing. But then things pass. Unless they don’t. They just settle into being a part of me. I realized this is a part of me, but not all of me. I know this because when I don’t drag myself out of bed by four thirty I miss my work out. My day is different. I love starting the day in a full on sweat.

And just because I can now sweat in my sleep, HAH! just kidding. But, that is another factor in why my training has gone off track. Menopause or perimenopause sucks! For me, the changes in my cycle come at a high cost and I often pay in sleep. I can go days running on four or five hours of broken sleep a night. The frustration brings me to tears.

So maybe I should have titled this post, coming into new me. In the three short years since I started this I have lost weight and inches, peaked around a nine minute mile, exploded my appendix, ran anyway, gained all of the weight and inches back (dirty little secret, I like to think nobody knows, wink!), waded into menopause, lost my endurance, and maybe my sense of humor. Okay, I can only stand so much poor me. It’s exhausting.

So here I am, two days away from a ten mile run that I am totally unprepared for. So stressed about it, I can’t sleep. Because I want to be prepared, because I am letting it define me, and because I mourn what I lost. I was proud of what I accomplished two years ago, the first time I ran. I am ashamed that I have let myself become who I am. But it isn’t over. It is one day. In retrospect, starting was easy. Everything I did was a success. Coming back is harder.

Challenge accepted.