Life is Still Good! Lessons Learned

In High School I ran track. I was a sprinter. Went to state & all that.  I ran 100, 200 400 relay & did the long jump. It was in my blood.  To this day my dad still holds some of the records at my high school, which is really cool.  He had 3 daughters who he worked with in all of our sports and activities. I remember Dad working with me at the track on Sunday afternoons to help me improve my form out of the blocks. I was good out of the blocks. I’m veritically challenged with legs of steel.  So short compact bursts of energy are my forte.  That’s what I do well.  You’ll understand how this fits in later.

On Saturday I ran in the Westhaven, Life is Good 5K. I ran it with 2 friends: Kim Fisher & Krista Jamison.  It was brutal; over 90 degrees in the shade, so I was going to have to slow down my pace down and also lower my interval rate.  I usually run/walk at 5:1. But I thought I would lower it to 4:1 just to be sure. (LESSON #1 – Understand what your interval & pace should be before you get to the race!)  Neither Krista or Kim run this way, so I knew I would be on my own and that was ok, but once again I forgot my iPod.  (LESSON #2 – Seriously, get your act together & bring your iPod loaded with kick butt songs to pull you through!)

Things didn’t start well when I tried to reset my timer on my watch & I couldn’t. It got stuck and I couldn’t get it to go back to the regular clock either. (LESSON #3 – If you’re going to reset your watch do it at home the night before so you have your directions and can trouble shoot if necessary.) I was left blind to time, so I was just going to have to listen to my body. Which is hard for me because I just haven’t done this enough to really know what it’s telling me til it’s too late. Here’s the play by play so to speak…  

Mile 0 – 1:  Not bad first half, but it’s really hot!  Wow – This is brutally hot. Where’s the water?  HOLY COWDUNG! THERE’S NO WATER!  No water after the first mile. I thought they all did that. (LESSON #4 – Learn where water stations are going to be on the course. Not every course is the same and may not meet your needs. Same goes for medical & potties.)

Mile 1 – 2:  I’m breathing way too fast. I’m too hot. I don’t feel well. Ahhh! I love kids with garden hoses. Everytime I get a splash of water I feel a bit revived and can go a bit further, but not much. I think I’m wheezing. Must slow down my breathing. Try to get in the zone and pray. Ahhh! Guy with cooler & garden hose is my new best friend – he sprays me down & gives me ice cold bottled water. Guzzle half the bottle. (LESSON #5 – Learned at TNT – too much water, too fast just sits on your stomach sloshing around – Not good.) Ugg! Within 2 minutes, I felt like I was going to barf. Must not vomit! Deep breathing. Ok so at the end of Mile 2 guess what? Yes, that’s right – WATER provied by the race. Oh, gee thanks, but no thanks! Could’ve used some at Mile 1 though. I wonder if they sensed the bitter hot misery seeping from my pores as I realized this was going to be my worst performance ever. Even worse than the first one I ever completed in March.  Blog post will be LIFE SUCKS! RUNNING IN HEAT SUCKS! waa!

Mile 2 – 3: Many times I wanted to sit down but I didnt. I did find a tree to lean against for a second to get my bearings. Until my sister drove by with my kids and they were yelling hi mommy. Not the time to look like a wimp. Hmmm??? How could it be so hot and I’m getting chills and feeling dizzy. (LESSON #6 – THIS IS SO IMPORTANT – LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, If something is not right, slow down, it’s just not worth it.) OK, so new game plan – walk more, run less. I’m only running against the clock & pride, nothing else. Just about then I ran into an old friend Courtney Daniel. She was doing so great. We chatted a bit but she stayed ahead of me. The more I walked the better I began to feel. Dizziness subsided. Chills are still there, but not as bad. This was a good plan. I would rather jog across the line than pass out 500 ft in front of it. I jogged a little bit more the better I felt and finally caught up to Courtney. We approached the end and told each other how awesome we were doing and then ran to the finish. I actually was able to put in a nice little push at end and run hard. And when I crossed the finish line, I felt like I was going to pass out. I felt really bad. But that ending was nice (because that’s my forte).

They got me some gatorade type fluid & I laid down for a while. It was a bit before I could actually get up without feeling light headed or like I wanted to puke. Of course, then my TNT Coach, who is also a friend of mine, Stephne Hanscom, who ran the darn thing in 22 mins was like, what happened?  I said well for starters, I really didn’t prepare for this race properly.  I was up past 2 a.m. in the morning with a girl friend in crisis, so I’d only had about 4 hours sleep the night before. I tried to take a nap that day, but was not able to because I was too nervous. I really had not focused on drinking my fluids and had been especially poor about it all day Saturday.  I had not had that much to eat either day just running around busy and not paying attention. So, basically, I set myself up for failure pretty darn good. (LESSON #7 – Prepare the week of the race, especially the day before, with extra hydration, nutrition and sleep.)  

All in all, between Mile 2 and 3 I had decided that LIfe was Still Good. Yes, this race kicked my butt. Yes, I did one bang up job of not preparing for it. Yes, it was embarrassing to have friends and family watching me WALK a race. But ya know what, I finished. I finished standing. I finished running.  It would have been really easy to quit and claim medical ailment. Or to push myself out of pride or embarrassment. But that’s just not the way life works.  Sometimes you are dealt some cards that you don’t like, may be you even helped stack the deck, but you got ’em babe and what are you going to do with em?  You just have to play ’em smart. In this case for me a change in strategy worked. What can I do to finish the race still standing? Go back to the basics. Walk more, run less.  If I had given up, there would have been nothing gained. If I had pushed myself, serious injury could have occurred.  But by not letting my ego get in the way, I was able to finish standing, even running.  That’s a lesson in and of itself. 

Ya know this applies to all areas of our lives… Not just races… But life… Sometimes you need a new strategy to make sure you’re able to finish standing! What I used to do as a sprinter won’t work as an endurance athlete (ha! can’t believe I ventured to use that term), I have to change my strategy in training and in racing. What I used to do as a married SAHM will not work as a single mom looking for work in a new career, I have to change my strategy in applying my skills and raising my children and balancing it all.

Think about that this week. What do you need to do to make the changes in your life to finish standing?

You saw my list from Saturday’s post. It’s long and it got longer after hearing Pete Wilson’s sermon today at Crosspoint. Wow! But I am committed to do it this week!  Without question! There is a new strategy emerging in my life and I’m so excited about it. I hope you can be as excited about yours!



2 thoughts on “Life is Still Good! Lessons Learned

  1. You should be so proud of yourself for making it through this, running or walking, you accomplished it, and you’ll be stronger for the next one.

  2. Pingback: Running 101: Beginner’s Guide to the 1st Month - Part 2 « Beyond JEMS

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