Saturday, October 13, 2012

Treadmill As a Way of Life

Whew!  It's been a while.  In that while, a lot and very little has happened.  Let's start with where I left off on my last post.  I was a week out from The Hottest Half.  I didn't get a DNF because I didn't even start.  Blech.

A few days before that race, I looked at the DH and asked, "If I don't finish this half marathon challenge, does that make me a loser?"  He answered honestly and told me that if it were under any other circumstances, then yes, I'd be a loser, but that for now, I'm not.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief and let go.

I let go of all of the expectations that I put on myself; the ones that are illogical or beyond the norm. Let's not get crazy, folks.  I was still showering every day and getting myself to work and I even cooked a meal every now and then.  I just quit punishing myself for missing boot camp or a run or for leaving clean clothes on the couch three days after laundry day.  I quit worrying about eating a cookie or too many carbs and I had too many glassy-eyed nights out to dinner.

Then, I realized that I might have let go of some expectations that make me feel like me.  And, I was packing on some pounds and that made me really feel like someone I didn't want to be.  The problem was that I just couldn't get my butt out the door.  I was crushed with anxiety that I wouldn't be able to finish a run; that I'd be stranded out there in the early dark of the morning feeling like I couldn't go on.

I'm someone who (thinks I) thrives on stress.  I over-pack my life with commitments and goals.  I find it thrilling to see an event ahead on my horizon.  It's a part of me that helped me write a dissertation and to become a runner.  But I'm here to tell you, friends, that the personal stress that has come from my mother being treated for leukemia with these crazy long hospital stays, has/is/may crush me.

Somehow, I had to get out from under that weight.

I stepped on the treadmill.  I convinced myself that I only had to stay there for 30 minutes and that I could walk, run, or crawl, but I had to stay on that thing for 30 minutes.  Turns out that all I needed was an exit strategy, but I didn't actually need to exit.

September was about remembering how to run.  It was a great relief and joy the day I once again ran for 30 minutes without stopping.  Then, in October, the DH and I began a challenge to work out every day and to not eat pizza.  It's been a little rocky for me, but I'm doing better.  This morning I ran for 45 minutes and was happy.

The treadmill has been a metaphor for my life in many ways recently.  There are days that I just have to put one foot in front of the other.  Just keep staring forward.  Just keep moving.  Just keep going.  Just hope that tomorrow it will all be fun again.

If I were a triathlete, this is the part where I would say, "Just keep swimming."  But, I'm a runner, so I'll just keep running.


  1. I completely understand what you mean about needing that event on the horizon to look forward too. I also know what you mean about needing an exit strategy in order to succeed! I just found your blog this weekend, and I love you already!

    I hope you'll post lots more for me to read!

    Oh, and I hope you don't mind but I've nominated you for a Liebster! If you head over to my blog you can get the details of what that means!

    1. Thanks again for your kind words! I'm super excited to be nominated! I'll post my answers soon.