Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pain Comes in Many Forms

For those of you paying attention, I have only had two entries so far this year, which is quite a change of pace from last year's updates.  I started out on a high note with great aspirations to continue building on my racing progress in 2011, with challenges to run at least a mile a day or other such commitments to running and keeping in shape.

And then life kicked in and I let it take over.

A new job, moving, all those months flew by and it seems like a blur now.  And despite starting my new season of Team in Training, I somehow stopped running.  All of the excuses I had fought off and preached victory over came flooding back and choked me.  Sure I put in a few miles here and there, generally with TEAM at a practice, and I even did the Whidbey Island half marathon in April and the new Portland Rock 'n Roll half marathon two weeks ago, but I wasn't putting in the hard work of consistent training that a marathon requires, the very core lesson and triumph of my previous races.  So at some point, I had to admit the inevitable: I will not be running a full marathon in San Diego.

This hurts my pride.  I should be better at this, should have done things differently with my priorities when it came to making time to run.  I love running: the fresh air deep in my lungs, the feeling of freedom, the way my legs come alive.  Letting it go again, though not to the same degree as the dark days of before, should not have happened.  Should.  Should.  Should.  My therapist has been trying to get me to stop focusing so much on this word and all of the commitments and anxiety that go into it, thereby consuming me and paralyzing my ability to move forward.  Many things have gone by the wayside these months as I tangled myself deeper into grasp of unfinished projects and the personal need to take on more than I can handle.

One of the most important things that I wanted to do but didn't was to highlight that this season of TEAM, with my new extended running family, would focus on a different party of my heart-family: Dean Miles and his daughter April, my best friend of so many years.  The intent was there, as it so often is with all of the things I want to do, but I let that fall into the numerous "to do" lists rather than actually complete what I had started.

So let it be now: tomorrow I will run the San Diego Rock 'n Roll half marathon in honor of Dean and his family.  Dean continues to battle multiple myeloma, and my involvement and fundraising with Team in Training on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will help others fighting this and other blood cancers.

As always, there are lessons to be learned in this experience as well regarding priorities and focusing on what's most important in life.  And hurting my pride will of course hurt less than a running injury that may sideline me, and last year's experience with that does not need to be repeated.


  1. Emmie, I think you have beautifully tapped into what we all struggle with - falling short of our own potential. But, as you note, we have to keep moving forward or we'll fail to make any progress. I try to remind myself that it's persistence not perfection that gets us across the finish line. Keep running and be sure to enjoy the journey along the way!

  2. WooHoo - You're human!! Forgive yourself and keep moving forward. You are doing better than you give yourself credit for.
    As a friend of mine was fond of telling me, "Stop shoulding yourself!" =)

  3. I love you. Running (or a job or anything else) does not define you. Your self-perceived 'failure' isn't only not a reflection on you as a person, but it's certainly not likely the consensus of those who love and support you. To see you fall off from doing something you LOVE saddens me, but to see you measure yourself by it saddens me even more. Explore your happiness. I want that for you~

  4. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?