February 1, 2011

Taking My Meds

I tried my best not to make it obvious, but last week I was a cranky b*tch. I woke up every morning & was just like "Ugh! Here we go again." There was no major reason for my crankiness. Sure, I'm busy and I guess maybe a bit stressed at the moment. But everyone is busy and has stress in their lives. I guess perhaps I just wasn't coping with it as well as I could've been last week.  And on top of that, great things were starting to happen in my world and I should've been ecstatic but just couldn't seem to hold onto that happy fuzzy feeling.

By Saturday, I was sick of my attitude and sat myself down for a little pep talk. I looked in the mirror and literally said "You rock. Now snap out of it!". Hey, if you don't love yourself, no one will, right? Then I went for a run and I felt fantastic! My endorphins kicked in, my crankiness was almost gone and I felt really freakin good. A fantastic reminder that running is my medicine and I'm beyond grateful for a healthy dose whenever I can fit one in.

So why am I writing this post? Why on earth do I feel like telling you all about how running cures me of my blues? Well, it all goes back to four days before my first full marathon, November 17th 2010, when I received a pretty disturbing phone call from someone in my life. Let's call this person Jimbo. Jimbo and I had been spending more time together than usual (not at all the dating kind. But to protect this person's identity I'd rather not go into any more detail) and he was acting pretty rotten to me. He was being rude and made it rather obvious that he wasn't enjoying my company as of late. So I wrote him an email asking him what the deal was, and requesting that he treat me with a little more kindness and respect. Then on that day, four days before I was to run my first marathon, Jimbo called me and told me off. His message was loud and clear and went a little something like this:
  • I think you are crazy for wanting to run a marathon
  • I don't understand this whole marathon thing
  • I do not support this marathon
  • You think running helps you. I think it's crazy and you need professional help.
  • I'm sick of hearing about your running and this marathon
  • I've met plenty of people who run. No one talks about it as often as you do. I'm sick of hearing about it.
  • You treat running like it's medicine. Running is not medicine. It doesn't help you. 
When I got off this phone call, I think I was in shock for a few minutes. I couldn't believe this was going on. This person who was supposed to love me and be supportive was trying to rip me apart, just days before I was to accomplish something I had been working towards for months.  That was followed by plenty of crying, an hour on the phone with my extremely supportive parents, and then with downright anger. I mean seriously! Who the hell takes someone's dreams and stomps on them like that?

So now to my main point, why I wanted to write this post. It seems like race schedules and training are picking up again. There was a short break after fall races, when folks just seemed to be cruising along. But in the last few weeks, the chatter all around me is about Spring races, who registered for NYC Marathon 2011, who's running Chicago, how many folks are excited for Reach the Beach, and so on and so forth. Today on twitter, I read so many posts about people who signed up for Chicago 2011 as their first ever marathon. I just want all those people to have an incredible experience and to be proud of themselves for believing that they can do it and for setting out to accomplish their goals. Ignore the naysayers and be proud of who you are, what you are doing, for whatever your reason may be.

Those folks who don't "understand" why you run don't matter. What's there to understand? I run to keep myself sane and yes, I do believe it is my medication. What's wrong with that? Nothing. Running has made me stronger, more courageous and more confident than I've ever been before. It's that strength and confidence that gave me the courage to start my own company and work my butt off to make it grow. Jimbo doesn't think my medicine is working? If the Jimbos in your life put you down, just remember why you are running and keep doing it. And hey, all you Jimbos out there. You don't need to understand why someone is doing something they love to support them. You might want to attend just one race and watch people's faces as they cross the finish line. Those expressions on their faces? That's what a natural high looks like. If that isn't the result of some good medication, I don't know what is.
My natural high as I cross the finish line at Philly on 11/21/201
Even on the coldest day of the year, these runners crossed the finish line with giant smiles!
Oh, and about all the rambling on and on about running? Training for a marathon is just as much mental as it is physical. When you're heading out for a 20 mile training run, the thought that it could suck and you could end up in pain crosses your mind (or at least it crosses mine). For some, talking through it helps us face what we are about to take on. That doesn't mean we are complaining. It means we are probably preparing and getting our head in the zone. If it annoys you, walk away or even ask us KINDLY to change the topic. But it is normal. If it weren't, this video from you tube wouldn't be so popular.

This is a pretty long post and I'm not exactly sure that I accomplished what I set out to. But glad I got that off my chest! Now, time to work on my Spring race calendar. Can't wait for my next race!!! Happy running... or if you don't run, happy supporting :)


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