I hit a low point in training this past weekend. I’ve never felt so uninspired, uninterested, down on myself and lacking in energy than I did on Saturday. Oddly, I woke up that morning with a bundle of energy and felt like I’d be able to take on the ten mile run with no problem. Yet, it wasn’t meant to be that way.
I arrived at the Pasadena Rose Bowl and Robert (our coach) was discussing over training. Everything he said at our morning meeting pointed to the feelings I’ve been having. Perhaps I have been over training. I had had no enthusiasm for a couple of weeks and the every day stresses just allowed for me to not work as hard. But I never expected what happened on Saturday to happen.
I ran with my friend, Peter and we did a total of six miles out of the ten before I petered out. I mean, my body and mind just quit. I decided to walk the last three miles back to our cars. And Peter, being a nice guy, walked with me the whole way. I was disappointed in myself. I felt like I had let myself down. And I felt guilty for dragging Peter into my mental quagmire. I know that a majority of my worries stemmed from the fundraising aspect and the nagging injuries that have bothered me this year. I’m not going to go on about the money raised. Anyone of you who have read the journal has heard my whining. The injuries, however, are another story.
Am I doing myself harm by running this race? My back sure seems to ache a lot more in the morning. And I can’t tell you how uneasy it makes me feel when I bend my right knee and it sounds like celery crunching. I mean, honestly now, can that be good? I don’t think so.
So I went home. On the way home Jules called me in the car to let me know that the local edition of the LA Daily News ran a story about Peter, and that the story mentioned me. This was pretty exciting. Any news that spreads awareness about CF is good news. But when I told her about my bad run, she immediately knew what was going on.
After we read the article (which I am posting), she had tears in her eyes. Not necessarily from the content of the article, but because we hadn’t done something similar. She wants so badly for us to reach the fundraising goal. I couldn’t help think… “Damn, do I have the best wife, or what?” It’s at times like that that I am so thankful that we followed our hearts 11 years ago and didn’t listen to some of the nay Sayers who thought we were rushing into marriage. When you know whom your soul mate is, you know.
Later that night, we had dinner and spent some quality time with Budd and Karyn and their kids. At one point, Budd said to me, “If your back is hurting you so much, do you really want to run a marathon?” Essentially he was giving me an out. He was letting me know that people wouldn’t think less of me if I physically couldn’t do the marathon. What a great big brother. What a great friend. Just hearing his words gave me comfort, and they also gave me strength. “I have to do this. I have to do it for Jake.”
He looked at me. He knew I wasn’t going to back down. “All right,” he replied.
I suddenly felt renewed strength. I also decided that I was only going to run twice during the week and cross train or rest the other days. I am pushing myself too hard and I am beginning to feel splintered. There’s no way I would be able to last another three months like this.
Monday rode my bike. Yesterday I ran. Today I rested. Tomorrow I will run again. I have to say that this altered training routine feels much better already. And I have begun to repeat a couple of mantras to myself while I’m running. They are:
“I don’t care about my time. I’m not out to win the race. I just want to finish the marathon.”
“I’m doing this for Jake.”
The mantras have helped. At the low points, I repeat these saying to myself and I seem to find some energy.
“I’m doing this for Jake.”
The money will come. I’ve already received a lot of donations from people I don’t know. If I can get some from the folks who gave last year, we may not make $15K, but we’ll come pretty darn close.
I’m feeling better and ready to tackle the world again.