Monday, June 9, 2014

No Pain No Gain

Well, I am breaking personal records all over the place.

First yesterday, then today...running for a second day in a row! Often the first day of running after a long gap my hip is so sore I can't barely walk for a week, and even when it's not that sore I tell myself I need to space out my runs. But I had the opportunity to run with a new friend who is a marathon trainer! She wanted a slow run because she's injured but still training to do the 26 mile/40k run next Sunday, so I benefited from the privilege of slowing her down :) Couldn't turn that down!

Not only did she get me out for a second day in a row but she is definitely in the right profession because she was an excellent coach. She knew just how to encourage me, how to challenge me, when to let me walk, when to say I could run more, when I needed the strength of Christ, how to reinforce my good habits, teach me better habits and form. And the results speak for themselves....

Better average speed, better top speed, longer distance, almost no hip pain (yesterday had quite a bit) and she helped me learn how to run in a form that would continue to strengthen my hip while not straining it so much as well. And she taught me to run through the calf strain, which I thought at first would do me in but she said muscle pain is ok to run through, so I kept going. So many improved results I can hardly believe it!

But I don't want to sugar coat it. It was hard. I walked very slowly home.

But that gave me some time to think.

About hard work.

I didn't think I was adverse to it, but I realized today I had a fear of the hard work it would take to accomplish a marathon, even a 5k, a distance I have easily walked. This was not something I was conscious of before, and so I wondered where this fear came from? Especially considering I have at least 3 people in my life who have overcome their own adversities to become a multi-marathon runner and I was witness to their accomplishment, why did I think it was beyond my reach?

As I thought about it I thought back to other things I had to work hard for.

I couldn't think of anything.

It's not that I haven't worked hard, but it's usually been to work my way out of a bad situation, not working hard for something, towards a positive goal. I have felt most of my life that life happens to me, good and bad things just seem to fall into my lap without much effort on my part. Of course when the bad situations came (once I realized they were bad) there was a lot of hard work involved to move forward in a positive direction, but I had to do it, to survive.

Running is hard work for the sole goal of thriving.

When you need to survive you have a lot of extra motivation, to move away from pain. Motivation to thrive....sorely lacking when you are moving towards pain.

And in survival it's easier to take it one day at a time, it's easier to say, 'well at least I don't do that anymore.' When you are trying to thrive I think you are a lot harder on yourself, expect more of yourself.

So there it was. I had been avoiding accomplishing this goal of running in a marathon because I was afraid of this new territory of working hard just to discipline my self. Moving towards and into pain in order to accomplish something. Seemed silly when I was perfectly happy not running.

But I felt like I had been missing out on something by avoiding the pain.

And I realized I haven't always made the choice to run from/avoid pain.

Tattoos are a simple example, I felt making my story visible was worth the pain.

And I chose to go back to trying to have children after I had essentially given up because of all the pain. After 6 years of so much heartache and frustration I chose to try again because I believed all the suffering would be worth it. And now in the 8th year I still believe strongly that the pain will be worth it.

Pain was worth it if I believed there was a big pay off in the end.

And I believe that there will be a big pay off to accomplishing this 10 k run next year. The difference is I'm pretty unclear what that pay off will be. I mean obviously there will be the physical health aspect but I have a feeling there is much, much more to this. It's just a feeling I have but it's enough to motivate me to thrive!

I have never liked the saying, but it finally has new meaning for me, no pain no gain.

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