A week ago today I was a half hour into running the Monster Dash Half Marathon. I am not a stranger to this type of race or the length of the race, this is my third half marathon. This has been the most challenging, since my last race was ten years ago. Over the last couple of years, I have made several attempts to run again, resulting in some kind of injury. I loved running when I was younger and just refuse to accept that I am not able to do it now, so I keep doing it.
This year I joined a running group, as I have learned over my attempts that I can not do it alone. The group has been great, although there was no one that ran the same pace as me, I was encouraged all along the way, which made the running easier. I also figured out that my motivation to run before was to reduce the stress I felt in my life, well, now, I have very little stress, which is great but then I needed to find new motivation, something to get me out the door to run. So I signed up for the Monster Half, and the Minneapolis half next spring, (there was a sale to sign up for both, how can you pass that up).
I have still been in an injury zone. My left hip and leg were/are causing much pain. I discovered I do not like pain very much, not even the good kind you get after you work out. I am working on that, accepting good pain, seeing the good pain as a sign of strength. So the journey of my hip pain has led me to yet another lesson in listening to my body. I was sensing that the pain was related to my pelvis and sacrum. My chiropractor was not getting it adjusted fully, so my body started telling me to go somewhere else. I finally did, visited a chiropractor I had seen years ago, and wala- he confirmed my diagnosis, adjusted me, and I felt great, until the day of the race. Got up that morning, and my hip hurt. Crap. Now what… I got up and went to the race. I signed up, I am going to do this, plus my friend was counting on me to run with him, I couldn’t let him down, nor myself. I knew going into the race I would be running and walking and that was fine. It just so happens that it was more walking than running that day. My friend and I finished the race. We crossed the mat at 3:33:33. Not fast, but that was not the point. I was committed and determined, after all, I heard once that is all you need to be a good runner. I got that; commitment and determination. In many areas of my life, the application of them is the key to success in anything. So I am what the running world would call a “penguin”, not so fast. This is coined by John Bingham, he speaks for all the runners that are not so fast and that do it for the journey and adventure. He is the author of one of my favorite quotes:
“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” Another great quote, I have in my massage office is: ” A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” Confucius, and one I just found: “It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop” Confucius. I did not stop and in the end I finished my third half marathon. I did not stop and found the right people to work on my injuries. I did not stop and joined a running club for support. I did not stop and ran/walked today, and I will keep going, doing what ever it takes, in running and in life to be successful. I will not stop….