Saturday, November 28, 2009

Giving Thanks

When I went running Thanksgiving morning, I felt strong. I felt stronger than I have in a long time. One of the hardest things for me since we lost the baby has been finding strength, physical and emotional. It's been hard for me to believe in my body when it had broken down so badly.

But running those 5 miles Thursday morning was an example that my body can be strong again. It can guide me through pain and times of weakness. It can propel me forward and help me move on with my life.

I don't like to run with music because it isn't safe. So I think. I listen to the sound of my breath and the sound of my feet hitting the ground. I love that sound. But this Thursday, in addition to listening to the sound of my feet, I thought about how thankful I was that I felt the way I did. I felt thankful for myself.

This Thanksgiving was difficult in that I felt happy and sad at the same time. I was happy to be with wonderful friends and family. But sad at what we've lost. It's hard to manage such opposing feelings. But that run Thursday morning helped so much. It showed me how far I've come since that awful day in July. How I can be thankful for what I have and mourn what I've lost. That it's all right to do both. I'm strong enough to do both.

I ran again this morning. 10 miles. The longest run since I started running again. It felt good. It was cold and windy to start but we warmed up quickly. The trail was really quiet and beautiful. We saw a bunch of deer. It turned out to be a great run.

The next time I feel low or overwhelmed, I'll try to remember how I felt this weekend. My Thanksgiving began with feeling grateful for what I have, sad for what I've lost, but ultimately thankful for me. In all the hoopla we forget to be thankful for ourselves and what we can do. I was reminded of that on that run and I'll never forget it.

Happy running.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Goals Are Good

I always tell my clients that it's important to have a goal in mind for your training. Whether it's a race or a specific time goal or something else, it's helpful to have your sights set on something. It helps with motivation, it can give your training direction and it's fun to dream of things we'd like to do.

So, I'm taking my own advice and setting a few goals for my own running. I decided that setting some goals for myself was the only way I knew how to really help myself deal with the loss of our baby. I have to recover, I have to get back on my feet. And the only real way I know how to do that is to lace up my shoes.

I know I've talked about how emotional it's been for me to hit the roads again. It has been difficult coming to terms with running again. That's another reason why I decided to set some race goals because if I didn't have something to work for I didn't know if I would be able to overcome this difficulty. I tell you, it's working.

I registered for my very first ultramarathon. What's an ultra, you may ask. An ultra is any distance longer than a marathon. I'm doing the Seneca Creek 50K March 6, 2010. That's just over 31 miles. It's here in Montgomery County Maryland, so I don't have to travel and I can train on the trail. I figured it was a good introduction into ultrarunning.

I also registered for the Myrtle Beach Marathon in February. I'll be using it as a training run, as it will be the last real long run before the 50K. I've heard good things about the race so that's something to look forward to. More importantly though, I've never been to Myrtle Beach before and I figured this would be a good way to see the place :) While I know it will be February and it will be cold and windy, it's still someplace other than home and I know it will be fun. My husband and I are looking forward to getting away already.

There you go. I feel like there's something to look forward to. And while it's not what I originally thought I would be doing at this point of my life, it feels good. I feel like I'm finally starting to recover.