Last year was incredible. The drive, motivation, determination and ability I had was intense and unstoppable. Nothing would come in my way of pushing myself that 1 second faster and PRs were a must. #noexcuses was a part of my mantra and it pushed me to strive for more. Then the holidays came, life had a crater fall into it and the world as I knew it was turned upside down. Running? What was that? 3 miles? No way! I can’t do that. It’s too cold. The weather stinks outside. There’s always tomorrow. My #noexcuses mentality was completely out the window and replaced with #icancomeupwitheveryexcuseinthebook.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months reflecting on things…running, life, expectations of myself, my goals, and what’s really important. Last year running was #1. Not to say that I didn’t love my family or that my daughter wasn’t my priority. But second to that, and maybe even in some ways tied with it, came running. I lived and breathed it, if my feet weren’t hitting the pavement 5-6 days a week I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough. I pushed myself so hard that injured became the norm for me, but even that didn’t stop me. 7 weeks off for a partially torn tendon along with physicians and physical therapists telling me I should give up running didn’t get in my head; if anything it made me push harder to prove them wrong. I came back from those 7 weeks off with a vengeance. Learning a new stride and how to listen to my ankle, not my mind, brought me a new set of PR’s and the accomplishment of finishing 3 half marathons; something I was told I shouldn’t and possibly would never be able to do.
But what the holidays brought was different. It knocked me to the ground and made me realize that those we have by our side are truly #1. We all have our hobbies and those things that we strive for. But at the end of the day, without those that love you by your side, who are you going to share it with? As my life started to rebuild again, I struggled to find the balance between it and what I felt I was missing in my running. I was still searching for my #noexcuses mentality which led to missed training runs and seriously doubting myself and my abilities. With races ranging from 5ks to full marathons stampeding at me faster and faster I was at the point of throwing in the towel and hanging up the sneakers. I had to figure something out.
After finally reaching out, I was invited on a training run with some lovely ladies….a 14 mile training run. In the weeks leading up to this, the furthest I had gone in months was 8 miles and I hadn’t run more than 4 miles TOTAL the 19 days prior. As we were getting ready to start, I stated that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do all 14 so I’d just turn around where I needed and finish myself. I got a quick “No way, you can totally do this” vote of confidence. 2:16:04 later I had completed an amazing and liberating 14.07 miles!!! A huge shout out to the lovely Marcy, Patty and Sarah for having me join in. But even more importantly for giving me the confidence to get back out there and for giving me the ability to include #gotmymojoback in my new mantra.
I’ve learned a lot about life and myself over the past few months. One, family and friends are most important. Sadly, it’s during times of trouble and heartache that you find out who your true friends really are. But when you find them, hold onto them as close as possible. Never take them or anything for granted, life changes in an instant. Two, running is less about beating your time and setting PRs and more about getting out there and enjoying it. Being thankful that you have the ability to take each stride at your own pace. And lastly, never doubt yourself. We are all capable of so much more than we think we are. Whether it be out on the pavement, something to do with parenting, or anything else in life; if you believe you can, you will.
I’m loving soaking in the rays and the ‘down time’ running is giving me. It feels great to finally be back out there. The sound of my feet hitting the payment is as calming as a bedtime nursery rhyme, it’s my Zen again. I look forward to pushing the limits and seeing what my body is capable of this year but with a whole new mindset and a great group of people supporting me along the way. After a rocky 3 month start I’ve #gotmymojoback!