Members of Team SJS just minutes before the start of the 2010 Fox Cities Half Marathon!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Point of no return!

Sunday was my first scheduled 10 mile run. I was camping with my family and some friends for the weekend and knew that I would be running in unknown territory, but it was beautiful! We were out in the country, mostly old county highways and gravel roads. Mike was with me and there for the encouragement as well as my pack mule and GPS! Loaded with water, gatorade and a large feeling of doubt churning deep down in my gut, we headed out for the hardest run thus far.

It was hot! Not sure how hot, but the humidity made it harder for me to breathe. I was having problems with my lungs and coughed a lot. Usually producing phlem I just couldn't get rid of. Frustrating! But we continued on and ran between cornfields and soy beans and were grateful for a light wind that cooled us as we went.

As the miles went by, I asked Mike to tell me how he got through all of his years of training for the two marathons, numerous half marathons and the MC 200 that he has completed. I've always admired his strength and endurance to get out there and run mile after mile after mile. He's always made it look easy! However, I was learning that even for Mike, it wasn't always so easy. He reminded me of some of the long runs that just didn't go his way and the injuries he had to nurse in order to push forward. He admitted that he had his tough runs as well, but never doubted that he would finish the even he was training for. It was always about how he finished. Whether he sprinted, jogged, walked or crawled, he would finish and that was all that mattered. It was good to hear that!!

As we continued on, I would have moments of panic that would over take me. I'd get angry and frustrated at how hard it was and declared that I wasn't going to be able to do it! I didn't need to run this half marathon anyway, I could walk it. What was the point? Why would I push my body this hard and I was going to be sick for the rest of the day anyway! Was it even worth it? Of course, that flew like a fart in church with my husband!! Of course I could do it ,even more so, of course it was worth it.

I began to realize how scared I really was to do this thing! Would my body be able to take it? Was I getting sick after my long runs because my body was sub-par? Did I really have the strength that everyone has been saying I have? Would I fail?! Would I train for 9 months to just get to the point that it just wasn't going to happen for me? And the bottom line-Was I just going to live until I got sick again and die this time?

You're mind can play some pretty nasty tricks on you after you have been through a serious traumatic experience. And my mind was doing just that. It has been a bit of a struggle for me to push past my irrational fears and to keep going when at times all I have wanted to do was quit. I could have quit. Easily, could have said that I was not going to run it after I made the decision to do so. I could walk it and have the same result, no biggie! I still would have completed 13.1 miles, still would have gotten the word out to people with the help from the rest of my SJS Team. It would be fine to do it that way.

Fine for other people maybe, but not me. And Mike was quick to point that out! He told me to "knock it off" and "quit telling yourself you can't do it and just do it." I would never be ok with determining to run it and then not doing it to the best of my ability. What would that say about me? What would that say about the incredible people I share the title of "Survivor" with? It's just not an option. Quitting is just not an option and being afraid is not a good enough excuse to not give it all I've got. That's all there is to it!

We ran some more, and then ran some more. I was pretty sure we were never going to make it back to the campground! We were nearly out of water and what we had was so warm it was gross! The gatorade had been gone for awhile and I was glad since it too had gotten warm. Mike pointed out that we were at our last mile and that it wasn't far now. I felt my legs moving and my feet pounding the pavement, but felt nothing else. I could no longer speak but answered Mike's questions with a grunt to let him know I was listening. My insides were cramping and all I wanted was a bathroom and a cold shower! I thought I was going to collapse on that final 1/2 mile, but I kept my feet going. I found a little bit of energy from somewhere down in my soul and finished those 10 miles.

So I did it! And, yes, I was sick for the rest of the day. I still have not figured out how to prevent that from happening, but I'm not quitting. I have 6 more weeks until the race and need to run at least one 10, 11 and 12 mile run. So I'm taking it a little easier this week and am doing a 10k on Saturday. For this week, that will be my longest run and for me that's ok! I'm focusing on controlling those irrational fears and allowing them their place, but not letting their place take over mine. It may not be a really strong and wonderful finish, but yet it might be. It still comes down to putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how I look at it. So that's what I'm going to do! In my training, in the race and in my everyday life. Because surviving is more than just being present, it's all about moving forward. And I'm moving on!

1 comment:

  1. lOVE this Kendra! Mike is right! You WILL do this. you can do this. Keep up the great work! I love to read about it!