Friday, June 24, 2016

The Loss that Killed My Mojo

The end of the month brings my favorite blog link-up with Marcia!
Head on over to her blog for some great Runfessions!  
In the past, my runfessions have been light-hearted and have an element of humor.  
Most Runfessions do. 
Not today.

I RUNFESS:   The loss of my dog on Monday murdered my motivation.   I mean seriously... I need an intervention.  Honestly, the only reason I've even functioned this week is because I have two small children that are my whole world.  I also have a job and my boss would start to wonder if I didn't show up to work.  I'm sure my patient's wouldn't be very happy if I last minute cancelled their appointments either.  

I won't even talk about the food I'm consuming this week.  Is there a food addiction program?  "Hello, my name is Gina and I'm addicted to Shit food."  RUNFESSION #2:  I've always been addicted to SHIT food, it's just this week I don't give a damn.

On Monday,  I didn't eat at all.  I think maybe a protein bar all day.  How could I?  My baby was leaving this earth.  4 pm.  Worst day of my life for sure.  I still see his amazing face laying peacefully on the floor.  Me crumbled in a sobbing ball pressed up next to his body.   My husband and I took Lukin together.  Thank goodness for each other.  We became closer in that moment than we've ever been before.  I am thankful for his love and support. 

My house is eerily quiet.  Even over the noise of rambunctious's  No clicking nails from his paws, no panting at our feet for food.  No doggie dreams as he lays on the floor.  Lukin's presence is all over the house.  3 dog beds, balls, blankets, hair, hair, hair... did I mention the hair?  Oh how I want the hair all over my house and my bed and my walls and my clothes... Will it just bring him back?  

It's no secret that he was aging.  His breathing was labored.  We dealt with poop in the house every day for 6 months.  He was deaf.  I'm convinced he was very senile.  He had no idea our house was not his bathroom anymore.  He had very little muscle mass on his back end.  As I write, my brain tells me we did the right thing.  My heart will always tell me different.   

He was one of the best things about my life and now he's gone.  The hole in my heart has destroyed a bit of my happy.  I have zero running mojo and don't really care to get after it.  I know with time I'll heal.   I do choose happy.  I have so much to be thankful for and happy about.  My life is a gift with so many blessings.   Just look at that face!  He's the most beautiful dog I have ever seen. 

Today I did get out for my first post-marathon run.  I RUNFESS:  it felt good.   I also RUNFESS: I haven't written about my first marathon experience yet.  I've been too sad to focus on the happy of that day.  I'm waiting for the right time to discuss it.  I want to, so look for that post soon.  I just feel guilty talking about my triumph when it was so closely followed by sadness.

Today is a beautiful day and I choose to focus on happy today.  My post-run pic had a beautiful ray of sunshine through it and that's my Lukin looking down on his mommy and smiling away.  In his fields filled with fat pheasants.

Do you have any runfessions you want to discuss today?  Link-up and tell us your thoughts! 

Monday, June 6, 2016

It's Supposed To Be Hard.

Utter exhaustion.  Mentally. Physically. 
Put a fork in me. I was done.  
I had nothing left. It was a rough run.  

I'm linking up again with Tricia and Holly for their weekly wrap!

It's been such a long time since I've linked up.  To tell you the truth, I'm exhausted.  I haven't had a ton of writing inspiration.  With my injury side-lining my marathon training for 6 weeks there just wasn't much pep in my step.   And now,  at night once the kids are in bed, I want to sit and turn my brain off.  

I am fortunate that my marathon goal is still in sight.  I was cleared to run about 4 weeks ago,  so the last 4 weeks I've been concentrating on getting my pace back up and my stamina for long runs.  I missed a ton of training. 

Instead of dwelling on the runs I missed, I re-evaluated my goals and my training plan.   Fortunately, I had a great endurance base built up, but getting injured in the middle of your very first training cycle for your very first marathon is a hard pill to swallow.  Anyhoo  - enough of that.  I'm back and I plan on crossing that finish line in LESS than 2 weeks!  I haven't felt like throwing up just yet, but I'm sure marathon week I'll have butterflies stirring. 

So back to that first paragraph.  Utter exhaustion.  

I had my first and ONLY 20 miler last weekend.  Because it was Memorial Day Weekend, as a group my girls and I decided that it would be best to knock out the 20 miler before leaving for the weekend, so we decided on 3:45AM on Friday morning head out.  

Yes, yes... I know what you're thinking.... a FASTED 20 miler.  May not have been my best decision, but I really wanted the company for 20 miles.  I knew that for most of the run I would be running solo. The other girls hadn't skipped a beat in training so they would definately be faster. It was important for me to keep them in sight, but I also knew that I needed to run for me and at my own pace. 

I will spare you all the details for the run because that's not really the point of this blog post.   Other than it felt like I was running up and down Mt. Everest.  My small town is extremely hilly and somehow we seemed to find the worst of the hills the entire time! 

Clearly, I need to work on my mental training.  By mile 15 I had completely lost my girls.  I mean, I knew where they were, but couldn't see them anymore.  I of course knew how to get home and also how far it was to home.  By mile 16,  I was literally willing my legs to move.  I wanted to quit.  I wanted to cry.  Make it stop.  Don't run anymore.  Who's going to know if you stop?  

At mile 18.75 I was close to home.  I knew I only had just a little over one mile.  But, I couldn't do it. I turned the corner to my street, dragged my legs the last 1/4 mile, stopped my Garmin and sobbed uncontrollably. The tears came from out of nowhere!  I had just run 19 miles!  19 MILES! I should be happy.  I was. I was sad.  I was disappointed.  I didn't know WHAT I was.  

Within about a minute of finishing, my girls rounded the corner - they had completed 20 miles.  Remember, I had lost them at mile 15.  They were screaming at me to keep going. "You can do this!"  "Get out of your head!" " Don't be so hard on yourself."  It was a strange feeling.  I'm normally in control.   

This past week I have thought about those 19 miles so many times I can barely count.  What I will take away from that run is the mental toughness it takes to finish a run like that.  I grew stronger during those 3 hours, even though it didn't feel like it.   It's hard to run.  In this picture I was faking a smile, but if you look close my eyes are watery and bloodshot.  I will treasure this picture.   

I posted on Facebook later that morning about my 19 miles.  Cue crying on and off ALL DAMN DAY!  I want to thank ALL of you that commented and gave me words of encouragement.  You have NO idea what that did for me.  Every single comment made me cry.  The support from all of the virtual running friends has been amazing.  I feel like I'm running this race with you, so THANK YOU! 

26.2 is no joke.  In less than 2 weeks I'll be a marathoner!  Little old me!  A marathoner?  Who would have thought?!?!