My mom is headed to NJ today for the funeral on Saturday. And I can’t go because I can’t get off work, but mostly because I have the triathlon Saturday. And I feel bad, and it feels wrong to not be there, and I feel guilty that I’m choosing the triathlon. But I also picture what he would say if he knew I was doing this thing. And I smile. Because he wouldn’t fully grasp the why, but he would smile and encourage me and we would talk about the summers he spent swimming in the Danube. And he would pull some pictures out of his fanny pack, and that hearty, full belly laugh would rise up as we talked about his life, and my life, and he would call me sweet Terike. He was an amazing man. And the army of Hungarians that just welcomed him to Heaven is incredible. And the vision of all of them singing praises to Jesus together is the only thing keeping me from a breakdown at work right now.
This is hard.
Thank God for Sam. Really, seriously, I’m so very grateful that he puts up with all of my insanity and just continues to encourage and push me. I WANTED to swim this morning, but I was also tired from two nights of sleeping less than I should and frustrated from life stuff. So I got in the pool, complained a bit, and then we got to work. I felt like my sprints were slower than normal, but apparently they were right on par with my normal time. I felt like I was thrashing less, which made me feel slower. He said I’m probably just getting more efficient, so it feels smoother. My 200 was also consistent with last week’s, so apparently I’m figuring this out.
Then he told me, “Look. You don’t have to feel good to race well. Some of my best times were when I felt like absolute crap.” Our bodies know what to do. This is why we train. This is why we don’t rely on our emotions to get us through things; we condition our bodies to do the work, then focus our feelings to give us that extra push. Come race day, it’s going to be there. Hopefully my times are going to be even better than they’ve been in training. So I can’t be worried about being tired, or cranky, or anything else getting in the way.
I’m really glad that exercise has not only changed my physical health, but my mental health as well. I’ve always been crazy. My emotions live on my sleeve. Sometimes I think hmm, I should probably stop being an oversharer. But then my brain is like HAHA NOT A CHANCE. GO TELL THOSE PEOPLE THINGS THEY DON’T NEED TO KNOW. Yeah. So obviously that hasn’t changed (hi, I write a blog that includes far more detail about my life than necessary), but I have a positive outlet when the chaos in my brain gets too loud. I run, I lift, I swim, I bike, I stretch, I do what I need to do to shut it up for a while. I can calm things down enough to process them. Don’t ever take for granted how intimately intertwined your mental and physical health are.
Moving on from my insanity, Sam keeps telling me I’m a swimmer. And I guess today is the day I decide to accept that title? I was talking to a friend this morning about her running progress, and she told me she was running, well, technically jogging, and I had to stop her and tell her that if she was running, she is a RUNNER. If you run, you are a runner. Jogging is running. Doesn’t matter how fast, how slow, how far, where, when, how. And if anyone tells you differently, they should get the heck out of your life. It took me a long time to accept that about myself; If I could barely run half a mile, how on earth could I be called a runner? Because I didn’t quit. Because I kept striving, kept going, kept pushing until you know what? Last weekend, I ran for an hour and forty-five minutes. It took being a runner to get there.
So if I can change my view to accept the title of runner, why can’t I accept swimmer? Because I plan to keep pushing, keep trying and keep progressing. Swimming is so different, so challenging. I look forward to seeing where it takes me. I might thrash, I WILL have days that are not pretty, but ultimately, I’m in the water. I’m moving. I’m a swimmer.
I was going to wait until after the triathlon to post about this, but I had caffeine and I’m excited so I figured, why not?
After I finish the tri this weekend (AH IT’S IN FIVE DAYS!!) I’m going to start training for my first half marathon. Sam and I looked over the training plan I want to use and modified it a bit, since I’m not starting from scratch and hit nine miles this weekend. It’ll allow me to incorporate my lifting and some speedwork so I won’t just finish the race. Hopefully I’ll be able to focus on getting a decent time as well.
ANYWAY. I have picked out a half that is about 12 weeks out. It is the Run for the Redfish and it is December 6th in Panama City Beach. It is a ridiculously flat out and back course that runs along the ocean. How could you not want to run that?? I figured it would be perfect for my first half. :)
There is also a 5k that coincides with the half. NOW HERE’S THE EXCITING PART. I want ALL OF YOU to come with me to PCB. Whether for the half or for the 5k, I think it is going to be awesome. December in Florida by the ocean is going to be the greatest place to ignite your love of running. And the training leading up to it will be SO pleasant as the weather cools down.
Just picture it - me, you, our closest friends, spending a weekend in PCB running, having fun, hanging out at the beach (even if it is December) and celebrating the fact that we have run a half marathon or 5k! Both are HUGE accomplishments!
If this is something you are interested in, please let me know. I’d like to rent a beach house/hotel/something for that weekend and we can all head down Friday night, run Saturday morning, then spend the rest of the time hanging out. If we get enough people it will all be ridiculously cheap.
I will be using a modified version of the Hal Higdon half training. If you want to do the 5k but are unsure of where to start, the Couch to 5k program is excellent and will definitely help you succeed.
My real goal with my life is to help people. What I’ve discovered over the past few months (and the reason I’m trying to go to grad school) is that I want to help people get healthy. So this is the official start of actively doing something about that. I’m not a pro, I’m not a fast runner, I’m not anyone who is qualified to tell you what to do about your health. But I am someone who decided to take control of her own and managed to change her life in the process. So if I can help you start that journey, then I’m going to do whatever I can to do so.
Shoot me a message if you want to join in the fun. I’ll start a facebook group here in the next day or so just to keep up with training, motivation, etc. I’ll post my training schedule so if you want to train with me you absolutely can. :)
Now for links!
Someone I love passed away yesterday and it hurts and I’m lost and I want the longest hug ever.
I have a lot to say but I’m fresh out of words. Here’s hoping they’ll come out before my soul explodes.