Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Annual Beat Down

It happened again. About the same time every year I run into some sort of snag in my training. Whether it be weather, illness, injury, or motivation, somehow my training always gets derailed. Any one of these things can really put the breaks on an otherwise successful summer.  This year I have ran in to four.

After a miserable winter/spring, I was ready for some warmer weather. I did not however, mean like this. Temps of mid to upper 80's have dominated most of the summer, which actually came late this year. I really don't recall much of a spring and vaguely remember the last run that the weather was pleasant. Handling the heat is one thing, which for those of you who really know me, I do not do well.  What makes this summer especially awful is the humidity. Humidity levels in the 80-100% (yes, 100%) have all but done me in. Throw in the Minnesota Summer storms and scheduling runs around this weather is near impossible.

Obstacle #2 this year was illness. I rarely get sick, and when I do it's usually one of those 24 hour deals, but this year I was hit by the flu hard. Four days of actual sickness, a 102F temperature, and a week to recover stalled my new training plan before it could even get started. I am just now getting over it.

Next up is support, or lack there of. This one is new to me. In years past, I've always had teammates supporting me. Even my parents and sister, although they think I'm crazy, have given me support. This year is different. I now have a family of my own, and with it a newly selfish partner.  To give her some credit, she did bear my child, and for that I am ever grateful. And pre child, our lives were quite different. We each had our things and gave each other the space when needed. Now however, to make scheduling around work and child even more difficult, those few times I do find to get my runs in, she makes me feel guilty for leaving, thus forcing me to find even odder times of the day to run. Late night runs or very early morning runs seem to be the only time I get, which is difficult due to my 2nd shift job. And I am OK with this. Years of working as a bartender (which I thankfully no longer do) have taught me the patience of a saint. What gets me is her unwillingness to change. Apparently she doesn't need to make sacrifices from her old life, and often ends up staying after work (she's still a bartender) and having "a couple".  Like I said, I am OK with this...for now. It's been 15 months since our son was born and the time is coming where no longer can we live those lives.  I made the decision to stop. It's not that hard. Now it's her turn.

All these lead up to the final hurdle. Motivation. I am tired, hot, abused and broken. Each week that goes by; each long run missed makes it harder the next week to get out and do it again. I have taught myself tricks. I have learned to lie to myself and keep going. One of these days I'm going to catch on, and I can only hope that I do not break.

I have found some great support in friends, both those I know and those whom I have never met. Thanks to those runners who have "taken me in" and kept me motivated. Thanks to those total strangers who daily congratulate others on their accomplishments, great or small.  You have taught me more than you know, but that's a whole other blog.

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