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Deep Thoughts & Tough Love
You know I’m not really going to have actual “deep thoughts” that are groundbreaking in this post, right? I just don’t want your expectations to be very high.
This weekend wrapped itself up pretty perfectly.
Yeah, Saturday’s run was a little rough — more on that in a moment — but by last night I was back to Happy Relax-y Ali. She’s so much more fun than Crying Ali. I really like her.
I foam rolled a lot last night, and also went to my happy place.
I threw on some compression socks, even though I think mine are too stretched out to actually do anything, and sat on Brian’s couch watching Oprah walk across hot coals. That’s a topic for an entirely different day. Let’s just say I, too, want to do a fire walk.
By last night, I had calmed my weekend worries of “Oh my God my leg is broken and my hip is going to fall off and I’ll never run again,” and realized I’m most likely just dealing with a pesky IT band and, as Coach Cane advised, it’s something that can be attacked “aggressively.” Aggressive is one of my favorite words. Aggressive Ali On The Run. I think it works.
While Brian and I hung out on the couch, he begged me to let him massage my IT band. He was all, “Please, Ali? It’s so much fun for me. I really like not sitting on the couch and just relaxing when I could be kneading the side of your leg and watching you wince in pain. Seriously. Let me?”
I guess Brian may recall last night going a bit differently, but that’s how I remember it. Ice cream and a leg massage, yum!
And talks of fire walking.
I had a crappy night’s sleep last night though, which almost never happens. I’m usually so tired by bedtime that I pass out hard and feel shocked and awed and annoyed when the alarm starts getting feisty at 5 am. But I couldn’t sleep, and at one point while I was awake I figured, “I may as well be productive while I’m up, so perhaps I will think deep life thoughts.”
Here are a few conclusions I came to:
- I had my first bad long run on Saturday. That’s like, monumental or something. Normally I have great long runs because they’re my favorite kinds of runs and I find them to be relaxing and comfortable. But I had a tough one, and that will happen. I know that, and I’m learning to accept it. As frustrated as I was after the fact, I think it’s good that this happened because it made me tougher. I’ll have a great run next (hopefully), and can look back on this one and laugh. Or, if I have another rough long run, I’ll look back on this one and remember that I got it done.
- I can’t let running define me. It’s something I love and something I want to do for a very long time. But my goals are not to be an Olympian (in running, that is — my go-to Olympic sport will be Organizing, as soon as the Olympics committee realizes that’s worthy of a medal). My goals are simply to improve and throw down a few race times I’m happy with. And, honestly, my goals are always to just enjoy running and training. I tend to panic and crash and suck ass on race days, so at least I enjoy the training, right? And it’s true, I really really do love training and running long.
- I can’t let running define me because what if I have to live without it? I have an appointment with an ART doctor today at 4:30, which I’m really looking forward to. I’m excited to be poked, stretched and put into some pain so Mr. Doctor can give me a diagnosis. I very highly doubt he’s going to say, “You’re done running, Ali. Find another hobby.” But what if that were the case? Well, I’d have to be OK with it. I could take up yoga and learn how to do a headstand. I could get more into spinning, which I already love. There are plenty of other ways to sweat, and while I may always love running the most, I know there’s a chance that I may at least be told to go without it for a few days. (Which is also fine, because my To Do list is nasty right now and I’ve been neglecting it.)
- As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes I need a good cry and some tough love in order to assess my issues and then get over them. I got some really great comments on yesterday’s post, and I’ll share them with you now:
I feel very lucky to have such insightful, thoughtful, kind people sharing their wisdom with me. Thank you, people. Yes, I’m hard on myself. Yes, it’s a massive, massive flaw. Going into 2012, I remember thinking that maybe one of my resolutions should be to “go easier on myself,” but I didn’t write it down because I knew it wouldn’t happen. How pathetic is that? Maybe for 2013…or maybe I can still work on it for this year, before my friends and family abandon me because I’m “crazy.”
So those are a few of my nighttime thoughts. Eventually the alarm did go off, and I got dressed, because Coach Cane asked that I run 6–7 miles as long as I didn’t feel “gimpy.” I walked around and stretched a little and felt fine, so I hit the road. More specifically, I hit the Reservoir, which is the flat, cushion-y area where I will be doing all of my runs for a while.
I ran 7 miles, as instructed, and felt really, really good. I like this day-to-day plan Coach Cane has me on, which is centered around longer, slower daily runs.
I ran comfortably, constantly checking in with my leg and hip to make sure things felt OK, and rarely looking down at my watch. I haven’t loaded my splits onto the computer, but I’d guess my average pace was around 8:50-9:10. I felt like I could have gone faster for sure, but those weren’t my instructions.
So that’s where I stand today. I’m calmer, I’m chiller and I don’t think the world is ending.
Check back tomorrow for my official “I saw a doctor and here’s what he had to say” diagnosis. There’s a good chance he’ll diagnose me with “IT Band Syndrome with a side of lunacy,” and I look forward to seeing what sort of treatment he prescribes for that.
Lastly, here is a picture that makes me happy:
LET’S MAKE EACH OTHER SMILE: My weekend highlight was having a singalong to the Space Jam soundtrack at a dinner party Sunday night. If you think Space Jam isn’t always relevant, you are really, really wrong. Any film that tastefully features both humans and cartoons acting alongside each other is a winner for sure. Tell me the best part of YOUR weekend.