Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Things I've Got Going for Me

The verdict: DCFIT good; Saturday run bad. All I'm gonna say is: GI tract. OK?

It was really hot and really humid. Like you-showered-with-your- clothes-on-humid. The consensus (thanks, Nancy!) is that I was dehydrated (I'm not stupid, I hydrate like crazy but apparently sweat like crazy too), and that leads to ... bad things.

Run recap over!

Well, not quite. Eleven miles on Saturday took me 2 1/2 hours. I don't know how I made it back. I thought about taking a cab. But I didn't. I didn't want to inflict myself on a cabbie. It's pretty amazing what you can do when you have no real options. So I walked/ran/dragged myself back to the Pentagon.

I was pretty down—depressed— Sunday and it lasted right thru Monday. I seriously contemplated quitting, because who was I kidding?? I have too many problems to keep on with this running crap. Blisters, PF, chafing, now my back was acting up, and the final straw was this GI stuff, which made a funny story the first time. But the second time? Is quite another thing.

In my quest to understand what is happening with my body, I was talking to the amazing jeff, who was giving me all kinds of encouragement and advice about what in my life and diet might be exacerbating this problem, and I found myself writing back to him about the "things I had going for me," which led to me really thinking about the things I have going for me (don't worry, it's a short list):

  1. Perseverence.

  2. The Will to improve.

  3. I can run. I know I have said this before, but I have to keep reminding myself, so you have to keep reading it: I can run. Three years ago I was using a cane to walk. Three years ago I was ready for the back surgeon. Every time I run, even badly, it's a little miracle.

  4. And let's not forget: I'm off anti-depressants—a direct result of running.

  5. An awesome coach.

  6. And of course, all of you.
And then, as so often happens, I ran six good miles Tuesday morning. Six miles is still a big deal for me. (See #3.)

So, I returned from the hairy edge of bailing (see #1).

Who knows if I'll make it across the finish line on Oct. 29? I do know for certain that I'll keep trying until every part of my body tells me it's over. And I have to be prepared for that to happen, given my history.

But I'll tell you this: I'm not gonna go quietly. And I'm sure there will be plenty more times when I will feel like giving up. But I'm not gonna give up. Not. Going. To. Give. Up. Got it?

You need more inspiration than my little story? Check out "What He’s Been Pedaling," a feature on Floyd Landis from the New York Times Magazine. Take a look at what Landis' life is like:
...in almost every [other] situation in his life, Landis is slow. He walks with a limp. He sits as often as possible and cannot cross his right leg over his left. He takes elevators instead of stairs, valet-parks at the shopping mall and sometimes has difficulty sleeping. Running is out of the question. Like many of the 216,000 Americans who will receive hip replacements this year, his life is defined by chronic, debilitating pain.
I know what years of chronic, debilitating pain feel like. Watching Landis in the Tour, and reading his (and others'—many of them yours) stories, reminds me that I'm hardly alone in my little struggle.

Now that's encouraging.

25 comments:

KT said...

What a beautiful post. Go get 'em, girl.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, Saturday was a gross day to run.

I've been struggling too, stomach issues and now a summer cold, but as long as I finish the run I figure things are okay and still on track regardless of my time or pace. It's the time on your feet that counts right now.

You need to carry some kind of sports drink or electrolytes on the run, unfortunately DCFit only provides water and Amino Vital at the water stops (amino vital aids in muscle repair, but adds no salt or calories). Hopefully that will help you out.

We're doing the Custis trail this weekend (hills, but at least some shade), it's one of my favorite routes.

See you Saturday.

Christy

Sherri said...

You won't stop, Jeanne. You can't stop. You better not stop. Largely (and selfishly) because I L.O.V.E. your blog, your writing, your insight, your sharing your day-to-day experiences (good and bad and in between), your preserverance, your energy, your will and your hilarious humor. So. There. You can't stop.

I/We struggle with you. I/We progress forward with you.

Awww...the beauty of blogs!

My favorite mantra is from a post of yours back in May in which you wrote: "I pressed on though, like the good soldier I am."

Keep pressing!

a.maria said...

good post!

glad you're sticking with it. though i never had a doubt in my mind!

you rock, woman! i still can't quite run 6 miles myself, so...

kudos! and well deserved!

Lara said...

Beautiful, inspirational post! Thanks for the reminder that we've got so much to be grateful for in our running - injuries and misadventures aside!

Anne said...

Thanks for reminding us motivation is out there and plentiful. We need only stop, look, admire and emulate.

Bolder said...

many would consider being able to run 6 miles on a Tuesday the pinnacle of their athletic achievement...

Floyd Landis would love to.

keep doing your thing, you do it well...

Caren said...

I am really impressed you finished your run on Saturday. It was gross, gross, GROSS! I tried to run track at a local school and it so humid and thick with fog that I couldn't see the school. I gave up after one mile and was really annoyed with myself for not sticking it out. So you should be very proud of yourself for sticking it out.

runnergirl said...

We all go through our moments of wanting to quit! But we always come out on the other side with just a little more determination to keep going after all. Thanks for the inspiration today. I think reading your post has helped to get me out of my running slump as I've been facing a few of the same things recently.

Elle said...

I simply adore you...if you disappear I'll hunt you down and force you to listen to stories about my horrible god damn vacation....over and over again. Imagine yourself trapped on a train...for days...with your mother in law...who is menopausal...and who hates you. That's what I'll make you listen to if you stop running.

We all peridically fall off the wagon...for example...I haven't put foot to pavement for over a month. I was burning out and needed to remember how much I loved it. And trust me...if you stop, you will miss it. Plus if you're like me...you're ass will get large and your partner will threaten to have an affair with the ugly cat lady who smells like urine and lives next door unless you start moving again. Evidently I too am moody when I'm not running.

Steve said...

Ditto all the above!

Other Jen said...

Don't forget the ultimate thing you'll have going for you this Saturday -- snacks. DC Fit is giving us snacks after the run. See? I told you they rock!

Can't wait to run with you! Well, run behind you. Far, far behind...a distant slow-moving speck on the horizon...

Dori said...

'Atta Girl! I know you can do it, and apparently so do your other fans. Training for a marathon in the middle of summer bites.

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Excellent, Jeanne! You know, I think I've come to realize that life is like running (and a box of chocolates). You work hard to get to where you are going. You work to improve and you break down on a regular basis, but if you rest and rebuild, you come back stronger. Sometimes things break. But if you keep going, you eventually get there. Oddly enough, just like training for the race, it the journey along the way that was the most important thing. The goal at the end just gave you a reason to take it.

brent said...

keep up the good vibes jeanne, nothing is gonna stop you now. nothin'!

TriBoomer said...

Jean, you're never alone in your struggles. Thanks for your post.

Chin up!

Stay tuned...

Nancy said...

Very inspiring!! I linked to your blog- hope that's OK. Keep up the great posts.

Running by.... said...

Nice post. It's going to make October all the sweeter. Hang in there, we're all cheering for you!

susie said...

I can't tell you how much this meant to me. I have been there. And it is when I read posts like this that I get re-inspired to run again. If you want to talk GI issues, email me. I've got pages of info. I'm going to be there in Oct waiting for you to cross the finish line:) Oh yeah, hey, we've got a half to do in September, too!! It's gonna be fuuuuuuunnnnnnnn.

Bex said...

Awwww. You inspired me to actually blog after reading this post. As your unofficial coach, you know I feel that quitting is not an option re this marathon. 'Cuz you're going to be on my team for a 72-mile relay around Lake Tahoe next summer. Oh yeeessss, indeedy .....

neese said...

thank you for sharing your story, i am crying because i am touched, you are an inspiration and i will undoubtedly be thinking of you on that day in october as i run my first half.

xoxo

Bex said...

Okay, I'm crying, too. But not because I'm touched (or perhaps I am, in the head). But because it's 10:20 pm on Friday night and I have to meet my crazy marathon training group at 6:30 am tomorrow! And I haven't eaten dinner yet. Bad Bex.

Pamalamadingdong said...

you are a fabulous runner!
Good for you!

Juls said...

Jeanne, Add "Good attitude" to the list. There are the downs and there are the ups. Just read back through your blog entries to see that you have had both. You are inspiring to us because you continue at it. Don't give it up - just think were you would be without your running!

TriSaraTops said...

What an inspiring post!