Not working out when you're sick is hard. Not getting in those last few strength and stamina building runs before a big race is defeating. But as I've been saying, I feel ready. And maybe my body is saying, uh, excuse me, you've been doing a lot, slow down now please. So I'm trying to fight the smart fight. Eat my fruits and veggies, get some extra rest (hard when you have good TV saved to watch), and scale back the intensity. I'm hoping I can put in a run and a bike this weekend, and maybe some time with the TRX. Although, I'm thinking this cold of mine is just a nice way of keeping me indoors while the first round of frigid winter weather hits us. By Monday it'll be 15-20 degrees (centigrade) warmer than it will be tomorrow. I think that is much more conducive to running 23km don't you? Besides, isn't the real goal of Vegas to have time away with the hubby?
Speaking of smart fighting and goals I had an experience on the weekend. My mom asked me to pace her for her half-marathon as she was gunning for a sub 2 hour. Not wanting to feel jumpy at the start line and take her out too fast I caught up with her just under 1.5km in. She was running with her office mate Kelly and I met two totally different people. Kelly was chipper, happy, and just glad to be out. My mom was scowling. Uh oh I thought. Kelly had previously told me her goals were a) to keep up with us b) run around 2:10 or c) just finish whenever, however. My mom's lone goal, finish sub 2. Trotting off at the prescribed pace I quickly saw my mom was not in any shape - mentally - to do a sub two. I suggested we switch to running 5 minutes and walking 30 seconds hoping she could push the pace. At kilometer five my mom had shut down. Kelly went on ahead and had a great race and finished in 2:06!
I tried all the positive stuff I had, tried talking about controversial topics to get her fired up, tried pushing the pace hoping she'd find a new rhythm. It was exhausting. We were running slower than she runs during training and she was huffing and puffing like nobody's business. Then, just before we hit the turn around she saw a good friend, having a decent run, and my mom dropped the F bomb. I just about lost it on her and turned around myself, but I was so afraid she'd walk off the course I stuck with her. I practically screamed at her - since when is Sylvie's race about you? What does it matter if she's having a good day and you're not? You had a shitty week (loss of a dear family member, bad test results, dog has more potential cancerous lumps). Get over it, it's not about her, I yelled. I think she picked it up for about a kilometer but we both knew she was done. I tried refocusing and just making the day about us running together and how cool that was. I tried talking about people who inspired us, who we thought the other person expired. But no matter what, she just could give up the fight and settle in to just running and not racing.
I was aching, physically because we were running so slow and taking tons of walk breaks, and mentally because it was hard to see my mom in such a bad place and because I felt like a failure - not keeping up my end of the bargain and pulling her through to a sub 2. So after the race I came home and did some calculating for my mom (and me) because I really want her to be happy and succeed. I do want her to re-evaluate her goals though and know that, um, she's aging. She ran her PB half four years ago at a 2:01. Age graded she should expect to be around 2:07. So why not shoot for sub 2:05? That's realistic. Thankfully, mom and I are going to have a do-over. Not a race, just a run. When we can forget our watches at home and just get caught up talking about all the things we never seems to have enough time for.
|From the book: Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball|
Running with my mom was a great reminder that we each need to focus on our own goals and set realistic ones too. I know I shout out to Another Mother Runner all the time but they have become my online support community. They put out a great podcast (#5) about goal setting and I highly recommend everyone listen to it - mother or not. (Nearly) every moment of running should be enjoyable, including races, but you have to set yourself up for it.