Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Better Friend to Myself

I like to think that I'm a pretty good friend, that I cheer on my friends when they need it. Today I realized that I'm not a very good friend to myself.

Like, when I set out for a 4.5 mile run and end up stopping after 2.6 miles because it was 95 degrees out with 60% humidity, I automatically tell myself I failed and wonder why I couldn't have gone two more miles. I probably could have, but I was in direct sunlight and ended up on an uneven grass trail on my first ever trail run. It just wasn't working, even though I took it slow. This is what I was running.

See all those trees way in the distance? Inexplicably, all the trails through the trees were blocked off with caution tape, leaving me to run through the prairie. I found one lone tree with a bench beneath it at the two mile walk and stopped to catch my breath. While I was sitting there, I thought it was raining because I looked down and saw water droplets running into my socks. Then I realized that it was sweat rolling off me. Lovely! I was so sweaty that my armband was actually sliding down as I was running, which has never happened.

I kind of wanted to stay under that tree forever, but I realized that Shane might get concerned if I told him I was spending the night at the arboretum. I gave myself a goal of getting back to my car where I had water, then I ran one more pass down the one shaded trail (which was only 1/3 of a mile). I loved running the shaded, mulched trail. It felt really good and fun, I just faltered in the heat and uneven grass. I ended up in the water garden that my boys love and tore off my shoes, excited to stick my feet in cold water. Except that it was SO HOT that the water was like bath water.

It still felt good. And if you look closely, you can see the little green worm that apparently hitched a ride during my run. I hope I didn't get him too far from his home!

Afterward, I was disappointed in myself. I really thought I could conquer 4.5 miles, but I didn't even come close and felt like I was making excuses for why I couldn't. Isn't that silly? It doesn't mean I'm a failure, it just means that I'll need to repeat this week on the training plan (I'm following this plan, for anyone interested). I looked back at my Couch to 5k app and realized that I started it just three months ago (and finished it in less than nine weeks!). It feels like longer, but it's only been three months since I've been running regularly and I need to remember that. Three months ago, 2.5 miles would've been laughable, let alone 4.5! I'm wearing clothes that I wouldn't have worn last summer (aren't my friends so pretty?) because I feel better about my body.

So, here's me being a better friend to myself. Today I ran 2.6 miles in the afternoon heat. When I was done, I rewarded myself with an Icee because, dammit, I deserved it.

17 comments:

Bobbi Janay said...

Wow, I needed to hear the reminder to be a better a friend to myself. Also you rocked it by getting out there and even trying.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I am SO glad you are at this realization. You are totally awesome and deserving of major cheering on. I love you!


Steph

Kaycee said...

See I sat here thinking "Wow good for you!" at what you did and nodding in agreement at you needing to stop and marveling at your insight into yourself and your running and why this just wasn't working for you this morning. But you are so right -why can't we always do this for ourselves? Glad you are giving yourself a break and cheering yourself on. And you DID deserve that Icee dammit! :)

Sarah said...

You should be proud of not only running somewhere new and challenging but in the heat, too! It sounds like you are accomplishing amazing things. I, too, feel sometimes like I could have pushed myself farther or faster, but then I have to stop myself from being too hard on myself. You have a great attitude! I'm cheering for you and it sounds like lots of others are, too!

Mommy Mo said...

Hot running can suck it. And yes, do not beat yourself up- the heat and the humidity can and do slow you down. Carry water, girl- hydrate hydrate hydrate! I will take running in 40 degrees over 90 degrees any day of the week : ).

Jen said...

2.5 miles in sweltering heat is awesome! The fact that you've been running three months and are setting out for 4.5 miles is great - I'm starting the C25K program this week (as soon as my running shoes arrive) and to hear success stories motivates me all the more! Good luck with the training this week and I'm sure you'll knock out the 4.5 miles soon!

punkinmama said...

You started this only 3 months ago? Wow, you are doing awesome and I'm even more inspired!

It's amazing how hard we can be on ourselves! Glad you realized you needed to reward yourself rather than chastise yourself! You made a wise decision to not push it harder... this heat is a killer!

Kate said...

I do this all the time, too. I'm so nice to others, cheer them on, tell them to give themselves a break. But me? I have different standards and sometimes that's not fair.

I love how much you're running these days. It's both a gift and challenge to yourself.

Lyndsay said...

You are awesome. You are amazing. You are inspiring. It's too hot for me to do much more than sit in the shade and drink iced tea.

Adam said...

I'm so glad you have such a nice friend.

designHER Momma said...

dude. you SO deserve it.

InTheFastLane said...

You should be nice...and it was so very hot and humid and I can't believe you went out later in the day. If I don't run early it doesnt happen. Be nice ;)

Catey said...

Any distance in the afternoon heat is awesome! But I know what you mean...I had to bail on a run on Saturday because of an injury I'm nursing/hoping not to make worse and I hated myself all day because of it. :(
Great reminder to be kinder to ourselves!
Also-Hal Higdon's plans are fabulous! :)

Becky said...

I think you are amazing!! So be nice to yourself or you'll have ME to deal with!

Foursons said...

I too am harder on myself than I ever would be on other people. I'm glad you turned things around in your head AND celebrated with an ICEE. You TOTALLY earned it.

Aimee said...

I'm a long time stalker of your blog. I just wanted to say (from one runner to another) that I'm so proud of you! I'm in TX and it's HOT here (111 degrees today) and I'm training for my first half marathon. I needed to read this today b/c right now it's very difficult for me to give my all! I'm waking up at 4 a.m. to beat the heat and it's still 90 degrees (and humid) when I go out! You will conquer the 4.5 miles! I ran my first 10 mile run this past Saturday and I never thought I was capable! If we can do this in the heat, we will be unstoppable this winter! Hang in there and keep on runnin'

Kristen said...

You are my hero :-) Some day I hope to follow in your exercising/hot mom foot steps. . . .but for now I can barely manage to keep up with laundry, cleaning, work. . .oye. I don't know how you do it.