When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The heart of the difference is not ability or even talent, but desire

The secret of life is that there is no secret of life. It's all hard work. Yet you still have to find the right works and be free to choose direction that is best for you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Monday, November 07, 2011

Back to the machines.

The joy of running, and running across Grand Canyon to add, was short-lived. After Cactus Rose the first few days were trying to crawl from exhaustion level at "Don't talk to me or I'll snap" to "I am tired, try living my life" and doing something exercise-related at the gym every morning. I even happen to burn myself with exploded boiling agarose, all over my face and neck. On Friday I ventured to that local park and dirt path around it. I managed 3 miles, looping and limping, before giving up. On Saturday I did something pathetic on a trail 5M loop. On Sunday I managed 10 trail miles in OK time and moderate level of pain, but as soon as I stopped, the foot let me know who is the boss. And it wasn't me. The rest of the day was spent between icing and massaging on the lacrosse ball (besides cooking up a storm, cutting, freezing, storing, cooking again - we have a house-warming coming, and Russian food requires a lot of prepping steps).

It was a nice quiet weekend otherwise. Between painting, cooking and shopping (and trying to run and then dealing with consequences), there was some Russian TV, knitting, lots of laundry, kid duty and cleaning the house. First real weekend at home. Too bad Larry was away...but this allowed me to focus on tasks that are female-oriented (yes, I am that traditional). It also allowed me to think, again, how much running means to me. AJW had that post on "what would you choose, a perfect WS100 (or just any race important to you) or 3 miles a day for the rest of your life?". I have no doubts in my choice. Who cares of the perfect race if after that you can't run ever again? The race will be forgotten, you'll be forgotten, your perfect little trophy will be in a box in a garage, and you'll be stuck not being able to have this wonderful rhythmic motion, left-right, breath in-out, thoughts floating, body in tune...

So, I was hitting gym hard. Cardio machines, all kinds of them (besides heavy weights). But no machine can sustain my interest, and I hardly make it 45 minutes before bailing out. No matter how hard, how sweaty, how pumping...it is still not the same, and will never be. I will stick with it, because I have a desire to be fit, and because I like a general feeling exercise gives me - but my mind will never be involved, nor will my heart. At this point my whole season of races is in jeopardy, but all I want is a 3 mile run on a trail without pain...

Until then - I am a robot. And my writing muse is running alongside with my running - low.


  1. AJW's post - I'm with you. I posted a comment on his post, but was only one of many reasons why I would pick 3 daily miles over one 100 mile race.

  2. I pick 3 miles/day (though I'd prefer my sweet spot of 5) as well. I'm sorry you're not back yet and struggling a bit. Could you try mountain biking? When I broke my toe that was an acceptable substitute and is a wicked workout. You need to let your body heal and finding a way to keep your body and mind happy while healing is the key. I hope you figure something out! And I wish I could come eat all that Russian food. I love love love Russian food! Weird?

  3. I'm sorry the running is still painful! I understand completely. Hang in there! Not sure if you can do it pain-free and you're already a fast walker, but I've found that the long fast walks get me close to that running zone. Still prefer running, of course. :-)

    And I agree...I've had some wonderful race highs, but that feeling and the memories definitely fade. I'd much rather have the steady 3 miles a day if I had to choose.

  4. I, too, would pick 3 miles a day, painfree. Until then, we robots must keep oiled and moving. It'll come, your heart will sync up with running again.

  5. Finally a proper response on your blog (not just via email)!! Running is such a gift. I am grateful for each day I am healthy enough to enjoy it. The simplicity and zen is not lost on this girl!!

  6. I feel you pain! Chin up it will get better!

  7. I am with you and Allison. 3 miles a day is better than one perfect race for sure. When I have been laid up after only 3 short days I am envious of people walking briskly on a sidewalk. I have friend who has put running on the sideline for a couple of months to go after leaning up and getting strong. She is NOT happy and can't wait to get back to running and her quote is the same as yours...no matter how much she sweats, pushing weights etc..it's not the same.

    Sorry your foot is not cooperating. Hang in there Olga.

  8. Olga, really hope to see you on the trails sooner rather than later. Thanks for the perspective.

  9. I'm in the same boat - my right foot hurts all the time. I'm not able to run 1M/day.
    The burn looks painful. Sleeping must be difficult. I hope it heals without too much hassle.

  10. I'm bummed to hear you're still struggling with your injury. I thought Grand Canyon was your big comeback.

    Most of us have been there with a long-term injury. We want to say something like "hang in there, it will get better" but deep down we know how much of a struggle it is. I once spent a couple of months mostly swimming because my knee hurt too much to bike or hike. At first I was resentful but slowly I grew to enjoy swimming and even started looking into gear so I could try it outdoors (in Alaska, this meant head-to-toe neoprene.) I healed before it came to that, but I still think there is always another path to fulfillment, if we seek it out.

  11. Sending healing thoughts your way this morning.