Monday, August 12, 2013

Eating Sidewalk

So, I haven't written just about my running lately.

I had that thought as I was laying in the middle of the sidewalk on mile three of my run this morning.

It had been a hard run prior to that moment.

I am starting a new training program.
 I'm nearly ready to run my first official 10k race so now I'm looking to next year.
A friend of mine asked me if I would want to run a Ragnar Relay with her next year and I want to start prepping now.
 I set my alarm for 6am and I even went to bed early.

Then morning came. Alarm went off and I went back to sleep until 7am. I know, bad me. Then at 7 I remembered I had to get up because Sam works all day and has the play all night and I have a meeting tonight so it was run now or no run today.

Run now.

I got up and got out the door. I went back in to get headphones that work. THEN I actually got out the door and started running.

I started strong, but things got rough quickly. For some reason I was sucking wind at mile 1.5! What? I was not happy about it. Then my head started pounding and my neck kinked up. This stuff never happens! My ears were ringing and I finally paused for a second at mile two so I could stretch my neck and my spine and see if that cleared things up. It sort of did, but just when that got better I felt a stitch in my side.

Come on!

There are a lot of things I think about while I run. Sometimes I review the plans I'm putting together for events or I think about things I need to clean and organize at home and I make to do lists. Other times I ponder bigger issues or try to think through a problem I'm having. Most runs I pray somewhere in there. Sometimes for other people, sometimes for the herd and more often than not, I pray that my legs will keep moving and I'll get home. I also imagine things when the runs get extra hard. I imagine people I know who have passed on running with me and cheering me on. It is like my own invisible entourage, cheering me on and keeping me moving.

So, you can see there is a lot going on with me while I run. Today I couldn't think on anything because I was having such a hard time just moving forward. I could not find my groove, I couldn't get my breathing to regulate... I was all over the place. I was so frustrated. This was my first day of a new training program! This was a long run day and I needed my 5 miles! Come on!

In desperation around mile 3, I prayed that somehow I would catch a break, catch my breath and finish this run.

Seconds later, I tripped.

And fell.

On the sidewalk in the middle of Rigby.
(This is not a Rigby sidewalk, but it is sidewalk. In case you aren't familiar with such a thing.)

Now, when I tell you I fell, I want you to know how fantastic of a fall this was. I tripped, then I stumbled, then I tried to catch myself and when I realized that wasn't happening I ninja rolled (okay, probably just flop-rolled, but in my head it was a ninja roll which is more graceful and catlike) and then I finally landed on my back on someone's lawn and sidewalk.

Lots of things ran through my head right then:

1. That was embarrassing. I hope no one saw me
2. No, wait. I hope someone did see me and filmed it so I can see if that was all cool looking as I think it is. (At this point I was laughing because it is always better to laugh instead of cry if you have the option.)
3. Ouch.
4. Do I have to get up or will someone come get me if I call them?
5. I need to take a picture of this and put it on facebook so all my friends can enjoy me falling down!
6. Hey! My head doesn't hurt anymore!
7. Better get up and run home.

So, I picked myself up, tested all my joints to make sure I was okay and started running again. Just like that.

Funny thing, the rest of the run felt so much better. I mean, my hands and knees hurt (I skinned them up a bit), but I wasn't sucking wind anymore and my neck and head felt much better.

As I kept running I thought about what had happened. I was struggling so hard and just fighting through each step. Then, I asked God for help and next thing I know I'm flat on my back.
NOT what I was expecting. But, once I pick myself up I was running again and it was easier than before. Why?

I have a theory.
Sometimes we are struggling so hard in the moment and we can't see ourselves being able to accomplish whatever we are working towards. It is too hard, too far... impossible. Then, we fall.
Kersplat. Ouch.
Something happens when we are on the ground.
For one thing, the worst has happened and sometimes that is just a relief to move past. It is also encouraging to know that we fell and yet we were able to pick ourselves up and go again.
The other thing that happens is that jolt of hitting the ground shifts our way of thinking. We take a breath. We test all our limbs. We laugh at ourselves. Then we get up being grateful that we aren't still on the ground.
The last thing that happens is we separate the one "run" in to two. We have a BC (Before Crash) and an AD (After Dismount... and yes, that was a less graceful dismount than usual). We aren't fighting through that hard BC run anymore, we're on to the AD section and it is a whole new experience.

I think sometimes God sees us struggling so hard and knows things won't get easier unless we  hit the ground hard so we can reset in our heads and start over.

It works.

The last half of my run was good. Still hard, but in a new and exciting way! I was very peeved to discover that I barely miscalculated my run and only did 4.8 miles (argh) instead of the 5 I wanted. But, I needed to wash blood off and get the dirt out of cuts and I was at my house so I am letting go of the LESS THAN A QUARTER OF A MILE I wanted to get. Live to fight another day.

Good day. Hard run. The worst happened and I still finished plus I even learned something. Now to find the band aids.

PS. In case you are wondering, when I told the herd I fell they were all, "oooh, Mom, you are so tough! Look at your awesome cuts, ouch!" Yep, I am hardcore to them.
When I told Sam what happened, he laughed and laughed and laughed. That is why we are married, because we know when to laugh with each other.
When I told facebook, one of my dear friends told me I was crazy. I am incredibly flattered right now.

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