Thursday, June 2, 2011

Going and Going

This past weekend I ran a half marathon. Not particularly quickly--in fact, it was my slowest ever--and well, I can't pretend like I really trained all too hard for it. But it's over and done with. It was hot and long and, quite frankly, pretty miserable.

I kept running until I couldn't. Which was just past ten miles. I gave myself a good long walk break. Of course this is when that voice inside gives way to, what I so eloquently call, the "I-sucks:"

I'm fat. I'm slow. I'm the slowest runner I know. Everyone is looking at me and laughing. Look at everyone going by, they're wondering why I even bothered trying to do this. 

Which ever-so-quickly segues into "I-suck-at-everything":

I am a shitty mother. My poor kids got me in the lottery of life. My husband has to put up with me. It's no wonder my baby died, I am a terrible person. I can't do anything well, everyone is better at everything than I am.

I don't know. I think strange things happen to my brain when I'm underfed and overtired. It's hard to not let the negative thoughts creep in at the edges. The wheels just fall right off my wagon.

I am a new person, though. The old me, the one who never really ever lived through misery, or had to do anything especially challenging that wasn't self-inflicted, probably would have given up. Watched the runners pass me by, felt sorry for myself and pouted. But the old me wasn't out there on that sunny, hot morning. The new me scraped my sorry sack of shit self off the pavement at mile 11 and started running again. And finished. Running. The new me knows a thing or two about keepin' on keepin' on.

C and the boys were there just past mile 11, cheering me on. They were there again just past mile 12, too. Hearing E shouting "go Mommy go!" gave my heart a jolt. I'm still not all that jazzed about my lackluster performance, but I finished what I started.  I didn't quit even though it was hard. Go me.


  1. Go you indeed! There is no way I could even contemplate attempting a marathon, half or otherwise, so I think you are pretty darn amazing. I have a rule about running: I don't run. Oh, that's unless I'm being chased....

  2. Well done you, from where i'm sitting (on my big fat bum) that sounds really pretty impressive.
    I'm like you, if I'm tired and hungry those thoughts creep in my head too, and rapidly take over. Usually I recognise what's hapenning, but not before I generally feel pretty awful.

  3. Yea, what Sally and Jeanette said. I'm impressed that you ran anywhere. My negative thoughts mostly creep in in work settings.

    But hey, you kept going, and your kids saw you do it. That's awesome!

  4. That is amazing. You should be damn proud of yourself, mama. That inner voice, the one that tells you all those lies, is one that shouldn't be trusted. I have that same inner voice, so I am telling you something I need to remind myself of everyday. There is an acronym that is used in recovery called H.A.L.T. Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired. That is the formula for negative thinking and self-abuse which leads to real abuse. So, it is a very real phenomenon to be tired, hungry, lonely and start getting into a pattern of abusive thinking. Anyway, the point here is that I think you are amazing to even take on a half-marathon and barely train and FINISH it. I couldn't have finished. No way. No how. Sending you love and in awe.

  5. Can I comment on a comment? Angie, thank you for putting a name (HALT) to that negative thought pattern. It is something I struggle with under stress and it really helps to see that it in fact has a clinical explanation. No I can attack it better because it's been identified.

    Anyway, I ran the first 9 or so miles with Mary Beth and it was a tough, tough race even for me who was well rested, not breastfeeding, and pouring water over her head every 2 miles to keep coolish. Remember that marathon I ran in the fall, the one I did train for, and bonked 25 minutes slower than my goal? Yep. Here's to just crossing the finish line!