When it’s Time to Move On

“Endings are a part of life, and we are actually wired to execute them. But because of trauma, developmental failures, and other reasons, we shy away from the steps that could open up whole new worlds of development and growth.” –Henry Cloud

You know what happens in your late 30s? You stop doing shit you don’t want to do. Also, you stop giving all the f*cks.

That’s why the half marathon I’m running with Mel on Valentines Day will probably be my last one.

Put on the Righteous Brothers because I’ve lost that long distance lovin’ feelin’.

I don’t feel like running more than about half an hour anymore. I don’t have the drive to make myself run much more than a half an hour.

And, when I do run more (usually more than an hour, though), I feel awful afterward–headache, achy body, and upset that I’m losing a whole day because of a run.

This happened yesterday after a 10-mile run with my friend Mel (Tall Mom on the Run). We had a pretty good run; and great conversation, as always.

tenmiler
Mel and me after 10 miles yesterday.

I was fine immediately afterward. My son (who had been playing at Mel’s house with her boys–thanks Tall Dad) and me went and got a smoothie and then shopped for a little bit before heading home.

On the drive home, I felt the headache coming. I’ve come to expect it after a long run. And it got worse and worse till about 9 p.m. when I couldn’t tolerate it anymore and caved to the pain (took Ibuprofin). I was asleep by 10:30 on a Saturday night.

 

Me, last night.
Me, last night.

Yes, I know there are some factors that could bring on these headaches–such as dehydration–but it doesn’t seem to matter. Fully hydrated or not, I usually start feeling like absolute crap about 2-3 hours after a long run.

Today (Sunday), I still have the headache and my calves are very angry with me.

I need to face it: I don’t enjoy the act of distance running as much as I used to. I loved going after those big goals a few years ago, but as I told Mel, I’ve done everything I needed to do.

The one thing I still enjoy about distance running is the social aspect, which I don’t need running for.

I just like walking more these days. And I love to lift.

When I run long distances, it feels as though my body is being broken down. When I lift, it feels like my body is being built up. Lifting makes me feel powerful inside and out. Distance running makes me feel weak. (Shingles, anyone?)

I still love the 5K distance, and I’m excited about maybe a sprint tri or two this summer. And I’ll never stop wanting to do relays with my friends.

 

But I think my long distance running days are coming to an end. The only thing that bothers me about that is that Mom vs. Marathon will no longer be relevant. Maybe it just needs a new name…

Book Review: How Bad Do You Want It by Matt Fitzgerald

Book Review: How Bad Do You Want It by Matt Fitzgerald

I’m ashamed to say that I let the title of Matt Fitzgerald’s latest book turn me off. This is the second time in the past few months where I did not buy a book based on the title…and then regretted that I judged a book by its cover (ha) because I really enjoyed it.

How Bad Do You Want It? the cover asked me when it was first released back in October.

I was taken aback by the question. I mean, well, I’m not sure. Probably not that bad. Probably I should just stop running altogether if I don’t want it bad enough. Yikes! I better not read that book in case it makes me feel bad about my running goals.

So I might’ve overreacted. I eventually decided to buy the Kindle version of How Bad Do You Want It? Mastering the Psychology of Mind Over Muscle ($14.71/$9.99 Paperback Version here/Kindle on Amazon) because I am a Matt Fitzgerald #fangirl.

How Bad Do You Want It by Matt Fitzgerald

Across 12 chapters, Fitzgerald tells the story of 12 different athletes and how they used the power of their minds (AKA coping skills) to help them overcome obstacles in achieving some of their greatest accomplishments.

Each chapter is a compelling and inspiring story with an underlying lesson about how you can use these same sports psychology “tricks” in your own goal-chasing. Athletes include triathlete Siri Lindley (featured in what was probably my favorite chapter, called “The Art of Letting Go”), runner Jenny Simpson, Pre, amputee and Ironman Willie Stewart, Olympic rower Joe Sullivan, 8-time Ironman World Champion Paula Newby-Fraser, and many more elite endurance athletes from the world of running, cycling and triathlons.

I particularly loved that Bernard Lagat, who won three NCAA Championship titles at Washington State University (also my alma mater), and continued training at elite levels after college, got a mention in chapter 8.

(I was disappointed, however, that Fitzgerald—or his fact-checkers—called Lagat a “Huskie.” First, the Husky is the University of Washington mascot—fierce in-state rivals of the WSU Cougars. Second, “Huskie” is not how you spell Husky. But to Fitzgerald’s credit, he responded promptly to my tweet about it saying that he’d heard from a lot of Cougars about this and that the publisher is supposed to be fixing it in the Kindle edition.)

That very minor mistake aside, I thoroughly enjoyed Fitzgerald’s latest. It made me want to do better and believe that I could, and it inspired me to have a more positive attitude toward my sport. It also ignited a desire to go after a difficult goal (although I have yet to define what that is). This is a book I know I will read many times.

Don’t let Fitzgerald’s How Bad Do You Want It? scare you. It is a fast and engaging read about endurance sports that will have you believing you can do whatever you put your mind to.

Here are just a few of my favorite passages from the book:

“Any factor that tends to increase self-consciousness during a race makes flow more difficult to attain. One of these factors is negative thoughts.”

“Self-belief cannot be manufactured through obsessive yearning toward one’s goals or through the elimination of all ‘distractions.’ In fact, it requires the opposite: an empty mind and total immersion in the process that builds the proof of potential that is the only solid foundation for true self-belief.”

“The truth of the matter is that the stronger or more capable the body is, the weaker or lazier the mind can afford to be.”

Recommended book pairing: Lauren Fleshman’s Believe Training Journal ($14.63, Amazon). Here’s a little peek in mine:

Pair How Bad Do You Want It with the Believe Journal

Next running book review: Run! by Dean Karnazes