reality check

Lest I get too full of myself post race success…there’s always a reality check gremlin lurking just around the corner, ready to make my acquaintance.

In this particular case, it was Wednesday’s group run, which was another vertical rock climb that was more hike than run…and completely demoralizing. There was a part of my brain that argued that I maybe I should have stayed home and given my body that had just done 21k over the weekend and a still-sore foot a break…but the part of my brain that jumps into the deep end with anything new wanted to prove how serious I am about being a part of the group and this running thing didn’t want to miss a week. And I had a new pair of more-cushioned shoes to test out — nothing like a good run as an acid test, right?

(Hey, I never said I made smart decisions.)

Bottom line? As good as I felt after Saturday, I was equally humbled after Wednesday. Not only was there a ton of climbing, but the trail was incredibly technical and very rocky. My new shoes have quite a bit of cushion on them, which I suspect I need for the support…but the trade-off is lack of ground feel, and I felt like I was wobbling all over the place as I’d hit rocks and random uneven surfaces.

Not my finest moment…and in retrospect, I didn’t exactly set myself up for success. Let’s see: a still-sore foot that I was altering my running gait in an attempt to protect, new shoes that I’d never tried on trail, in the dark, still-recovering body from race weekend. How was this supposed to end well???

Needless to say, runs like that do nothing for my self-confidence levels, especially when I start thinking ahead on the topic of moving up in distances. Over the weekend, I was all cheerful and gung-ho about my future race plans, full of confidence, bombing down the trails without a second thought or care. Last night, the gremlins were all pointing and laughing at me, my confidence shattered, straggling along at the back of the pack, and the only thought in my mind being “I don’t wanna get hurt.”

Maybe this is all part of the process? Some sort of a self-governor that keeps the ambitions to a sensible dull roar? It’s certainly not exclusive to running, I know that much…I can’t begin to count how much roller-coaster ups and downs I’ve experienced in horses themselves, not to mention distance riding specifically, and the personal, non-horse-and-running life is certainly not excluded by any means.

I’m not expecting cloud nine all the time…I’m not that unrealistic…but it would be nice if the roller coasters would coordinate among themselves sometime…I gotta have something to fall back on to maintain my functional levels of sanity at most points in time.

I have to remind myself of this…everything has ups and downs,
good times and bad…but if it means something, it’s worth it.
So much of what I do and who I am involves serious head games
and a certain level of mental toughness.

On the bright side? Even on my worst day, I’m still faster than a zombie, so have a decent chance of surviving the inevitable zombie apocalypse. 

4 thoughts on “reality check

  1. It's funny, because I was just thinking about how much of an emotional roller coaster distance riding is. I think it's just the nature of pushing yourself to do better and do more. When things work, it's so awesome and when they don't, it's so disappointing. I think it is amazing that you are running trails and climbing rocks!

  2. Thanks, Gail! I definitely agree — part of the whole growth process of doing more is the fact it won't always work the way we planned, but that's how we grow.

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