Keep Moving Forward

Yesterday, I spent my morning helping out with the Eugene Marathon. We set up a cheering section behind ECF and watched the very first to the very last runner pass by our station. We were set up just before Mile 19. I can't even fathom getting to Mile 19 on my feet. It's beyond my realm.

In addition to cheering, I ran with a friend who decided to run her first and only marathon. I ran from mile 19 to 23 with her. I've known her for years; she started CrossFit before me. She is athletic and determined. She's also a wonderful friend. When she arrived at our station, I knew something was wrong. She stopped to stretch for a few seconds. We started our slow jog and she stopped again. Her calves were seizing up. And she still had 7 miles to go. I sensed her frustration and stuck with her as we made our way through these difficult miles. Keep moving forward, I would say. Her time was slower than she wanted, but she finished. She finished a freakin' marathon.

She kept thanking me for being there for her. For me, it wasn't even an option. Of course I was going to run those miles with her. I can't even wrap my mind around finishing a marathon. And my friends have been there for me through the worst. They've seen me at my worst. Whatever I can do is the least I can do.

Our cheering section wrote on the bike path 'One Step At A Time.' As the last marathon runners/walkers made their way through, an old man emphasized and said these words. It's all we can do really. We can have big goals and big dreams, but there's only one way to get there. Keep moving forward, one step at a time.


Reflections on Running

Hello CrossFit blog. It's been a while.

It's been a strange year for me. Still not in love with CrossFit like I used to be. Still getting some PRs (once in a while (like today)), but still hard on myself. Then the whole Boston Marathon bombing got me thinking (and it might take a while, but this will come back to that).

I've been hard on myself because I had great intentions at the beginning of the year. I wanted to get in the best shape of my life. But my mind wouldn't let me. I had to spiral a little more before I could get on the right path. As far as CrossFit goes, I try to remind myself that it's just exercise. No need to get upset about anything. (I know some of you might be able to identify with that) 

So now I'm hard on myself because I'm a little thicker than usual (I tried telling myself that the weight was muscle. It's not all muscle.) And it's frustrating when it happens because I know what work I have to do to lose the weight.

I have the tools. I know what I should eat. I know what I shouldn't drink. I know the habits that bring out the worst in me. I know I should run (Epic Relay is in 2 months). I know that the gym is there for exercise, but for many of us, it's so much more. It's seeing people I care about. It's getting a hug just for being there. It's sharing in the joy of our accomplishments. It's a lot.

I still don't like running. I know I have to run in the next couple months for various reasons. Train for Epic. Lose the weight. But my real motivation should be that I know it makes me feel better. I know this. I just don't enjoy the physical activity of running. But I know the rewards.

When I moved to Eugene, nearly 6 years ago, I decided to start running (I had never run before. Ever. Not even a little). I heard it was track town, so I was like, hey, what the heck? I did the couch to 5K plan. Did some 5ks here and there. Just tried to be more active than I was.

Then I started CrossFit. My running got better. A 10 minute mile wasn't good enough anymore. I started doing 10Ks, which I really liked. I even did a half marathon, which was the worst I've ever felt. So I reached my limit. But I kept running because it did make me feel better. And I met some awesome other runners. And I PRed on my 5K last year. And I did Epic Relay, which is one of the most fun 30ish hours I've had. Running is such a solo activity, yet so many people are there to support you. It's a time to think about life, push yourself to do better, and maybe be your best person.

When I heard the news out of Boston today, I kept thinking of the runners who put so much time into training and then running in the Boston Marathon - that's the best! And to have to readjust and finish after that happened. I can't imagine.

I've been bitching a lot the past few weeks because I know I've gained weight and I know I have to start running. Seeing what happened today, no more bitching. I can do better. And I can get back to my old PR-ing self.

So right now, I'm trying to remember these things. It's important to remember that we are given this one body and one mind and it's up to us to take care of them. And when you can't convince yourself that you're worth caring for, we need to remember that someone loves us, even if it doesn't always feel like it.

I see a lot of inspirational quotes and words of wisdom every day. But for me, what I really need to remember is that I'm lucky to be here and I'm lucky to be as healthy as I am, despite my bizarre inexplicable injuries and my wild mood swings. The rest - the PRs, the joy - that's all just extra.