Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I am o.k.

I have wanted to get a post up before now but we were out of town for the weekend, we got home late Sunday night, I had 8 million things to get caught up on on Monday, my brother got here from NY on Monday night, and today has been one thing after another after another. Whew.

So let me say first, that I am o.k., physically and emotionally.

Let me say second, thank you to all of you who have left comments, sent texts, sent emails, called me, etc. I did not really expect such an outpouring of support and encouragement and it really made me very emotional. In fact, at first I couldn't read the comments because I was already over-emotional as it was, and I wasn't ready to truly "hear" anything or to feel anything but sad/disappointed/discouraged. But I am moving past those feelings and moving forward with renewed determination.

I needed a day or two to just feel bad, even though it usually isn't my style to do that. I had put SO much work into getting ready for this week and was SO confident going in to it and SO hopeful that I was going to do really well and have a great race. I was well-trained, well-rested, well-tapered, well-hydrated, well-fueled and in a great place mentally. And yet for whatever reason, it was a horrible race - a really terrible, difficult, awful day. It was so frustrating to feel like I had done everything I could and to have it turn out so badly. It was humbling and discouraging and just sad.

I took Sunday off and did not do anything but enjoy time with Josh and the kids. (And besides the race, we had a very wonderful weekend).

On Monday morning I decided to go for a short run and just see how I felt. I always run short and easy miles right after a marathon as I have found it really helps me work out the soreness and stiffness. Without running I was stiff all over and having a hard time feeling how I was feeling. So I headed out Monday morning and told Josh that I could be back in a minute or two (if things really hurt when I started) or I might go a few miles. I had warmed up and stretched and rolled first.

I met up with Jenny and another friend and started off really slowly. Things felt pretty good and continued to feel better as I went. We did five nice and easy miles and my upper glute/hip felt fine. (I did feel it when I was warming up and stretching afterwards, but not during the run). Today was a repeat of Monday, although everything felt even better. The good news is that since I only ran 16 miles and then walked 7 miles, the race did not take as much out of me physically as racing a full marathon would have.

I had the PT look at my glute today and he said he could definitely feel a tight spot in my gluteus medius (really high). He did not think that it would make it worse or hurt it to run on it now, especially since it was feeling better  during and after easy runs,  there wasn't any pain (just some tightness) and he recommended lots of stretching and rolling and only easy running until it goes away (and no pushing it on uphills). He thinks it is likely a result of pushing so hard on the uphill stretches in the headwind, and thinks if I had kept pushing that it likely would have worsened and become a real injury or thrown off some other muscles as well. Hopefully if I keep rolling and stretching and not pushing it, it won't be an issue in a few days.

My plan now is to keep running slow and easy this week with lots of rolling and stretching. I am captain of a team for Ragnar Wasatch Back this weekend (which I have been looking forward to for almost a year), and I am SO SO SO ready for some FUN. Josh is on my team as are some wonderful friends, and it will be a total blast. I am not wearing a Garmin and will just run easy and for fun (as long as everything feels good). I will not push it at all.

Next week will be another very easy/recovery week based on how I feel, and once my glute is 100% and I am physically and mentally ready to get back at it, I will be back to training. The Pocatello Marathon on September 1 is the next target. I love this race, and signed up the day registration opened. It was my first half marathon ever, it was my first BQ race, my BFF Jennifer is coming to run it as her first marathon this year, Josh and the kids will be at the finish line again, and you get a bag of potatoes as part of your swag. Seriously. What is better swag than a big of spuds?

I would be lying if I said that my confidence is not shaken, but I am only bent, not broken. I still love to run (which I felt very strongly the last two mornings). I am not giving up on my goals and dreams, and if anything, I am more driven than ever.  My desire and determination were significant before this weekend, so throwing that kind of fuel on the fire will be a powerful thing.

This weekend showed me how much I truly want to race marathons well, and how much I want to qualify for the Olympic Trials.  It showed me that I won't give up when the going is tough, that I won't let failure deter me, and that I am completely committed and willing to fight hard for what I want.

This weekend also showed me the people in my life that are truly there for me, and will stick by me on my great days and my terrible days (and everything in between). Josh was just amazing and I love him more than ever. The kids could not have been better.  Jennifer was the BFF that I needed this weekend, and that I have wanted for quite some time. My Dad and Pam showed me their unconditional love and support, as they always do. Jenny and other friends new and old rallied around me and lifted me up when I was feeling very down. I got really wonderful comments from many blog readers that I know, and some I have never heard from before. I have said it before and I will say it again - I have the very best support system ever and I could not be more grateful for the people in my life.

My plan is to learn from this weekend, and to use it to make me a tougher, smarter, and better person and runner. I will bounce back quickly and be stronger than ever.

Jennifer knows how much I love quotes and emailed me some, and a few of you have left a quote in the comments. I love the sentiment of these and am embracing this spirit completely.

"There is no straight line to success. The road to the top is a series of switch-backs, zigs and zags. Often times the road is racked with boulders you must move out of the way - as well as pebbles that get in your shoes. Sometimes there will be blood, bruising, breaks and blisters. Yet to the person who is fully on purpose, all the pain is pleasureable. Nothing is for naught; everything is for something. All encounters and experiences are leading the person with a goal to the top." - Matthew Furey 
"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors." - African Proverb
"It is a rough road that leads to heights of greatness." - Senaca
"Triumphs without difficulties are empty. Indeed, it is difficulties that make the triumph. It is no feat to travel the smooth road." - Unknown

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt (I have used this one several times. LOVE it!)

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love.” - Washington Irving 
"Every adversity carries with it the seeds of a greater benefit!" - Napoleon Hill
"I am inspired not by those who float along and make it look so easy, but by those who carry you with them through the ups and downs of the journey that is so hard." - Laura Otting 
"Harnessing adversity is a discipline tailored to a world of unpredictable outcomes--a world where one can disturb, but not wholly direct, a living system. Because the unexpected--adversity--is guaranteed, this discipline is about routinely making lemons into lemon meringue pie." -  Richard T. Pascale 

"We never know how high we are/Till we are called to rise."- Emily Dickinson

"I get knocked down, But I get up again, You're never going to keep me down" - Chumbawamba

"Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others thin is practical. Expect more than others think is possible." - Cadet Maxim 


Jill said...

You are an incredibly strong woman and runner! I hope you know that. I've been racing for 35+ years and have learned that sometimes these things just happen. Doesn't make it any easier and I've had races where it took me a very long time to get over it, but I do understand that there are no guarantees. I know you get that, too, and I admire your strength understanding about this race. You will get there, I know you will...in the mean time, enjoy your down time the next couple week, give the kiddos extra hugs, and smile big that you get another chance to race again soon :).

Big hugs!!

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

Those darn glutes! I hear you on that and am glad you were smart. Trust me, I know from experience you don't want to go as far as tearing a muscle. Just don't ask me how I tore that muscle over a year ago but it still nags me. Perhaps some PT would be a good idea.

Once again, I am so very proud of you and I was just telling telling darling daughter the other day that we get stronger when we fall. She was upset she fell off her bike and was ready to give up. It is through trying again and again that we grow stronger and you are a wonderful example of strength. And just in case you still have doubts, I am certain I will be following you for the Olympic Trials. :)

Jen@runfortheboys said...

Beautifully put, as I knew it would be. You embody the strength and grace that I aspire to, and make me a better person through your example. What a blessing you are to me. Saturday was gut wrenching for all of those of us that love you, but never for a moment did we doubt your courage or strength. It shines brighter today than ever.

I know this coming weekend will bring a much deserved time of fun and renewal for you and Josh as you join friends for Ragnar. My wish is for an effortless, carefree relay with more laughs and smiles than you can even handle. I'll be looking forward to some pics of all the festivities :)

And Pokey just got that much sweeter....I am so glad that we will get to be there together. It is going to be AWESOME!!!!

Love to you, Josh, and the kids. Less than 80 days and I am SO there!!!!! You're the best :)

Ugly said...

To Be, or Not to Be....

That quote kind of says it all....Any event that one pursues has its ups and downs....

People who have goals and pursue those will fail more than succeed....

But once there, then all the defeats dont matter....

giraffy said...

You're amazing.

That's all.

MCM Mama said...

I'm so glad to hear that it seems to be healing quickly. I'm sure your smart decision to not run after the 16 miles is playing a big part in that.

Sounds like a fun weekend coming up. Enjoy the running!

Paige said...


You know I have been following you and rooting you on. I was literally speechless when I read your DNF post. I had been thinking about you that whole day and waiting to hear how things went. But once again, your incredible spirit shines through. I really respect the fact that you are so honest about your feelings. It is not an easy thing to bounce back from, but bounce you will. All of the best, my dear. :)


Gracie said...

I waas out of town this weekend and I'm just getting caught up on posts. I am so disappointed for you (not at you...with you, I mean). But bad races happen, and you're a powerful runner. You'll go well under 3:15. People who run 3:15's don't run 6-something miles at the end of long runs like you do. You are heading for faster times, just not right now. Next race!

Cory Reese said...

Have fun at Ragnar!

I have realized that a guaranteed way to have fun while running is to leave the Garmin at home. I didn't take mine at Utah Valley Half this past weekend and had a blast.

Glad you're okay. Keep up the good work!

Paul said...

I agree with Jill 8)

You have have so much potential..at some point you are going to find the marathon is not always a pushover, even with perfect training.

But, that's what makes it so much fun after all! If it was a simple formula to optimize it would be boring.

Anyway, you'll do great in races to come and you have DECADES of racing ahead of you so keep it healthy and happy!

On to the next!

kalie said...

Hi Erin! I was so sad and surprised when I saw your race recap on Saturday and I didn't really know what to say. I think road racing is really tough because everything -- training, nutrition, rest, mental preparedness -- comes down to just one day, in fact, just a few hours. And there are so many factors we can't control. I think your actions were very wise. A lot of people would not have listened to their bodies the way you did. To me, you are already in the league of Olympic qualifiers. You have more dedication, drive, and full-on talent than I will ever have. You inspire me every day. Thanks for this blog and for your honesty. Already looking forward to September. :)

Adrienne said...

Glad to hear you're on the upswing! I believe adversity makes a better athlete, if it was easy-why would it be worth so much. The marathon is a different animal in my experience-like the "windshield and the bug".All part of the process of learning about yourself as an athlete and learning lots from it.

robinbb said...

I am so behind on posting stuff but I wanted to say I was thinking of you this weekend. I am sorry things didn't go well but I am proud of you for making the right decision for your body. That was just one day and it sucks that with marathon training that we can put all the hard work and it can be over just like that. I didn't know what to write on your facebook this weekend as I have been where you are and sometimes I don't want to hear anything, I just want to be alone. I am so amazed with your progress this year and know you will blow your goals out of the water very soon. Unfortunately, when you are racing to do your best, our bodies aren't always up for the battle.

Hugs to you and enjoy Ragnar this weekend. I so wish I was running it with you.

Enjoy your summer with your kiddos home. I know my days have been crazy recently so only can imagine what your days will turn into.

Miss you!!!!

misszippy said...

Yep, it's the tough ones that fuel us more than anything else. I knew you'd get your mental snap back and do it quickly!

One thing I'd say on the stretching---I know it's oft-recommended, but sometimes it can just pull the fibers further apart rather than do any good. Just some food for thought...

Teamarcia said...

More hugs Erin! This stuff happens and you're already bouncing back. Enjoy the relay--sounds perfect right now!

Mark Matthews said...

A dream deferred. Hope to see you in NY.

Julia said...

i read this last night (in my bed...from my phone...not that you needed that much info...haha!) but was unable to comment...i think every post you write i learn something so huge that I know I can work on applying in my own life. i can definitely see the balance in this post where you have taken the time for your self that you have needed since the race! But you also have the best perspective and are using all the energy to fuel your drive and passion! this past weekend by no means defines your potential as a runner! you have so much to look forward to and i am so excited to see what the future holds:) keep dreaming big because you never know what you might be capable of:) enjoy this weekend, relax, celebrate a good time and running:) cant wait to hear all about it!

fancy nancy said...

You are awesome Erin!!! Keep shooting for the stars...you will get there. Sometimes God's plan is winding while ours is straight!

Penny said...

You will get there Erin. Sometimes we have to take the long way around to appreciate the small things around us. God is good. I always feel that he is trying to get my attention or tell me something whatever it might be. I know he doesnt let us down to. Have you in my prayers. You will qualify for the Olympic Trials it just might take longer.

Jessica (Pace of Me) said...

your strength, grace and determination inspire me always. i love what you say about being bent, not broken. you will rise up from this! the reward will be all that much sweeter when you can look back and see ALL that you have overcome. You amaze me!!! xxoo

Kristen Lawrence said...

Hang in there! Only the strong make it through these tough moments and you are strong!!