Slow and Steady

Sometimes it is easy for me to forget that I am not even 4 years into my running career. I put pressure on myself to have it all figured out, to be running every workout with discipline and focus, to be vigilantly strength training, stretching and nutritionally perfect. And then when I fail or am not where I want to be, I am frustrated. Which is ridiculous! I have plans to run for many many years and I have many trail/ultra examples of women who are kicking butt and 20 years my senior. I mean Ultrarunner of the Year Kami Semick has nearly 20 years on me and she would smoke me everytime! I look forward to many many years of good healthy fast running. So why am I so anal retentive about being there now? Why, as a person you has notoriously good patience, am I so impatient with myself? Why am I so hard on myself?

With Boston looming, I have alot of feelings of uncertainty. After getting hurt back in February, my confidence went down the tubes. Subsequently, due to a busy travel/work schedule some of the plans I had made went down the tubes with my confidence. I wanted to be running-centric in my life and instead, I managed to end up two weeks prior to race day wondering if I am going to even be able not to make a fool of myself or if I can even throw a stone at my goal time. I started off this year feeling good, strong, fast and light. Now I feel poorly, weak, slow and heavy. Not good. I have made some errors along the way, not had time for things I wanted to incorporate (mainly a consistent strength routine, plyos, etc). My biggest error has been along the way in my nutrition. Fast Foodie failing at nutrition? Say it ain't so! Well, I eat all the right things. Just not enough. Part of not eating enough is that I have a good deal of digestive issues that I have been trying to sort out for about 2 years. I have added and subtracted foods from my diet, tried this that and the other thing and mostly resigned myself to feeling like crap. I never have an appetite which I find strange as a runner. No appetite means it is easy for me to not get enough calories in because my hunger is not there to remind me. I make sure I get alot of calories at meals, but I know based on how I feel and my blood work, that I am just not getting it right. My doctor at Seattle Performance Medicine recommended I go see Sally Hara at ProActive Nutrition. We talked for about an hour and a half and while she didn't tell me anything profound, it is helpful to have an outside perspective. If I really want to do this running thing right, I need people and I need to relinquish control and let my people do what they do best. I need to listen and execute what they tell me. I need to follow the plan and treat it like I treat my training schedule.

I was reading an article about Kara Goucher and it was listing all her "people" and I was thinking, I need my people! After talking to the nutritionist, I realized that I need to more fully allow others to do things for me. I need to have more trust, I need to let myself be supported. I have great people including:
Coach: Howard Nippert
Nutritionist: Sally Hara
Strength: CrossFit Northwest
Massage: Leah Jurek, Alison Hanks and Oni Roberts
ART: Essential Chiropractic and Wellness
Performance Doctor: Dr. Cooper at Seattle Performance Medicine

While I am in taper now for Boston, I am thinking ahead already to how I will improve my routine and running after. I think what it comes down to is not the running itself (though there are minor adjusts and focus I can do therein) it is about being better about the other stuff. I look forward to coming back and getting into a good strength routine, good core routine, good stretching and flexibility, nutrition, massage. Everything ultimately IS essential in order to keep me running strong for a long time and to continue my improvement. Sigh, it is easy to want to kick myself in the head for not having it figured out NOW, for not doing it perfectly, but I just remember that I am still barely even more than a rookie and that I will blissfully continue to grow and learn and develop in time. I am learning to let go and let be (learning again and again actually), and being patient with myself. I need to listen to one of my favorite quotes:

"Be patient with everyone, but above all, with yourself... Do not be disheartened by your imperfections. How are we to be patient in dealing with our neighbor's fault if we are impatient in dealing with our own?" -Saint Francis de Sales

In alot of ways, realizing my own failings, whether it is nutritionally or in supplementary workouts/support or even in just how I stress myself or my mental state and thought process, makes me excited and invigorated to turn this ship around, to start anew, to have a mini-rebirth. I'll get it one of these days, or maybe I won't, but I look forward to the challenge of trying!