A fine balance

The theme this week has been driving and hairspray.

I haven’t had time to blog.

My daughter had two dress rehearsals and then two dance performances this week. All of this involved costumes, makeup, and a lot of ponytails with hairspray. I felt so 1980s actually spraying my daughter’s hair. Does anyone actually still use hairspray? She danced one number in each of the performances, but etiquette dictated that she stay for the entire performance. All Saturday she was inside a theatre — I just had to do a lot of taxiing to and from.

It was a good distraction from the rest of my week. I was running less and trying to rest more in preparation for the weekend’s half marathon race. This is not as easy as one might think. The break was much-needed, but mentally I wondered if I should be running instead of napping. Could I get in one more run to hopefully go a little faster in my race?

nap

Naps are good, sleepy kitten.

More is not better. Knowing how much of something to do is a fine balance. I hired a coach to take care of this for me: he figures it out, tells me what to do, and then I do it. I may still struggle and fight my internal Napoleon, but I am learning to also trust the process.

My feelings flip-flopped between excitement and nerves all weekend. I wanted to run the race and have the experience and test myself. Then part of me would say I didn’t want to do it, didn’t care, and my results were irrelevant. Who cared if I had trained for the last 4 months for this? Did I really want to put myself through the physical and mental struggle it may entail?

Of course, I did do it. Part of being compulsive and determined means you will also go and do even if all of you resists. I ran through the rain, I endured, I suffered, and I excelled. I figured out how to calm myself down and keep going. I learned how my only critic (my inner doubt) is a strength when I allow it to join me in the process. I worked through each fear and kept going.

runners

Once you start it’s not so bad. It’s just a lot of left-right, left-right.

My daughter danced on stage for a few hundred people. There were hundreds of people who ran the race, but my audience was just me. I was so thankful to have my coach and my family there, and to have friends both watching and running. But when you are out there you need to deal with yourself. No one else can.

My coach asked what my two possible outcomes could be on race day – my worst and best results. I had thought this through so many times my answers were instinctive. My worst fear would be not finishing the race (or having to walk because of exhaustion); my optimal hope would be to run my fastest race. As I said this I realized that these results were just two situations. How I deal with whatever situation I’m faced with is a choice I can make. The balance is in accepting what I want to have happen and allow it to be so.

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19 thoughts on “A fine balance

    • Hi Angela,
      This race really felt like an accomplishment. I ran my fastest race – and knew I had the training in me to get it done. But it was the trust to know I could do it, and dealing with whatever mental issues that arose during the race that felt like the real win. I totally believe that we continue these miles because we can never be done learning!
      Thanks for your comment!

    • El Guapo,
      Thanks for your comments. I didn’t think I really and truly would ever compeletly give up, but I did have my doubts about how much it would take me to keep going. I’m really pleased with myself that I took the easy train this time and just was okay with most things. Sometimes lying to yourself works wonders.

  1. Tania,
    I so admire you for all your running. Congrats on running on your fastest race. Awesome. All your hard work paid off! It takes a lot to trust in yourself and accept the outcome, but there may be something to do that, too. Maybe it’s makes for a more relaxing mental experience during your race.

    • Hi Amy,
      Thanks for the congratulations. I did a lot of mental work prior to the race this time. When it came time to run I could actually spend more effort on the running and less on the worrying. It was definitely more mentally relaxing. Whenever something popped into my head that might make me panic I just said, “Shut up. Keep running.” Who knew I could listen to someone so bossy?

  2. Congrats! I think half marathons are by far the toughest distance to get through, and, as you point out, its almost all mental. In addition, surviving a race after wrecking your lungs with pounds of close-range hair spray is a major accomplishment — you should get an extra medal for that!

    • Hello Pinot,
      Thanks for your comments. I also agree that a half marathon is a mostly mental distance. In a 10k you run faster and it’s over sooner, in a marathon you run slower and it’s a different feel.
      That hairspray is something else. My daughter asked if her hair would break if she touched it. I must have shellacked it to within an inch of being hardwood.

  3. All that training (mental and physical) paid off. You “ran through the rain, endured, suffered, and excelled” and you looked fantastic as you crossed the line.

  4. It sounds like you ran so well, I feel winded just from sitting and reading this post. Can someone call an ambulance? Seriously, congratulations on crossing that finish line.

    • Hello Lame,
      You are seriously funny. I actually wasn’t that winded running — just really sore after the fact. Crossing the finish line was a tough one because the last 1/2 mile is mostly uphill! You’re not allowed to call the ambulance just because you don’t want to run uphill.
      Thanks for your comments!

  5. Congratulations on all your training and your race! Races can be a real challenge mentally but once you learn how to let you mind work with you, they become so much more enjoyable. Hopefully you are enjoying some much needed race! On another note, I hope your daughter had a fabulous recital! I remember as a little girl doing dance recitals and it was always such a big deal and so much fun!

    • Hi Tracie, This was actually a fun race. I couldn’t take one more step when I crossed the finish line so that was a good sign!
      My daughter loves to perform so her recitals went really well. Lots of smiles and fun and truly a big deal!
      I’m taking some down time now — definitely!

  6. Congrats on running the half and a daughter who is on stage. With four months prep. I bet you were fine! Thanks for the follow. Will come back for a little look around, but am working on tiling our kitchen backslash… YIKES!!

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