We often think confidence is best measured by what challenges we step up to. I wonder if it is not better measured, at least sometimes, by the ones we step down from. I made a difficult, but ultimately wise decision...I think...to pull out of the 50 mile race I am supposed to run in 3 days. My ultimate goal this year is Leadville. It is about 6 weeks away. I should be peaking right now, maxing out miles, pushing my limits and yet I am pulling back....mustering up the confidence that this is the best path, that my body knows what it's doing, that all the training I have accumulated thus far will take me through 100 miles at 10,000 feet even if I don't push forward right now. I am pulling back due to, quite literally, a pain in my ass..well ass and hip. It's nothing I can't run through....for 20-30, maybe even 50 miles. But my body says rest, take a break, heal. My mind keeps trying to say push through, it will go away eventually. Not only that, but even more scary... Lori, what if you take a break and your pain is still there. Then what? Now you've detrained, still have pain, and are that much deeper in the hole come Leadville. Wow. Fear. In processing through all of this today with Eric, I felt calm. Dare I say confident? Confidence in all that I have done up to this point. Confidence in what my body has done and can do, if I am willing to let it. Don't fight, let it flow. Be ok with where I am today and have confidence that it is right where I am supposed to be. Listen to and trust myself. Huh, and I thought all I was gonna learn this year was how to run a hundred miles and not die.
Lori, we do not know each other. We are not even in the same league of running ability and our paths might not even cross outside the cyber space. However, I felt compelled to let you know I found your note deeply resounding. Fear - WOW indeed. Its universal impact that transcends physical ability, culture, gender - locking one into a state of paralysis and then unleashing its various manifestations: irrationality, anger and even sheer stupor (purely speaking for me). And then...the state of calm processing...the empowerment it brings as it ploughs through the clutter of negativity. "Confidence in what my body has done and can do..." - thank you for this simple, often undervalued but timely mantra...And I too, thought I was only going to learn how to run this year... OK maybe not a hundred miles - that's for next year. All the best for Leadville. S
Thanks! and best wishes on your adventures as well! It's nice to hear from others experiencing similar thoughts and feelings!
Thought of you and this post on my run this morning. I am on, what is hopefully, the other side of an injury that I ended up nursing all spring! I too had to cancel my 50 mile race in lew of the bigger dream. And this is what I found...
These moments of injury or bigger challenge, hold the biggest teachings, if we are open to the lessons (it helps when we have the worlds best coach on our side). Through this process we can learn to refine our bodies and running form to be stronger and more graceful. We can refine our minds to be stronger and more graceful. We get to learn about letting go; about a more expansive perspective; about the nature of our doubts, fears and other limiting tendencies; about our resilliance in the face of these challenges.
Take care of your body and mind now, and mark my words: 70, 80, 95 miles into the Leadville 100 the grace of your body, strength of your mind and depth of spirit you have obtained during this time will carry you through!!!
Thank you for such encouraging words! I will surely come back to your post many times to remind myself these things. Nice to hear from some ladies! Sometimes I feel very alone in this very wonderful journey.
I have to agree with the others on this one--well said and a good reminder to all of us that "digging deep" and "pushing ourselves" doesn't always have to mean in a physical sense. Being able to dig into our souls and psyches to understand what our bodies need takes as much time, training and patience as learning how to run 100 miles. Good luck in Leadville and let us know how it goes!