Thursday, August 26, 2010

Glass half empty?

I was thinking about my blog and how it seems like so many of my running posts are not positive but focused too much on my woes. I feel guilty if I complain about things in my blog but I complain anyway. I like to think I am just documenting my running trials and tribulations but it seems like my focus is on the half empty side and never the half full view. When I have success, I look at it and get self absorbed with everything that went wrong.

For example:

McNaughton - I strained a calf muscle mid way through the race, struggled with fueling, swelling and ultimately took 15 hours to finish and I am still feeling guilty for such a poor time. Yes I finished but I struggled after the strain and I kept beating myself up for not running through the pain. By walking a lot over the 25 miles after the injury, I did set up my year for success and I had some at Lincoln and Fargo but then..........

FANS - I got pulled from the race after 10 hours, I did not meet my goal of 50 miles, yes, I was on pace for 51 or 52 miles but do I take all the things I did right that day like my fueling, my pacing, my attitude or do I focus on the failure? I think you know the answer. My next race was.........

Afton 50k - I knew going in that my back was still too sore, tried to run anyway, had pain after 2 miles and I dropped at 25k. Still feeling bad about it. I should have pushed through it.

So now I as the time for Superior is closing in, I am sitting thinking how will I ever do 50 miles there? My only goal is to finish and I am not the least bit concerned about time. I have never run on the trail so a finish is all I want, oh yeah that and not getting lost.

Why do I have doubts, well since I failed at my last two events that doesn't help much and although I have recovered from the back issue I have developed a foot issue that is bugging me and I am sure I will feel it at Superior. It feels like a flair up of an injury I suffered 10 years back where I strained a ligament in the foot. I had stepped in a hole and overflexed the foot, when I eventually made it to a Dr, she said that I had a grade II (moderate) strain of the ligament that attaches to the first metatarsal (big toe) and she thought that with rest I would be ok, if not surgery might be needed. With that threat, I had to take 6 weeks off but I did not end up needing surgery which was good. This injury is not that bad by far but it is tender and it does bug me, I am blaming my shoes or the insoles my Dr. recommended so I am working to find a pair that doesn't aggravate it. Then you add what seems like a lot of mediocre runs recently, coupled with way too many hours at work and I am sitting in a basic self pity mode thinking thoughts like:

What if I fail? What if I don't start? Should I try to drop down to the marathon? What will my co-workers think? What will Wayne and Karen say when I drop? What will they say if I don't start? Why do I do this to myself? Why didn't I train more? Why didn't I lose more weight? What will my family think? Why am I such a failure? What will I..........

You can see the trend but it just occurred to me what if I succeed?


Thompson said...

I like your blog, I have it on google reader. I know a number of your posts have got me thinking, so good or bad I like to hear what you have to say.

It does seem like you are hitting a few bumps in the road, but you are running more than me (and a lot of other people). Now that I think about it, how many people are debating doing a 50 miler or marathon. I'm just excited about my 13.1 this weekend!

Chris Swenke said...

Doubt and negativity is the easy part of human nature. Positivity is often the part the comes hard for us. We live in a culture where we always compare ourselves to others, than rope in the competitive nature of races, our blogging community that is filled with success stories and we can't help but to try to justify our "failures" when they happen.

One thing I've learned in my short running/racing career is that nobody cares. Nobody cares that you didn't finish, nobody cares that it took you 15 hours vs. 12. Once I got this through my head I found that I could really enjoy races and the bounty they bring to my life between the start and finish line and the harvest of memories and friendship that come after.

Londell said...

Look, I am passing up a greta income stream by getting out of my tennis event so i can see you finish... DO NOT LET ME DOWN. Kidding aside, this is all natural. That course is not easy. Remember, Joe Mauer fails 66% of the time he gets up to bat and make Millions... You have a better record so do not worry, no one is perfect. See you there!

Keen Footwear said...

Your blog inspires me keep blogging in spite my busy schedule. I love you blog, I realize now that I missed blogging.
-- Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward. ~Soren Kierkegaad

Mike said...

Thanks all for the encouragement, sometimes it's the bumps that help me appreciate when things do go right.

I agree Chris, I remember discovering that with my marathons, the only person who cared about my time was me.

Londell, see you on the Superior trail


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