Saturday, July 24, 2010

Motivation through others!

Though I am truly un-funking myself I have not put pen to paper and lived with a schedule. A schedule is a comforting tool for me. I love the discipline and thrive in a rigid environment. So why haven't I gotten myself buckled down? I think I am just not quite motivated to do so...yet. I know I am just about to jump out of this though because I am getting very antsy and watching my friends kick butt is motivating me. Though a defined schedule does not exist I have been running and working out a lot. But, mostly I have had the pleasure of watching Micheal prepare for Leadville.

Micheal and I have been friends for years now. Our family's have come together and the support system is special. Micheal is a talented runner. Far more than he will admit. He is in this sport for the social and physical outlet. Not necessarily to PR at races. He is completely content to just hang with friends and go at their pace. This works perfectly for me. He's faster, stronger, more positive and always willing dredge along at my pace. However he is running Leadville in a few weeks and I have nothing on the books until October. I have pulled out of Wasatch because it falls on Alex's first week of High School and though I am sure he won't need me I need to be here. I don't want to be in Utah while he goes off to his first week of a big time in his life. Not because I think he is going to fall apart but I know I will. :) Wasatch is way to hard of race to line up feeling sad and guilty thinking I need to be at home so it will have to be shelved for now.

Since I am a free wheeling jogger right now Micheal has no anchor holding him back. He also is running Leadville where the air is thin and the trails/roads are fast. Being in
the best cardio shape is the way to go when you live at sea level and won't be acclimating. This means Micheal is having to do some speedwork. I don't know if I ever remember him doing speedwork. He is now and it is paying dividends. I have been on his hill repeat runs and can't believe his times. They are more than 5 minutes faster than my fastest ascent. That's 2+ minutes per mile straight uphill. It's awesome. I tried to join him on the last push of his Sunday run. With a screaming pace of 6:50's after running hill repeats on Saturday and meeting him at mile 17 of his Sunday run I had to cry uncle. I simply could not keep up.

We headed out to the Wilson River trail last weekend only to have him worry about me since it took me 20+ minutes longer to get back to the car. It's been a total blast watching him get so strong and fast. It's been frustrating and motivating as I desperately try to keep up. I have a feeling I will be dropped as pacer at Leadville and nothing will make me more happy. I already have ideas on how Lisa can pick me up and shuttle me further to catch him.

White River 50M is next Saturday. Micheal, Cheri and I are all heading up to run it. This will be my 5th time at WR and I am looking forward to a comfortable day on the trail. I am in no mood to push myself to achieve any PR or even a great finish. I am certainly fit enough but frankly just don't feel like throwing myself into a heads down, push hard mode. I am smart enough to know that I can't trick myself into racing WR. It's
too long and too hard. However, when I get home I start training for Javelina 100M. I signed up for the race once I made the final decision to pull the plug on Wasatch. It's been on my list but I have never been willing to give up a mountain run to do it. Since I won't have a late season mountain run this seemed like the perfect fit. Plus, I needed to do something. Poor Bill was walking around the house at 5 am with his IPAD trying to find me something to do. This idol ho hum Ronda is not cute! He says, "The problem is if your not busy and driving the rest of us suffer". Of course he is saying it with the sweetest tone.

Bill and friends are going around Rainier is 2 weeks! That will be really cool. Bill and Alex have been super busy touring around Europe and hiking the Alps. So for 2 weeks it was just me! I had full intentions of becoming very productive around the house. I have accomplished zip! Instead I have been hanging with friends, talking, sharing, eating, running, spinning and lifting. It was great and just what I needed.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I might just be emerging from post traumatic DNF syndrome. This has taken it's toll on me. I thought about whether or not to share this or whether or not to be honest. Since I have tried to keep it real here I guess this post should be no different. It's somewhat embarrassing to admit how I have felt the past couple of weeks. Post Bighorn I was so incredibly sick that all I got to do was lay around and be in my own head. That's not a good space after something like Bighorn. Though it's just another day I felt serious anger and sadness over the whole ordeal. Possibly due to fact that I couldn't do my normal behavior which is to march forward with new resolve because I was sick played a roll. I am not sure but one thing is for sure. I was down and out.

I was literally lost for motivation. Parts of me wanted to crawl in my bed and forget physical movement. All the while some part of me was getting really frustrated with that lazy part. The battle ensued for days. The mood changed from hour to hour. I was getting so baffled at which path I was going to take. I felt like my body was slamming into one wall then another. Feeling tired is normal after being sick and disappointed. Generally the waiting game is the only way to approach the situation. Just continue to march forward and eventually the blah feeling will diminish. You will get distracted and life will go on. You will emerge and the drive and motivation will be restored. However, it wasn't working for me. I found myself not acting anything like myself. That is disturbing! I know myself really well and I know how to move forward into the storm of pain both mental and physical, take the shots and come out of it stronger and more motivated. Not this time. I was beginning to wonder if I had a serious problem. Wondering if I was taking this DNF way to far? Wondering if I was using it as an excuse? Wondering if I will ever want to train again? Wondering if I will never WANT to train again then what? The biggest problem of all was the lack of control over my emotions and how to change my mind so to speak. The talks I had with myself about the endless pity party was getting mean. I simply could not shake this emotional low.

Then a moment of clarity came. I am sitting at the gym eating my lunch when a friend comes by sits down and asks me about Bighorn. I give the short version but when I said I didn't finish my face looked over and I lost it. It was the first time in the last three weeks that anyone said it's okay to be sad and disappointed. As a fellow endurance athlete it was as if he knew exactly the feeling of failure. Until then It's been chin up Ronda. Trying to be strong and muster it up and not let it bother me. It just running ya know. It's just a race. Get over it. Showing weakness is not a strong suit for me and I have barely shed a tear over of this but at that moment I busted out with full on sobs. Sad but true. Three weeks later the feeling of disappointment took on it's own life and I had no control but to just sit there and bawl like a baby to someone I barely know. The best part about it was the incredible release of pent up sadness gushed out. All my thoughts of sadness came spilling out and maybe that was the most freeing. The other part was feeling understood and not judged for being so sad. Not being told it's just a race or there will be other days. I think not acknowledging what a DNF at Bighorn meant was a mistake. I put a lot time and energy into this race and should have allowed myself to be sad and disappointed. Instead I tried to do my normal thing. Just move on and do better. That is exactly what I need to do but I was stuck! No one really cares about such things. In the big scheme of life they are nothing but for three weeks it's been something. I finally think I might be emerging and after my emotional outburst I went running and my IPOD cued up Ryan Stars, "It's a brand new day". I smiled as the chorus sung"
Send me a sign
Turn back the clock
Give me some time
I need to break out
And make a new name
Let's open our eyes
To the brand new day
It's a brand new day