Things that begin with T: training… the track… and tears.

I wish that I was sitting here writing a post about how awesome “Operation Make Kathleen Faster” is going. As I said a few weeks ago, it’s much easier to write the good posts than the bad ones. It’s easier to talk about the positives, when you’re getting it done, when you feel on top of the world. Admitting how hard something is feels weak, whiny, pathetic. So I’m sitting here writing a blog post about how my training has been going — and it ain’t pretty. It sucks. It’s hard. There have definitely been some breakdowns and tears. I haven’t talked much about my upcoming race here or in person because to be quite honest, I’m not the least bit excited for it. I’m dreading it. I feel like my goal is completely out of my reach and I know how disappointed I’m going to be if I don’t make it. I also know that if you go into a race thinking you can’t do it you won’t be able to … but that isn’t helping me turn off the negativity switch.
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Working to get faster sounded fantastic in my head until I actually had to put on my shoes and do it. I knew it would be hard but I guess I didn’t know what “hard” actually meant. I’ve never been an athlete, this concept of pushing myself towards physical goals is still vague and unclear. I will fully admit that I don’t think I had any idea of what I was getting myself into.

Even after two lessons at the track I was still apprehensive about attempting the workout on my own. After painfully watching the clock all day there was nothing left to do but quit whining and get it done. As painful as it was the first two times… it was 10 times worse on my own. The workout wasn’t in my watch correctly, and because I had to change the units to kilometers I couldn’t figure out my pace so I just ran until it hurt. I’d finish each lap gasping for air with no idea if I was doing it correctly and I kept saying to myself “How many left? I’ve got to be at least half way by now”. I don’t know what made me keep going-but it took every last ounce of willpower I had to not click off my watch and head back to the car. Finally the long awaited “Congrats- you survived!” sound chimed and instead of being proud that I survived I felt defeated and miserable. I wanted out. Tears hurt so much more when its 15 degrees and windy.

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I hate you track, I hate you so much.

I don’t know why I can’t get out of my own head, why I don’t have that gene that makes me want to push through the pain. My brain is so quick to say “This hurts. This is hard. This doesn’t feel good. Let’s stop”. In the breakdown of my breakdown at the track I was asked the question “Why am I doing this?” (Trying to get faster, not why am I being a wimp). For the girl who usually has an answer and a wise ass comment to everything … I had nothing.

With some mild weather and some free time to myself I decided to head down to one of my favorite beach combing spots. As I hunted for sea glass and driftwood I thought all this over. My mind raced with a thousand thoughts and questions. Losing the weight didn’t happen overnight- it was hard and painful and yet I was patient (at least from what I remember). I worked through the pain because I knew the end result was worth it. So why is this so hard for me? Why can’t I be patient and work through this? Part of me wonders who the hell I’m trying to fool acting like I’m some athlete. I haven’t been one my whole life- why am I trying now? Why can’t I just be happy that I’ve picked up running and be content with my slow-ass half marathon time? Why can’t I just go for a run without a time or a pace in mind and just be happy running? What’s making me want to set these (what seem to be) un-obtainable goals? And what is making me get up and do this day after day? If I woke up tomorrow and decided to quit there would be no one to stop me. No one is forcing me to do this – it’s all on me.

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I’m sure there’s a large group of you who were able to relate with me on being overweight, and parts of the weight loss journey. And maybe there are some of you who understand this “fine tuning”… but I totally understand if you don’t. You may be reading this and wondering why the girl can’t just shut up and be happy with what she’s accomplished. That’s okay- because I’m wondering the same thing. And you may be thinking that there are bigger problems than how fast you run and again- you’re absolutely correct. But at the same time I think we all struggle with some kind of internal debate. And this right here is my beast for the time being. If I could only find a reason as to why I’m holding onto it…

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About Kathleen

When your legs get tired run with your heart.

Posted on February 5, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Girl, I feel you. So much, A hundred percent. The ‘why the hell am I doing this’ and the pressure and the fact that I put on some holiday weight and am so stressed out about it.
    But you know what, we will come out on the other side better athletes, people, women and compassionate runners, even if that compassion is always for others and not ourselves. You got this, you always do.

  2. As a slow runner, I can honestly say that pushing myself to speed up is HARD. I can run 5 miles at a 12:00 pace no problem, but oh my god did I struggle doing it at the 9:55 pace I did last Friday! My stomach hurts, I feel like I’m going to puke, and I get super dizzy. As soon as I slow down I’m fine! This is also why spin class is not my favorite 🙂 I think that you shouldn’t feel alone here, speed work is crazy crazy hard which is why I’m not doing it! I’m proud of you for even going out there! I have a rule that I have to try something for at least 3 weeks before giving it up. If I’m still miserable by then, then I don’t consider myself to be a quitter since I took a long time to make that decision. You can always try that with speed work, I’m 99% sure you’ll be feeling much better about it 3 weeks from now and you’ll want to keep going! Good luck!

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