I ran 4.5 miles this past weekend.
Real talk: I walked about the last 1.5 of it.
And I was pissed.
I’ve honestly been battling a nasty respiratory virus for the last 3 weeks. Including an infected tonsil. (Did I mention I had my tonsils taken out as a kid? Don’t ask…) The week before that, I had a nice stomach bug. So, basically, I’ve been sick for a solid month.
After 2 doctor visits – I’m on the mend. I only want to hack up my left lung for the first 5 minutes of the day as opposed to every hour. But, I started coughing a lot during mile 3 and knew I needed to pull back and give myself a break.
Side note: Why don’t I have rock hard abs after weeks of coughing? It’s a cruel, cruel world.
My half-marathon training has taken a real hit with this plague I’ve been blessed with. And I’m scared shitless. In reality, I’ve still run more than I did this time last year during training. And with my 9.5 mile run this upcoming Saturday, I’m actually right on target for the long run trainings from last year, when I completed my first half, but was technically behind on my training.
So, what am I bummed about?
I wanted to do better. I wanted more long-runs logged prior to my half-marathon this year. I wanted to feel confident going into the race when my head was full of doubts last year. I wanted this year to be different.
Reality: it probably won’t. I have 1 month left until the half-marathon.
But, you know what I told myself on mile 3 when I started coughing and wheezing and wanting to punch the next person I saw gliding by on their morning run?
“Do what you can, Caroline. Do what you can.”
I could only walk. But that’s what I did. I did what I could. (Plus, I had to get back home somehow. Minor detail.)
So often we look at something as we’re either all in and succeed or it’s a total failure.
That’s how most diets work in the New Year too, right? You’re either 100% perfect and the first time you take a nibble of that ooey-gooey brownie? “Well, I’ve done it. I’ve totally messed up and ruined it. Now pass me those fries!”
After a long Friday night (don’t ask…) I decided to sleep in Saturday and get up early Sunday morning instead to run. But when I looked at the forecast on Saturday, it was solid rain all day on Sunday. So I laced up my shoes, put on my bullet-proof vest of a sports bra and walked out the door for my long run at 10 a.m.
It was only 72 degrees, which I’ll take any day of the week. But being sick, taking a week off from running, usually running earlier in the day when it’s less sunny, not being prepared mentally to run and hitting a wall only at mile 1.5, I knew I had to make a decision. With sweat dripping down my blotchy red face and doubt creeping into my head, I had to decide to turn back now or keep going.
So I sucked it up, blasted some Lady Gaga (don’t judge) and ran as far as I could until I knew I’d be doing more harm than good.
But, you know what, I did it. I completed it. Not in a great time. Not feeling that runners high that I’ve been missing for so long. I did it. I have to remind myself of that.
There’s a great health movement by one of my favorite bloggers, Roni’s Weigh:
What you can. When you can.
Just simmer on that puppy for bit. No, really. Let it roll off your tongue with clarity and inspiration. What if you treated all obstacles in your life like that? You do what you can, when you can.
“Well I don’t have time for a full half hour of cardio, so I’ll skip it today.”
No way, turd.
Do what you can. If that’s 10 minutes of walking around your office, do it. Ate too many left over holiday cookies yesterday? Cool. Join the club. Have a healthy breakfast and lunch today.
The key is to move on. Keep doing what you can, when you can.
No pressure for perfection. Do you know how liberating that is?
As I looked at my Garmin and hit mile 3, I knew I wouldn’t be breaking any personal records. I was really starting to get pissed when I reminded myself of #wycwyc. And believe it or not, I calmed the eff down, backed away from the cliff, turned up my tunes and actually enjoyed a nice 1.5 mile walk. It was a gorgeous day and I can’t remember the last time I just…walked.
I wouldn’t have had that mindset even a year ago.
“Do what you can, Caroline. Do what you can.”
My lungs thanked me later.
Now get out there. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. And do what you can, when you can.
I love this. I signed up for a 5k in May and planned to jump into working out after the holidays… A bum knee has set me back and I’m stuck doing PT, yoga, and that’s about it. What you can, when you can… Makes total sense and helps me realize I’m trying my best. Hope you’re feeling better and back to yourself!
You’ll rock it out, Lindsey. Just give yourself sometime and…do what you can. As frustrating as that is for an athlete. I’m glad it resonated with you, definitely did for me too! <3
Great message! And you look amazing while at Urgent Care! I always think I must look a zombie..with nice teeth. 🙂 Hope you are getting better!
Haha! Thanks – it was New Year’s Eve too. What better way to end the year. 😉 Thanks for reading!