Acceptance (and a Lucy winner)

Fourteen weeks to go

I know I’ve professed to you that one of the things I love about running is that it constantly teaches me lessons about life in general. Right now the lesson is acceptance.

I’ve been back to running for nine full weeks now. My total mileage this week was somewhere around 33 miles, with a long run of 14. From where I was just three months ago, that’s pretty damn sweet.

But I have this thing called Boston coming up in just 14 weeks. I always knew that getting back into shape for Boston was going to be tough, and that this will NOT be a PR effort.

In spite of that knowledge, however, I’m going to admit that it’s kind of tough to see/feel the reality of that. I have never entered a marathon training cycle where 14-milers were not my base long run, where they felt pretty run of the mill. I can tell you–14 is not run of the mill for me right now. And next week, I jump to 16.

I also still struggle to keep up with my friends for the most part. Without fail, one or two has been nice enough to run my slower pace with me and I love them for that. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit it bugs me that I can’t just stay with the main group right now. Tomorrow? They start hill repeats. I can’t do that yet–I’d be stupid to do so.

Where am I going with all this? Acceptance. Yes, it’s a bit humbling to be the slow one in the group right now, to be tired at the end of a 14-mile run. However, it’s what I’ve got at this stage in the game. And so I must accept that, be happy for what I have, and concentrate on what I can do to change it.

I may never catch up to my friends by the time Boston rolls around. But that’s the deal. Next Fall I’ll be running another marathon and that one, my friends, will be one I can really attack.

Until then, I will accept.

What do you have to accept in life right now?

If you were among the 242 people who entered my giveaway for Lucy hatha leggings, selected number 231, which is Beth from swimbikerundc. Congrats Beth! We’ll have to meet since we’re so close and go for a run in our matching tights!

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  1. says

    Even though I am not anywhere close to as fast as you were (and are), I understand the frustration with rebuilding fitness and the limitations of recovery. You will attack that fall marathon and, in the meantime, you will be inspiring all of us because to train for any marathon is no small thing. You are doing it after almost a year-long hiatus.

    I am resigning myself to the fact that I somehow have to start teaching again in 2 hours. I really could have used a week in between that conference and the start of the term, but I have to accept that I don’t have that luxury.
    Raquelita recently posted..HBBC Log Week 7My Profile

  2. says

    I so feel your pain right now. The other day I looked out my window just in time to see my running friends blaze down the road. I was very happy they were able to get out and run, but so sad knowing there was no way on earth I could have kept up with them.

    As with all things, it’s a process. Unfortunately for me right now it’s a slow process.

    You’ll do amazing in Boston and crossing the line that time will feel more than incredible because you’ve worked so hard and perservered through so much to get there.
    Tracy recently posted..Caught with my pants downMy Profile

  3. says

    It’s hard to not be at the place you once were. I feel for you. It’s good that you have the perspective earned from doing this a long time to realize that pushing your body too hard now could interfere with your long-term goals. Sucks to have to earn it back again when you lost it through injury rather than slackerdom.

    The hardest thing for me to accept right now is the knowledge that we can’t afford to put my boys through college. It makes me really sad that they won’t have what I consider a typical college experience and will have to work for it.
    Kate recently posted..2011–Gear in reviewMy Profile

  4. says

    I am so excited that you are doing Boston. I think your mind is in the right place. don’t push! don’t ever push in life……I always try to think of a tree in the wind (maybe a little airy fairy but it works) If I tree were to resist the wind and push – the branches would break.

    Whenever I’m in doubt of myself I watch a tree flow WITH the wind. The saying “go with the flow” is BANG on…..just go with it. You’ll be ready to train harder again soon enough! 😀

    congrats Beth!
    Ali Mc recently posted..Back in the running group….My Profile

  5. says

    After analyzing the numbers this morning, I have to accept that I will be running, at best, 30-45 seconds slower than goal pace this Sunday. All because I lost so many weeks so close to marathon day due to an injury.

  6. Emz says

    MZ I love this.
    Accepting is hard freaking hard.
    You are rocking this though.
    So happy you are back out there.

    A lot of smirking accepting going on for me at the start of this 2012. About 44% more than I’d prefer but…everything for a reason, right?
    Please say yes. 😉

  7. says

    You can do it Miss Zippy!!! It is hard to accept climbing back up when you have been rocking it but you are ROCKING this right now!!!!!

    I have to accept that I gained holiday lbs….accept it and watch them go away!!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Monday MotivationMy Profile

  8. says

    I can’t imagine how you are feeling, struggling with Boston. I still think you are a tremendous athlete, so hang in there and although it may not be your fastest, you are getting out there and doing it!

  9. says

    I have trouble with simply “accepting” also. You want to push yourself but sometimes you have to take a look at where you are and what’s brought you there, and accept that things have changed and you need to readjust.

    I was trying to run on a track this weekend, but because I’m still injured, I was only able to jog the straightaways and walk the curves. For some reason I was embarrassed and wanted to tell everyone that ran by me, “I’m injured!!” haha. I need to accept that I can’t suddenly be back to where I was. (But work hard at getting there!)

    I tell myself to “just “do you” and try not to worry about everyone else.
    Kara recently posted..Body Pillows and Jumping AroundMy Profile

  10. says

    Sounds a bit like how I felt going into last year’s Akron Marathon. It’s tough knowing before the race even starts that it won’t be your best performance. But there are plenty of lessons to learn at a slow marathon. Enjoy. Cheers!
    Viper recently posted..Finding a GrooveMy Profile

  11. says

    My old running group had a great perspective on Boston as a “bonus” marathon. If you get in, you have nothing to prove! Go and enjoy it and revel in the fact you’re there. Enjoy the crowds. Soak in the history of the course. Possibly have some beer around the Boston College area (those kids will have had enough by the time you get there).

    Sure, it’s always tough to toe the link if you’re not in the shape you’d like to be. But it’s really an honor to run that course, so just drink in the experience.

    There will be other fast races.
    Andrea recently posted..TBT12- Day 8My Profile

  12. says

    I fully understand!! You are doing way better than I am though, I’m going into Carlsbad with a long run of 15 miles. I’m not happy about it, but I’ve accepted it. This will be the year to get stronger, and we will. And you’ll ROCK the fall marathon (and I think you’re going to do a whole lot better in Boston than you think :)).
    Jill recently posted..Snowshoeing the year to a closeMy Profile

  13. says

    Acceptance is one of the hardest things to do. You are doing the hardest thing right now. It can only get better from here on out. I have have kept up on your journey on coming back to running. Your a very strong person and you have inspired me daily, not to let the little things get to me. Sometimes when we dont think we are ready for that race, we have our best race ever.

  14. says

    That would be a tough pill for me to swallow, too. But you are playing it safe & smart, re-building that distance (14 miles is awesome, even if it’s far form easy) and Boston will be an experience to remember no matter what. And then I can’t wait to see you crush some goals in a fall marathon!
    marlene recently posted..Boston Training – Week 1My Profile

  15. says

    We often seem to be the hardest on ourselves. Accepting the reality of the current moment is not something most humans are skilled at. We strive every day to be, better, thinner, smarter, nicer, calmer… It seems that contentment is viewed as a bad thing. You are an amazing person who happens to be a runner too.

    I know you will work to find that speed (which you are still speedy now!!) that you are missing.
    shelly recently posted..I need a favor…My Profile

  16. says

    Ugh, I’ve been there. It’s such a mixed blessing – on the one hand being able to train again, and being thankful for that, but on the other hand feeling like you’re still playing catch-up for all the things that you had to let go of when you were injured. I’m glad that you have the fall race in your sights; hopefully that’ll allow you to have fun at Boston without focusing on the clock or comparing the experience to what it could have been. After all, it’s still Boston, right?
    Abby @ Have Dental Floss, WIll Travel recently posted..A Knee-Jerk ReactionMy Profile

  17. says

    I dream of going to Boston and I’m always the slowest in the group. I’ve gotten better or faster i should say, and need to accept that progress doesn’t appear over night. I guess when I start to feel down about it, I look back and see how far I’ve come. And thank god for good running buddies who do slow down! Enjoy, you’ve totally got this mind game!
    Becca recently posted..MovedMy Profile

  18. says

    Recovering from injury is so hard, but you’re getting there. I’ve struggled with my winter marathon training – there is just too much to do and the cold conditions really make it tough. I was letting it get me down but then I realized that last year at this time I was hardly running at all (ITB injury) and what a difference a year makes!!
    Kathy Reed recently posted..MEDIC!!!My Profile

  19. says

    Just think though, you’re there, at Boston, where most people dream of being! I know it’s tough but you’re blessed to have those legs moving. Period.

  20. says

    Way to go modeling such a healthy perspective. I often find myself pushing my limits too quickly after an injury, and then I have to back off again for a few more weeks. You’re wise to continue to build slowly, and you can really tackle that marathon next fall. I tend to think every race has to be a shot at a pr, but there’s something special about running for the enjoyment of it, no matter how fast or slow. Thanks for sharing!
    Laura recently posted..One week til HoustonMy Profile

  21. says

    That must be very frustrating for you, Miss Zippy. I feel for you and hope that you continue to get back to your pre-injury shape a little more with each run.

    Acceptance of certain things…. I’m not sure that it really gets any easier, even when you’re in tip top shape. For me, I have found that I need to accept that some people are “naturals” but I’m not. That’s not to say that these “naturals” don’t work hard. And it’s not to say that I’m not a decent runner with a lot more potential. But yeah, when you talk to a girlfriend who is freaking out about running a half having only run 3 days a week (and also swimming 3 days a week) and she goes and runs a 1:35. Wow. Or how she runs a marathon using a Hal Higdon NOVICE plan in 3:37. Holy Cow!!

    Yeah. I can’t do that. Some people are just gifted. I wish that I was one of them.
    Allison Johnson recently posted..Two Weeks to Go!My Profile

  22. says

    I’ve had to accept that I’ll always have to be careful about how much and how hard I run if I want to continue running.It’s so hard to have to say that I can’t do things or I need more rest but that’s just the way it’s got to be.We both have to be grateful that we can still do what we love.
    Char recently posted..My Sucky Saturday RUnMy Profile

  23. says

    Accepting the current status is always hard if you are behind the curve. Believe me, I know.
    But, look at it this way: you are running the Boston marathon. That is pretty cool, no matter what the time is.

  24. says

    I am accepting the fact that I can’t do all the things I want to do at the same time. My mind is bigger than my ability sometimes. I told you about Leadman 250 and I want to do that now and start training for it yet I need to get through the 2 140.6 races this year. I will accept that I will always be looking for bigger but learn to be patient to wait.

    BTW – your situation right now will set you up to help the person who is not able to keep up next year and so life will come full circle that way.
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..Frugal Grocer – Week #1My Profile

  25. says

    I just posted about this, though I was whinier than you by far and I don’t have injury as an excuse for being slow. I just have to accept the fact that I’m….slower than some people and things won’t happen as quickly for me as I’d like. You give us all an example of grace. And it will be scary when you attack that fall marathon. :^)
    Terzah recently posted..Taper Thoughts Part IIMy Profile

  26. says

    I understand completely. I did my first tempo run last week since my injury and I couldn’t believe how challenging it was. The pace I was running would have felt easy in the past, and now it’s a struggle. My longest run has been 9.22 miles, but I did get a 40 mile week in there which felt pretty darn good after not running for awhile. I am trying to stay focused on the fact that I am running, and not so much how “slowly” I am running. Do you have any idea what pace you’re planning on running? I am shooting for 7:58/mi but we’ll see. At this point there’s no telling where I’ll be in 14 weeks.

    I’m just so thrilled that you’re running again!
    Kate @ Run with Kate recently posted..Unbreakable: The Western States 100My Profile

  27. says

    I can relate to that. Acceptance. Not in my running life. I am still fairly new and at a point where I still learn so much so I do still improve even if I am in the slower group. But I do know Acceptance. it is not always easy. For me I got 2 big ones.
    Acceptance that I don’t live in my country and that I am far away from my family and my friends. I can tell you, being homesick is a real thing.
    Acceptance that since Nov 2009 I am “prisoner” of a strict diet. That is an every day acceptance for the rest of my life/ I do have days when I regress to a 2 yrs old and I have a pitty party “I want some pizza!!!!” then I realized people have it way worst than me and I stop!

    I am happy for you that you will be in Boston this year.
    Caroline recently posted..Danger of running alone…and TAPER time again.My Profile

  28. says

    I loved this post.
    Every time I came back from a pregnancy, or injury, or even working out while nursing, I struggled with comparison. Comparing myself to others or to my prior self. It is a hard thing to let go of and just be in the moment and do the best you can for that day. Moving forward with confidence that you will get back to where you have been. You will get there.
    And sometimes the struggle to get back to where we were makes us so strong we move past that to something even greater.
    I can’t wait to read more about you journey. Keep up the awesomeness.
    Missy recently posted..I visualize a great swim and talk pepitasMy Profile

  29. says

    Glad to hear that you are working your way back. I know exactly what you mean about accepting (or not accepting) where you are in your fitness level. After giving birth to my son, I had such a hard time accepting that I was running at “x” level and not at “y” level. You may not PR at Boston but you have nothing to be ashamed or upset about considering where you were a few months ago =)
    Michele @ nycrunningmama recently posted..You’ll never understand how much you’ve taught me, my sonMy Profile

  30. says

    I know I will be feeling the exact same way in a few months. I know it’s going to take time for me build up my endurance again and that I will need to be patient. I also know that it will probably be difficult to accept. From where I’m sitting you’re doing incredible!
    Laura recently posted..A full houseMy Profile