Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Mental Battle (and where I've been all week!)

(Note: For those of you that could care less about my running updates, skip down the bottom for the non-running related good stuff.)

I have an excuse for being MIA since Tuesday , I swear. Well sort of. Is being busy an excuse? Where I'm from it is.

When it comes to running, this was the most grueling week I've ever had. And I don't just mean physically. 

I've been bitching and moaning about my hip for awhile, but here comes a little more, so brace yourself. At the beginning of the week, I posted my mileage goals. So the week began, and I ran my five miles on Monday, about halfway through the run, my hip was hurting. Not sore, not annoying, but actually hurting. I finished the run though, and went home and just collapsed. Tuesday, I was majorly sore (hip wise), so I soaked up my rest day. Wednesday came and went, and I decided that even though my hip was still pretty sore, I really didn't want to miss a run. Like at all. (Read: YES I am stubborn. You shouldn't be at all surprised.) So I went to the gym, and started on a five mile run, with every intention of not only finishing, but also getting up the very next morning to run another four miles. The very minute I started running, my hip was killing. Sore, sharp, throbbing, all of the above. But I did not want to stop. I went 4.5 miles, before I had to stop. I somehow managed to make it back to my apartment before breaking down and sobbing. I had just never in my life hurt that much. And I'd never in my life been forced to cut a planned run short. I made an appointment with the chiropractor for Friday and I decided (along with some major threats/persistence from my boyfriend) that I wasn't going to run again until I knew what was up.

So Friday morning I went to the chiropractor, who after watching me a do a few different things, explained (forgive my uneducated and very basic summary) that I don't have an injury, but I do have an imbalance of muscle buildup. Basically the muscles on the outside of my legs (IT band and all the other good stuff) are stronger, bulkier, and more fibrous than the muscles on the inside of my legs. This imbalance could be caused by a million different little things, but it makes for some major discomfort when running for extended periods of time. So they adjusted the crap out of me (Chiropractic is AMAZING) and showed me a few exercises/stretches to help build up those inner leg muscles without irritating my hip. I walked out of there already feeling so much better. I decided that I would take that Saturday off, and then pick back up on Sunday, but only if I was feeling better. 

Let me tell you, those three days I took off from running at all, seemed like an eternity. It was such a struggle. I felt like I was just being so incredibly lazy. I know a lot of people can understand this, feeling like stopping to actually listen to your body is somehow equal to defeat. I didn't want to do it, but I've got a 10k in less than two weeks, and I knew that if I didn't want to crash and burn, yet again, I'd need to just chill the heck out. 

So this afternoon, after taking three long days off, I got ready to go out for my run. My big goal for this week was to run six miles, and as I was about to step out the door, my mind was just going a million miles a minute. I was freaking out. I was panicked. I kept thinking, "What if two minutes into the run my hip starts to kill again? What if I can't finish six miles? What if I can't finish one mile? What if my pace just sucks?" What if-what if-what if. I just needed to get a grip. I needed to calm the hell down. I hadn't even stepped out the door and I was already in a total panic, already setting myself up for failure, and already sucking all the fun out of my normally enjoyable runs. I was being ridiculous

So this is what I did. I didn't turn on my MapMyRun app. I didn't want to hear that electronic voice notifying me of my pace, my mileage, my time-anything. I was just going to turn on my favorite playlist, and run

And you know what? I ran my six miles. I ran pain-free. I ran comfortably. I didn't look at my time. I didn't dwell on my pace. And it was one of the best runs I've ever had. And you know what else? I somehow ran faster it than I ever have. 

This mental battle is crazy. I think that's why running has the power to make you feel so strong. Because 85% of it is in your head. Well, at least for me it is. Because when I run, it's just me, alone with my thoughts, which is a dangerous place to be. But I feel like this week was such a stepping stone, it was a huge learning experience, and I feel so much stronger because of it. 


I know this has been a long and boring post for those of you that couldn't care less about running, so on another note, when it comes to personal stuff, this was one of the best weeks I've ever had! Let me just fill you in, k? Great.

Thursday was ANNUAL BEST FRIENDS DAY!!!!!! 

**I'm about to explain and then totally convince you that best friends day is the greatest invention ever and you're all going to want to follow suit. You just wait and see.** 

Annual best friends day takes place in November. (Usually the day after Thanksgiving, but the older we get the harder it is to coordinate the schedules of two full-time workin' adults, so we bumped it up a week this year.) It's a day off from work and all that boring crap to meet up with the bestie, shop till you drop, eat till you explode, and have super deep meaningful best friend type conversations to celebrate a whopping EIGHT years of best-friendship. I know, you're super jels.

I know. She's adorable. Why do you
think we are best friends?

We take the "eat till you explode" part VERY seriously. 

***If you have a Great American Cookie within a hundred miles of you, go NOW and get a Chewy Pecan supreme. I'm seriously salivating just thinking about it.***

This year, best friends day just happened to coincide with a performance my brother had at the Dallas Museum of Art. (Yes, he's a prodigy. Yes, we are related. Yes, I am aware that he got all the good genes, and I'm totally fine with it. Gives me something to brag on!) So we finished up the day by soaking in some amazing exhibits and then enjoying Jazz Night in the atrium complete with copious amounts of wine and lots of solid family and friend time.

AMAZING brother!
This has SERIOUSLY been the longest post ever. I kept waiting for blogger to cut me off like twitter does when you've hit your word max. No doubt about it, I've definitely hit my word max here folks.

Have any of you runner peeps hit walls like I did this past week? What got you through it?

Is anyone running the Turkey Trot or any other Thanksgiving themed races this week?




  1. I love your pics! And your running outfit is so cute!

    I agree, sometimes , you just need to run without ANY of those numbers and stats..and just do it for you. Great how it turned out to be pretty damn amazing for you! And pain-free most importantly!

  2. Wish I could've afforded that shirt I'm wearing! haha.

  3. So glad you had a successful 6 mile run! Injuries are the most frustrating things ever because you mind wants to do something but your body is fighting you on it. I was out for months this year with an IT Band injury and it was so frustrating. Sometimes it really is great to just unhook all the electronics and just run! Love your running outfit by the way :)



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