Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Inspiration and Motivation

Things have been fast furious the past couple of weeks so it's been harder than I thought to keep up with my blog. I'm sure you were all biting you finger nails with anticipation for my next post. Well ladies and gents, the wait is over.

This weekend I went to San Antonio to see my good friend and coach run the inaugural Rock'n Roll San Antonio marathon. I have a lot of athletic friends. Friends who run marathons and compete in triathlons, duathlons or were collegiate athletes. But this was different, Liz just turned 50 a month ago and running 26.2 miles was what she wanted to accomplish for herself at the half a century mark. I guess I should mention she's a wife, a mother of a Jr higher and two grown sons and amazingly a grandma aka "Memaw" to two grandchildren. She's on the board of her daughter's private school, active in multiple non profit organizations and oh she has a highly stressful day job here at LCRA where she is a project manager. I have always been amazed at how well she does a lot of things. Nothing with her is halfway. Before my injury, she and I have been running together for a few years. I jokingly refer to her as my drill Sergeant. I'm easy on myself but she challenges me to run a little harder and run a little farther during races and tri's or just training during the week on the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail (Oh how I miss those days).

But in an somewhat unexpected reversal of roles, I went to San Antonio to return the favor of years of her constant support. When my friend was killed by a drunk driver in February of 2004 the thought of doing my first triathlon without Kimberly seemed impossible. She was killed during the time we were training. After her death, Liz sought me out and encouraged me and helped train me. She cried with me but gave me a constructive outlet for my grief. Liz is the whole reason I fell in love with the sport of triathlons and road racing. I feel like I owe her so much.

My friend Megan and I set up chairs and poster boards and waited for Liz at mile 15. Even though the course was generally flat (unlike running in Austin) she said her legs had started to feel heavy and she was worried if she could really go another 11 miles. We hugged and I said the same encouraging words she's told me countless times before and she was off again. We meet her again at mile 19 and walked her to 20. The race route at this juncture went through the national park with all the old missions. It was quiet (very unrace like) and somewhat discouraging so we decided to stay with her until she had the strength to run again and she did. She crossed the finish line a little over an hour later. As I saw her struggling but determined to finish strong. The final half a mile was a brutal uphill climb but she did it. When I hugged her I could help but cry. I was so proud of her and so happy that her 12 year old daughter was there to see it. I was inspired and motivated once again. I can't relay how bad I wanted to run and race again. I secretly thought to myself, maybe I can do this. Next year, this same race. If she could do it at 50 I can do it at 30. Maybe 30 isn't looking to be so bad after all.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Here we go..

Never did I think I would start do something like this. I must say though, I was inspired by the many blogs that I visit regularly (the entire Yu clan and Hannah Diller) to begin to put my thoughts down. It's also my intention that when some of you all see me, we won't have as far back to go to catch up ha ha..

Unlike many of dear friends I am not married nor do I have any children. My life you would think is fairly simple and I'm sure when things are different I will look back and realize my life now was simple but standing in my high heeled shoes, things are still hectic and slightly chaotic at times. I think my admin told me today that I have a classic case of "the grass is always greener" syndrome. She laughed as she told me that she'd love to see me get two kids dressed and out the door for school and still make it into the office on time. It didn't take me long to realize she was right. I can barely manage to get myself dressed and out the door on time. My hats off to all you moms..

I'm having a milestone birthday in a little over a month and that has caused me to be a little more introspective than usual..and that's never a good thing. My usual stress reliever is usually a good 4-6 mile jog on the hike and bike trail. It's amazing how a run can clear your mind..especially after a long day at the office dealing with people and issues. Unfortunately I hurt my knee running a race in Houston in January and after months of running on a hurt knee, a triathlon and lots of physical therapy, I had surgery to repair my knee in August. I should be content with the fact that my knee feels better and the simplest things no longer cause much pain but instead I dwell on the fact that it's been almost three months and I still can't bend my knee like normal. I really miss my heels (even though there have been occasions in the last couple of weeks that I wear them for a bit) but above all I miss running. Now that the weather is a tad cooler I can't help but want to test my knee and run even though I am still not allowed to run per my doctor. I've always considered myself to be a patient person but this whole situation with my knee has made me realize how what I am is so short. I grew up in a Christian home with parents who loved God and meeting with those who had felt the same way. In my post college life my priority became my career. There is no problem with pursuing professional goals but my life priorities shifted. I gave less and less effort maintaining my relationship with God and fellow Christians. This situation with my knee coupled with a lot of things I have gone through this year has caused Him (i.e. the Lord) to show me that I'm not as capable as I once thought I was and that I'm not expected to go at it alone. As I look back I realize that he has been showing me for a while now that I need him, I'm only now starting to listen.

I don't expect this blog to be "spiritual" just a document of my journey through the ups and downs of a young professional trying to do a lot of things the best way I know how.and to take each day and circumstance step by step. The best running coach I have had was my inspiration to try my first half marathon. I'm a 10 and under mile runner by choice and the thought of running a mile over that overwhelmed me. For months she trained me and many times while we ran and I literally cried cause I couldn't run anymore, she would tell me to take each mile step by step. At the time I thought it was the dumbest thing I ever heard but the more I focused on just that one step before I knew it we had run farther than I thought was possible. I tend to get overwhelmed with decisions and other happenings in my life but I am learning that to take that same strategy to my everyday life. I get overwhelmed by tomorrow sometimes, so I'm taking things day by day, step by step.

I can't wait to be able to share with you about my first run after I'm released from the doctor, my first running race and Lord willing my first post surgery triathlon in May.I'm sure I will blog about my beloved Longhorns. I won't be commenting on the game this past weekend because well, I'm just choosing to not talk about it. It's easier that way..

Oh and sorry for the long post, I promise they won't usually be this long