Thursday, July 28, 2011

There is Value in the Lulls


A temporary interval of quiet or lack of activity.  

My lull in training has been playing mind games with me and keeping me away from posting and even really taking part in the blog world. I have tricked myself into feeling almost unworthy as of late.  Let me explain my little pity party that has been playing out in my head like the confidence of a 13 year old girl not knowing if she is really cool enough anymore for the "in crowd".

FYI - all of you are the "in crowd"

I knew that coming off of training and running the Boston Marathon, that I was going to take a "Marathon Training" break for the sake of my family and to give a little more time to the family and friends around me that have been so supportive.  Marathon training had been a major focus for me for 2 years and really felt like I needed to let my training be less of what controlled my time and energy -  and take some time to be intentional and more invested in those right in front of me. I just didn't realize what a "funk" that decision would put me in.
 It isn't that I would disappear into a deep dark training cage and not immerse until after a race, but if I am being really honest, my mind and energy were very consumed by my training - how late I should stay up , how I was going to fit my run into a day & still make play dates and clean my house and  whether I should have that glass of wine or will that date night food cause tummy issues tomorrow morning on my run.  And if didn't get my runs done early - the subject of when & how that would happen later sabotaged me being completely present in the moment I was currently in.......ect. ect.
Some of you out there are GREAT at the balancing act and I can learn from you, but i needed a little LULL to figure it all out.

I had no intention of NOT running. Just not "full on" training.  I have an few races on the schedule and I am "maintaining" for now. I just didn't realize what a "funk" the decision to slow down would put me in.
Somehow, letting  my miles scale back in training also diminished my own value and confidence as an athlete, mom, friend, sister, daughter.....  First - the timing after Boston was the end of school time.  Being room mom for my 1st grader and involved at my daughters pre-school, - it was perfect timing to put my energy into the end of the school year activities.  My husband also has a basketball/golf tournament every year with his best friends.  I had plenty of "creative energy" I needed and wanted to put toward that event with all the food, activities and "fun" to be planned. Which for those of you that don't know, before I had the privilege of being a Stay at Home Mom - I was an interior Decorator and worked in event planning.  So - these type of activities fill my creative "love tank" and and I LOVE it.  So - my "maintenance" running schedule wasn't feeling too "under-par" YET!!

When school and all the events to plan came to a halt - I hit a MAJOR funk.  Everything that had been making me feel valuable wasn't there.
*The school didn't need me anymore
*Our MOM's group that I served on was on summer break
*What could I be training for now????? I just ran Boston
*There wasn't even a over the top event in sight to plan to fuel my creative juices
*Family junk going on that is just a throbbing reminder of how different things are without my sweet mom

It ALL hit at once & it has all played out pretty ugly in my head. As I recently shared my friend Sarah (she wrote about her transition in running here) - I didn't realize how much running defined me (at least in my own head).  For months I was able to claim that I was training for Boston-  and before that I was always able to share what training plan I was following. But I was suddenly feeling as though I couldn't even really claim running or at least wasn't worthy of writing about it.  It even kept me from following some of my favorite running blogs - out of not wanting to feel guilty that I wasn't giving it my all.
So obviously my rational self knows that I am being ridiculous, but my emotional self likes to take over  - and sadly it has been for a while.  So luckily,  as ALL lulls or hardships in our lives, God has something for us to learn from it.  He has shown me a lot during this little "down time".

It has kept me from some things that I LOVE.  The joy of running - whether for an big race or just because it is something that offers me my own time, my therapy.  Writing - I love writing and somehow I felt like like I didn't have anything of value to share - running or otherwise.  Why??  because I didn't have  a great training plan to share or a killer run I just went on????  When I read other peoples journeys - I am inspired, gain new perspective & entertained- whether it is impressive(training wise) or not.  Why am I putting this type of pressure on myself?

I have realized I can only diminish what is going on in my life.

I have been trying to process all of this little by little over the last month or so. But we were at the beach last week and for many reason I always gain a little clarity there.  All the family time I have had with my kids & hubby & my family that visited are certainly looking pretty good on my training/life schedule.  I also had a great run with my cousin at the beach - worthy of being written in bold on my training plan.  It wasn't memorable because we ran fast or long.  It was valuable to  me because I was with someone I love - we talked, laughed, took in the scenery of the ocean;  and yes - even sweated a little. And I was reminded of how complicated I am making all of this - I just enjoyed the run. 

 A lot of my runs lately have been with thoughts spinning through my head of what "I am losing not taking on as many miles" or "how much I am NOT doing". THOSE THOUGHTS ARE DOING ME NO GOOD!!!

And for a fun reminder of how much I am missing the blog community - I ran into this smiling face in Cannon Beach.....

Jill & I - both enjoying some family time at Cannon Beach.  So fun to run into a "running blog" friend!!

Even though my training plan hasn't looked so "hardcore" and I have been doing a little sulking - I HAVE managed to spend my time wisely hanging out with family and friends.  And it isn't that I am not running at all - I did run a race with my dad on father's day(which I will share in a later post - It was to fun & special not to share).  And have a few half's on the calendar.  So, mostly it is just my head that has been in what I call a "HOT MESS".

 Right now my training/life plan may not be loaded with enough "killer runs"to capture a PR on my next few races and will reflect a little more of my feet hitting the pavement at the zoo with my kiddos, swimming at the grandparents, connecting with a friend over a play date or coffee, taking on some slower miles with my little sis training for a half marathon...........but I am going to remember that it all adds just as much value to my journey. I am the only one that can turn it into a less than perfect plan!  I am going to make ALL the miles count and be content with what I choose to do with my time.

My Blog is Called "Inspired Miles of a Mom" for goodness sake - and how boring if running is the only thing that inspires this Mom's journey.

Loved this Quote I got through e-mail.  It seemed so fitting -
"Whatever you may be missing right now - a person, a place, a feeling, maybe you are injured and missing running - whatever it is, have peace and take heart - remember that any goodbye makes room for a hello"
- Kristin Armstrong

 I see this little Lull coming to an end...............


  1. i can totally relate! getting injured last year threw me into a downward tailspin. i'm so glad to hear you're coming out of your "lull". you are SO WORTHY and EXCITING! :) we should go for a run... if you're up to a very sloooowwww run that is.

  2. Sounds like you have been having some good quality down time. That type of thing helps a person come back even stronger, and smarter about running!

    Cannon Beach? Do you live in Oregon?

  3. Michelle - would LOVE a run!! Miss you.

    Raina - Portland area!!! Love Cannon Beach.

  4. hey friend. You have so much to offer running and otherwise. you are the best 'mom', 'sister', 'wife', 'friend', I know. you give 110 percent to everything in your life. You inspire me, every day. Aren't all our heads in a 'hot mess' most of the time?!! no? shoot. i'm in trouble then.