Sunday, October 3, 2010

Weeding

It’s been a rough weekend and I’ve had a lot of negative thoughts weighing me down.  I set out Friday morning for a long run (my last before the marathon in two short weeks) and it was a big fat FAIL.  Baseball-bat-to-the-knee pain stopped me at mile 6.  This morning I went for a bike ride where – in spite of feeling pretty strong the whole ride – my average speed was the slowest I’ve seen (off the trainer) in at least six months.  Waaaaah.  Wasn’t it just a month ago that I was in awesome shape?  I was running fast and riding hard, but now I feel like every time I turn around I’m slower and weaker than I was just the day before.

When I got off my bike, I had a big grey cloud over my head.  I actually mean that literally.  It was a cloudy morning and blissfully cool, so I decided to tackle some of the yard work that I’ve let slide all (hot) summer long.  I changed into gardening clothes and grabbed a bucket to start pulling weeds.  It was unbelievable how overgrown my small front yard was!  We have a flagstone path from the street to the front door and there were thousands of weeds in between the stones.  The flowerbeds were choking with weeds and the flowers sorely needed deadheading and trimming.

Weeding is such a thankless task - which is why I procrastinate doing it - but the house looks so much better when it’s done.  I ended up spending almost three hours doing yardwork.  My mind wandered a lot while I was working, but came back frequently to my current training troubles. 

While I was picking the insidious clover out from between the flagstones, I kept walking down that dark mental path of self-doubt:  what if I can’t run the marathon?  What if my training doesn’t ever pull out of this slump? 

As I cut back the ice plant that had taken over most of the front flowerbed, I tried to figure out where my current problems started.  My training has been “off” for a lot of the summer, since I started my job.  How much longer until I adjust to this schedule? 

As I worked on the largest flowerbed, I started thinking about blogging, pondering how to write about the weekend without being such a Debbie Downer (no such luck, huh?).  I was nearing the end of my task and was getting hungry, so my mind was jumping from one thought to the next pretty rapidly, when I spotted a HUGE weed behind the oleander bush.  Seriously, this weed was almost as tall as me and it did not want to come out of the ground.  For some reason, as I was pulling on that thing, I was thinking about Rock Star Tri's Star Wars Quote of the Week about two weeks ago.  “Luke:  I don’t believe it.  Yoda:  That is why you fail.”  My next unbidden thought was, “I don’t believe I can run a fast marathon.”  And just like that – YOINK! – the giant weed came out of the ground.  As I stood there with that big ugly sucker in my hand, I realized that I couldn’t have made up a better metaphor if I’d tried.  It’s time to get that horrible weed-like thought out of my head!

19 comments:

Char said...

Yep you've gotta rip that sucker out. Attitude has such an influence on performance and self-belief is crucial. I've had to deal with so many doubts in doing my marathon training and in the end I just broke the whole thing down to session-by-session. Don't look at the end result just deal with each of the steps that it take to get you there.

LMC said...

I may have missed this, but are you injured? Is that the reason for the baseball-bat-to-the-knee pain? Hang in there! It is possible that your knee will feel better (maybe with a little rest) or that your next run will feel great. That's the thing about running sometimes, one bad run is followed by a really good run. I know you can do this marathon, barring an injury. You work hard and that will pay off. Don't give up! I'll be cheering for you and sending positive thoughts your way!

Teamarcia said...

While you were on that self-doubt path did you bump into me? Cuz I've had a tent pitched there all freaking summer, as you know. I find gardening to be therapeutic and I'm glad you found metaphor in that large weed. So sorry about the knee pain. May we do the best we can with what we have. Hugs.

RockStarTri said...

Perhaps another quote to think of is from the Waterboy (and the motto of one of my teams) "UCANDOIT!"

You can. And you will.

Laurie said...

Good job getting that weeding done, hopefully you can keep those weeds away (especially the mental ones!) You are amazingly tough and inspiring and you'll be great. Just like your countdown says, only 13 days until you "run" that marathon and you will... you will run it. Even if it isn't the fastest one you're hoping it to be, it will still be a marathon and you will run it and you will still be awesome (awesomer than most even)! Hope your knee feels better...

Running Librarian said...

Think of it this way..you had your bad run this week so you can rock the marathon! You will do great and finish strong!

ajh said...

Think positive for sure. I so want you to have a successful marathon. Misery does not love company when it comes to injured runners! You can do it!

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

I'm so sorry your run didn't go as well as you would have liked. It's hard to keep the negative thoughts at bay when things just don't seem to be going well. I know it's easier said then done, but try to keep those negative thought away! You CAN do it!

MCM Mama said...

Perfect analogy. We all let the weeds of self doubt grow in our heads. We just have to remember to keep them under control. So much of running is mental, so if our mind isn't there, then the running often sucks.

The Green Girl said...

I love that the weed sparked a mini-epiphany for you. It's a lesson we could all use from time to time.

Good luck, girl!

Lauren said...

Attitude has a lot to do with everything, especially running. You write the truth. But if you're injured, you're injured, and I hope that you don't injure yourself further. Coming from a "less than average athlete," don't be afraid of walking during your marathon -- just keep the walk pace quick and those arms pumping. Good luck!

Tortuga_Runner said...

Thank you.

Johann said...

That is one of my favorite quotes! I use it all the time. Believe and you will be fine! Two weeks of taper and you’ll have a great marathon!

Kristin said...

My motto is you can if you think you can!! Negative thoughts be gone!! YOu will do fine!!

Anne said...

This was a great post! It's so easy to allow ourselves to go down that path...sorry about the knee pain, but it's taper time and hopefully, after a little rest, you'll be raring to go on race day! Dare to Believe!!!!!!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

I think we can all use a dose of this post. I'm currently reading about mental training. I think it's just as important as the long run. The mind can get us to our next goal, or it can keep us from it. It's up to us which path we direct the mind to get on. Good Luck!

Heather said...

Sorry about the rough run! Even if you don't think you can run a fast marathon, I KNOW you can. :)

pursuitofhealthfulness.com said...

Those little workout snafus come and go. Just don't let it get you down. And, it already sounds like you are on good ground with that. (:

Candice @ I Have Run said...

Great analogy! And you CAN run a fast marathon!! And I can't wait for the post that proves it!