Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Five Mile Meltdown

Whenever I am in doubt about my blog topic for the week something presents itself and fills in the blanks very nicely. Well this story isn't so nice but the learning opportunity I'm sure will be nice...

My running buddy and I went out for our long weekend run. We both admitted within the first mile that we were hoping the other person would cancel. We both have huge amounts of pride and wouldn't cancel just to cancel. We both admittedly need a very good excuse like lightning, major illness, car accident etc. as our excuse before we would even consider cancelling on the other person.

We were running, I was in a negative place making comments such as this run sucks, I can't find my groove. On top of it we both kept checking our watches or ipods respectively to see where we were in our run. We were melting down, well actually I was melting down. We got to the turn around point for our run when I told my running buddy to go on. I started walking and promptly the tears began to fall. It reminded me of the time I was skiing with my brother and sister on a "hard" run (which mind you would not even be notable at this point in my skiing career) and they were trying to give me instruction. They were getting frustrated, I was getting frustrated and I told them to leave me. They did just that and it has provided us a very funny story to share with people from time to time.

Anyway, I was walking, crying and beating myself up because I couldn't find my groove. I started thinking about the movie Top Gun. Now where that came from is 100% beyond me. I kept thinking of the scene when Maverick had lost his friend but had to go into combat. Maverick was keeping up and then all of a sudden disengaged. He was talking to himself trying to find meaning after such a tragic loss of his friend Goose. While watching the movie you can see the moment Maverick regains his confidence and reengages in the fight. Ultimately Maverick saved the day AND the Top Gun anthem starts playing. You know the scene, it is the one in which my Dad turns the volume up on the TV as loud as possible so you can experience the moment, not just watch the moment.

The soundtrack started playing in my head and I started to get back in the 'game'. Now I was seriously in the depth of all depths you will inevitably encounter during a training regimen. My mind was all over the place. I was thinking about how upset people get when their team loses the Superbowl, how sports commentators can sometimes be heard saying it as if 'they' (meaning the team) didn't show up today, the Olympic athlete who will never be able to truly win but finishes anyway. I was trying to figure out how you get through those moment, where do you find the strength...

And then it happened I kicked it up a notch and told myself I am not a wuss. In runners world magazine this week one article featured a runner who wants to compete in the marathon of all marathons, otherwise know as the Olympic marathon. The article talked about how she wanted to go as a competitor not JUST a participant. I didn't understand that statement until I broke down today...

We are all competing against something when we sign up for an event. Whether we want to be first, cross the finish line or beat our last time. The only way we can 'compete' is by facing our fears, failures and disappointments and learn from them.

Ultimately I had a meltdown that included mind games, big fat tears and terrible pain. I did not give up. I faced those fears, fought those fears and I conquered!


  1. I would rather have runners trots.

  2. You crack me up Janell!!! Me too...

  3. If you don't like it don't do it. Find another sport, form of exercise which you can truly embrace and enjoy as your own.. Mine happens to be shopping and running through airports for flights I am trying to make in high heels with a 50lb back pack strapped to my back... Either way- the main point is to have fun!!!! Maybe you should take up shopping like me:)
    HAHA- XO- Jill