Friday, April 29, 2011

Faith, worry and perspective

I am nervous. Four weeks ago, if you had asked me how I felt about the half marathon, I would have been beaming from ear to ear, full of confidence that I will not only finish, but I will finish with an average pace of about 12 minutes per mile. Since then, I have fallen apart. I have traveled quite a bit and have been dealing with this stupid calf pain for the entire month of April. It all began with the long run on my birthday, April 2.

It was 80 degrees and windy that day. I ran 6 miles before I realized that the last one was all up hill. My legs were cashed and my face was stinging from the sun and sweat. I took a left and headed for home, finishing at 6.6 miles. Four tenths of a mile short of the goal.

April 10 was the next long run and I was so excited to run the full 7 with what seemed like ease, only with a little bit of a calf cramp. I really thought I could have done more that day.

April 17, my calf cramp never went away during the week and was getting worse. Like a constant sore muscle, but I was determined to push through. At mile 7, my running buddy, Lisa Z. said her toes were asleep and were killing her, so we walked the last little bit straight back to the cars. We said we'd to 8 the following week.

April 24 Lisa and I met again, and I was telling her of how painful my calf was. It was bordering on excruciating. I walked with caution so I wasn't sure how well I could run. The answer was 2.5 miles after a week of rest. We walked 2.5 back to the car. Disappointed, discouraged, and just down right pissed off.

I am going to see my doctor on Tuesday. But I think I am on the mend. After extensive internet research and a facebook cry for help to my runner friends, the verdict was that I was dehydrated and wasn't getting all the nutrients I needed. So with a focus on MORE water (and for those of you who know about my water rationing, that's out the window! I am up to almost 2 gallons a day now), yogurt, spinach, lots of fresh fruits and veggies and of course the multivitamin. Oh, and cross training. I had been lackadaisical about that. And stretching...lots and lots of stretching several times a day. It seems to be getting better. Using the foam roller to roll out the muscle soreness also seems to be helping. But it's my right leg (the one that's had 5 or 6 knee surgeries) so I don't mess around with it too much. I want to make sure that I am not doing more harm than good to my body. I don't really want to have to have a leg transplant! (that's a joke!)

But even with all my last minute revelations, I am behind. WAY behind. I have lost enough conditioning, that my morning 5 mile run yesterday was more of a run/walk. Tomorrow I am set to run 8 miles by myself. And I am so much better when I can run with someone. Regardless, I have 15 days, 21 hours, 50 minutes and 54 seconds to figure out how I will finish 13.1 miles.

And then I found this at the bottom of a friend's unrelated email this morning:
"There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever."
Mohandas Gandhi

My goal for the Colfax marathon was never to be the fastest. It was to finish, even if I have to walk/run the entire thing. And I am not doing it for the sake of doing it, I am doing it for all the people I love who have been touched by cancer in some way, shape, or form.

I am doing this for Keith. For Uncle Jerry. For Bubba. For Granddad. I have faith that God will allow me to finish what I started, so long as I remember why I started in the first place. When you become selfish is when you lose faith. When you lose faith, you lose direction and perspective.

It will all be OK. Even if I don't meet my fundraiser goal, I am at least helping in a way that I can help.


  1. One day at a time, then one mile at a time. I am sending you positives thoughts and energy.

  2. My dearest Jenna. I'm finally getting caught up on reading your blog since last week. I need to remind you of a little saying a wise woman once told me..."You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think." Mmmm...sound familiar (you wise woman)?! It's sounds like you're doing everything you're supposed to do. Don't put time pressures on yourself. You can (and will) run this race. Please think about how far you've come and think less about how fast you want to finish. Just finish - and do it with a smile!! I'm proud of you! :)