Friday, September 3, 2010
Taking nothing for granted + barefoot running! :)
Well, only two more full days here in NYC and then it's time to head back to AZ. I've been counting down the days and hours until I leave yet I'm very happy I put myself in this unfamiliar situation and I have successfully managed to run (and win) my races at pretty good paces. I've also met some super nice people along the way and I'm very grateful for that. Exploring a little bit more of NYC than usual was fun and running in new parks and in different areas of Central Park has been refreshing. I'm so happy I found some soft surfaces the past week! On Tuesday I forgot to mention that my cool down at the track was actually on the inside of the track on the artificial turf, BAREFOOT! I ran a mile and a half without ANY pain in either foot and it was really exciting. The last time I ran barefoot on the grass was in February and it hurt my foot the whole time. I have always done some sort of barefoot running (on grass only) since I was in high school. Whether it was strides or my cool down, my teammates and I did it and I definitely think it helps strengthen your feet and ankles; it's fun too!
During my run this morning I started to think about where I was a year ago. I couldn't even walk after runs because my heel/plantar fascia hurt so bad the minute I took my running shoes off. I tried so many things to get it better and here I am now with almost never any pain. This week has been a bit of a mental challenge for me in respect to my workouts and having the motivation to run really hard. I never really mind going for relaxing runs yet this week the hard days felt like elephants weighing on my shoulders. The biggest reason is probably because I want to be at home, back with everything and everyone that I love. I also don't have Samantha around me during the day to hang out and talk to, etc.= too much time for me to sit, think and over analyze dumb stuff! :) However this morning I tried to push any negative energy out of my head and truly appreciate where I am with my running, not beat myself up about little things and not take a pain-free run for granted! A few months ago I debated quitting the sport entirely because of the unbearable pain and I HATED the fact I couldn't go for a run and feel "normal".
I always put so much pressure on myself to achieve certain goals or dreams. I tend to do well under pressure yet managing it can be challenging; you can't let it affect you way before a big event! In college my coach always joked with me that I didn't ever live in the moment and focus on the season we were currently in. Instead I thought way down the road about future seasons and goals. Was it a way to relieve some pressure from my expectations I had for myself at that time? Or to distract myself from all the fear I had of "failing" and letting my team down? I talk about some of this stuff in the recent Running Times issue. My friend actually found it online for me so here is the link if you are interested: http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=20503
With my hard workouts and races coming up, my goal is to focus on the current day I'm and not worry about way down the road. Extra stress and worries will likely hinder my performances. It's always good to think of future goals and to have some sort of direction and organization but I need to redirect myself sometimes. Most of all, I'm so happy to be running, injury free and pretty darn fit. I know all the hard work WILL pay off, just like it always has. Therefore as long as I get the training done, have fun, and prioritize well....I'll stand at any starting line knowing my fitness won't fail me and my mental toughness will get me through any rough patches I have :) Like one coach used to say "Sally, you're tough as NAILS!", haha :):)
Pic: From Oregano's Pizza Bistro...one of my fave restaurants in AZ that I can't wait to go to when I get home! :p
Quote for today: "May we never let the things we can’t have, or don’t have, or shouldn’t have, spoil our enjoyment of the things we do have and can have. As we value our happiness let us not forget it, for one of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy without the things we cannot or should not have." - Richard L. Evans