Monday, September 16, 2013

Motivation Monday: The Other Side of Running


"Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp, or are you going to be strong today?'"
- Peter Maher - Marathon Runner

Everyone always talks of the "runner's high" that occurs after a run. It does exist, and for me personally, it is one of the greatest feelings I've experienced. However, every run does not produce a runner's high. Some runs are just darn right miserable. There's no other way to put it. That was my run yesterday.

Anyone that watches the news, has seen the horrific flooding taking place in Colorado. I live an hour away from the destruction, and have not seen the destructive rain they have. We've just been getting the outskirts of their storms. However, we did not see the sun for 2 weeks straight. I don't mind the occasional run in the rain, but I can't take Wyatt out in that, especially when we have the thunder and lightening. 

I was itching to get a great run in, so I had this wonderful plan to run 8 miles yesterday. Which would be a mileage PR for me. But then I woke up to this:

What this doesn't show, is there was a 20mph wind along with it. For about an hour, I tried to convince myself that my run just wasn't going to happen. I was stiff and sore from the on-going, nasty weather. It was too cold and wet. Then, Sami over at Simpy-Sami posted on instagram about some people that were getting ready to run 50k in the rain. What!? I figured if they can run 50k, I can get off the couch and get a quick 3 miles in.

I didn't end up with 6.2 miles because I felt so amazing and didn't want to stop. This run was 100% mental before the first 60 seconds had passed. Every step was painful. To be honest, I don't even remember miles 4 and 5. I think my brain chose to block them out for my own sanity. 

I've been in a Lupus flare-up, brought on by the weather change I'm sure.  Due to the aches, pains and blues that come along with it, I've been pretty lazy. When I was first diagnosed, there were several appointments regarding what pains require bed-rest and what pains require working through them and being active. The first few days required bed-rest. The past week, I should have been up and moving my body. However, I just couldn't get past the mental hurdle. It has been several years since I've had a true flare up, and to be honest, I was just very depressed about it. 

So, I finished mile 3 and stopped into a park bathroom to get out of the wind for a bit. Every muscle in me was burning and aching and uncontrollable tears started falling. For a brief 5 minutes, I was angry and feeling sorry for myself. Then, I decided that I wasn't going to let this beat me. This pain was a big contributor to my weight gain in the first place. I refused to ever take my doctor's advice and work through the painful days. I was not going to go back there. So I ran. I may have cussed under my breath with every step, but I finished 3 more miles.

I'm not addressing my Lupus as a "poor me" nor am I trying to be depressing on Motivation Monday. I tend shy away from details about my health. Sometimes because I'm in complete denial, and sometimes because I don't want that to define me. However, I feel that sometimes in the blogging community, or fitness/health in general, many people only share the highs. They make it sound effortless all the time in order to be uplifting. That's great, but it takes the humanity out of it. 

If you're just starting to run, workout, or eat healthy, don't have the false hope that it will always be easy. That is what will set you up for failure. If you aren't expecting a difficult day, week or month, you're going to have a hard time working through it when that time comes. You'll want to give up. 

Don't. Don't ever give up. There are going to be challenges and days where you don't succeed. It will feel awful and you'll question yourself and might wonder, "what's the point?" But, I promise you, when you get up that next day and turn things around for the better, you will feel on top of the world. It's that moment when you realize, this isn't just a diet or temporary workout plan. This is a lifestyle change, and I will succeed.



  1. You are amazing! I love your determination and perseverance.

  2. Sorry to hear about the lupus. I think you are doing amazing!

  3. I know your run wasn't easy and I'd imagine this wasn't an easy post to write. You're amazing, girl!

  4. Amen, sistah! Working out isn't always easy or enjoyable. Sometimes you gotta just tough through. I think when people see other's who have had good success with losing weight it might seem that it is easy to lose weight or that the person ALWAYS enjoys exercising. The truth is that there will always be highs and lows in fitness no matter where you are at in your journey. Watching you get that amazing run in the rain on IG was so great. I was really happy for you.

  5. As everyone else has said, you are amazing! It wasn't easy, and it wasn't fun but you did it and for that you should be proud!

  6. Please continue to talk about your Lupus! It's a part of you and contributes to your truth and your journey. It's not looking for sympathy to explain that you deal with pain from your Lupus, anymore than it is when someone describes a sports injury. It is a part of you that you shouldn't even have to think about hiding, or that people won't want to hear about it - it's there and it's a fact. I think the Lupus event we attended this past weekend was so good for my cousin because she never talked about it, and that day was a chance to put it all out there! I promise to talk about my days that suck and I'm glad you did too! There are so many days that I don't do enough from pure laziness and I will try to think of your run the next time and get my butt in gear!

  7. You are very inspiring! It takes a lot to go through the pain - thanks for sharing your story.
    Your advice is so dead on.
    Great quote to end with as well.

  8. I am totally amazed by you! If you can do run like that with your Lupus, I don't think I can make excuses for not exercising. When you mentioned a 50K though, I was thinking, "Oh my gosh, how far is that?" I haven't run for years, I think walking is good enough at my age. I do love weight lifting.
    Keep up the good work!

  9. Thanks so much for sharing this at Tips and Tricks Tuesday! I know I got a lot out of it!

  10. I think I felt that runner's high ONE time (in middle school). I don't do a lot of running, but I've done it enough that I think I should have experienced it again. I'm pretty much an indoor exerciser, with a treadmill and elliptical and a tv. I don't let myelf watch anything unless I'm exercising, so it's fairly motivating for me.

    My munchkin has a weather phobia - we've had rain too, and it's made for some miserable mornings here. (I used to like the rain before, now I get totally stressed about him being totally stressed!)


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