Sunday, December 25, 2011

The gift of reframing.

Today's run:
Half Marathon Training Week Four, Day Two (kind of)
5.05 miles/1:04:30

I wasn't able to do my 6 mile tempo run two days in a row.  Life got in the way (can't imagine why, since this time of year is so stress free!) and it just wasn't happening.  So today I got myself out of bed, ate a banana and some peanut butter, got into my running gear, and was out the door.  I slept poorly last night and woke up sore from yesterday's workout (Jillian Michaels, we are not friends), but I was not taking no for an answer.  I was getting that 6 mile tempo run in come hell or high water.

Well... what actually came was a mix of both.  Less than a mile in, I realized I was going to have to throw my tempo pace out the window because I was running primarily on snow and ice, and I decided that not breaking my neck was more important than running fast.  My first mile ended up taking me 14 minutes, and my average pace was well over 12 minutes.  At about two and a half miles, a guy in a pickup truck pelted me with road water.  At about three and a half miles, I slipped on the ice and had a nasty fall, crashing onto my left wrist and hip, and my right knee.  And near the end, I was stuck running in the middle of the street because the sidewalks were covered in snow nearly up to my knees, and I almost got run over by a car because even though I waved, apologized, and tried to get out of his way, the car behind me was not having it.


So even though I was irritatingly close to making it all six miles, after the little problem with the car and being forced to jump into knee high snow in a desperate attempt to find the sidewalk, I decided to call it a day.  And I'll be honest... I was pissed off.  I really angry and really frustrated.  I was mad at the snow for making the whole run harder than it needed to be, I was mad at the ice for making me fall, I was mad at the pickup truck for drenching me in disgusting water... and most of all, I was mad that I didn't get to the six mile mark.

But then I took a long, hot shower and I thought about it - by being so upset and focusing on all the negative aspects of that run, who was I hurting?  Myself.  Did my anger make any difference to the snow, the ice, or the guy driving the pickup?  Absolutely not.  So I decided to take one of the gifts that Weight Watchers has given me and use it: Reframing.  Reframing is one of our "Tools for Living," and though I'm taking it out of its original context here, I think it is a fabulous tool.  The very basic idea is that you take a problem and look at it in a different way so as to find a better solution than the one you had.  So I looked at the run, reframed it, and came back with a much better version.

Instead of seeing it as "the run was really hard, I got soaked in water and was cold, I slipped and fell, and I didn't make it all six miles," I decided to see it as something positive.  The run was really hard, but I did it.  I didn't make it all six miles, but I made it five miles, which is five more miles than many people ran today.  I wouldn't have been able to run five miles just a few years ago.  Actually, I wouldn't have been able to run five miles just a few months ago, and today I ran five miles and I knew that I could do more.  There were physical stresses put on me in those five miles, but I kept going.  Yes, I was wet, cold, and uncomfortable, but I kept running.  Yes, I slipped and fell, and maybe I even cried a little (it hurt!), but I kept running.  Yes, the snow made every step harder and the ice made every step more dangerous, but I kept running.  This run was not a botched tempo run, but a learning experience, because today I learned that I am have the physical, mental, and emotional strength to get back up when I have fallen, brush myself off, and keep going.  So instead of seeing this run as a failure, I get the opportunity to see it as a tremendous achievement.  What an incredible blessing for Christmas Eve.


Did you have a tremendous achievement today?  I want to hear about it!
Go read about the beautiful Amylee's tremendous achievement - she ran a crazy fast 5K today and got a new PR!  I am constantly inspired by her.

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry you had a nasty fall while running! Really great reframing and having a good attitude, you did go out and run, which is a lot better than not getting out. And almost 6 miles is nothing to turn your nose up at! Have a great holiday!

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