The Game Changer

Think life is hard? Try holding a plank on a plank after 20 miles and a crappy week. Just saying.

It’s Monday.  The start of a new week.  It is going to be a good week.  Strike that.  It is going to be a great week.

Last week I was tossed a game changer.  Like a “Holy crap, how the heck am I going to deal with this” game changer.  It is scary as hell, generating inordinate amounts of stress and anxiety.  It doesn’t matter what the game change was just that it really and truly is a game changer.  So what did I do?  I ran.  I hiked.  I had fun.

Wait, what?  It wasn’t that long ago that something like this would have tossed me into an anxious spiral of comfort food and withdrawal from the universe.  But you know what?  I am better than that.  I deserve better than that. 

Seriously, how can you be anxious when you have this to look at?

Saturday morning I headed out for my 10 miler with RRF.  It was my first 10 mile run in about 15 years.  I felt slow and sluggish.  Imagine my surprise when not one but two GPS devices both confirmed that I just ran 10 miles at an 11:07 pace.  This is my race pace, not my 12:30 training pace.  I certainly didn’t feel like I had run hard.  Apparently I had some energy to work out.

I followed that up by immediately hitting the trail with Bill and Jim for a nice leisurely hike up the side of a mountain.  Did I say leisurely?  What I meant was I happily trotted 3.5 miles or so up to Hunter Creek Falls, gaining about 1,300 feet in elevation along the way.  And then I trotted back down the mountain.  I have to admit, there were technically challenging portions where I carefully scooted across bridges and along the edge of cliffs (hello, vertigo).  The hike is rated moderate to strenuous.  I would call it a fantastic cool down after running 10 miles. 

Hiking is fun. Hiking with dogs is funner.

Realization over celebratory margaritas at dinner?  I am so ready for my half marathon. 

I so earned that margarita!

Realization after I woke up Sunday morning without the slightest tinge of tightness or soreness?  I am even more ready for my half marathon than I thought the night before.  Seriously. 

Bummer though:  my 7 mile race around Donner Lake was cancelled on Sunday due to safety concerns over a little snow (boo hiss).  Solution:  Hike to Hunter Creek Falls again but this time with all my camera equipment.  Well, this is after I walked not once but twice to Starbucks you know…to stretch out and get caffeine and stuff. 

Last night I sat down to a brinner (that is breakfast as dinner for those not familiar with the term) of whole wheat pumpkin pancakes, let out a deep breath and just said, “I’ve got this.”

Moral of the story:  Life is hard.  Sometimes it gets really hard at the worst possible moment, but it’s how we deal with it that counts.  For me, it is tackling it head on and not letting it interfere with my goals.  It’s that simple.  Seriously.

And in other news…despite all the drama, I was able to send one of the dogs to the Splash Dogs Dock Jumping National Championships this weekend.  He placed second in his division with a jump of 18’3” and was only 1” behind first!  We are SO proud of him!

Smokey is pretty awesome!