Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Might Have Torn a Hole In My Tights



Today’s been a good day.

Remember about ten weeks ago when I licked myself like a cat in the gas station parking lot and went to see my PT for the first time? (these two things have nothing to do with each other, it was just the chain of events that day). Remember how my PT told me she didn’t think my running the Boston Marathon was a good idea (I mean she is a PT and someone trying to run a marathon with a hip stress fracture might just appear stupid). Remember how I cried in frustration and you guys had to pick up the pieces?

She still may not think it’s the best idea on the planet – in the world of all the great ideas out there like sticky notes and pita chips – but today, the day of our last visit, she gave me her blessing. We fist-bumped on my way out. She told me I looked strong and capable. That my plan for Boston was a good one (keeping a pace that is 60 to 90 seconds slower than my BQ pace, taking one minute walk breaks, enjoying and soaking up every last minute of this epic event). I think I may have even overheard her tell someone I was a “higher level athlete,” which I had never been called in my life. I farted with joy.

It was another of those full circle moments. I am probably not completely healed and I would not be running a marathon in 19 days if it wasn’t Boston. But, I am good enough, and if I am willing to ask my pace-ego to step aside, I just might pull this off.

These days I am running slower than I did when I first started running 2.5 years ago. I’m not going to lie and say “at least I am running!” It is humbling and  frustrating. The runner mind is a funny thing. You give it an inch and it wants to take a freaking ten mile tempo run.

Case in point. For months all I wanted to do was run. Any pace any distance. Once I could run for five minutes at a time all I wanted to do was run a mile. Once I could run a mile all I wanted to do was run five miles. Once I could do that I wanted to run five miles faster.

STOP!! That is exactly how I get myself in trouble in the first place.  My crazy overachieving mind loves to tell me I am not enough. Today as I ran five miles I had this conversation going on in my head:

Small self (negative, competitive, controlling, judgmental): “Seriously? A 9:30 minute mile? Is that all you’ve got?”

Big self (accepting, intuitive, peaceful):What you are doing today is enough. There will be time to work on pace later when you are fully healed. Take care of yourself.”

Small self:At this rate it really will take you 8 hours to complete the Boston Marathon.”

Big self: “It takes however long it takes. You will be there running and that’s what counts.”

And so it goes. The question is, who do you listen to? I am a BIG SELF follower right now. I trust her. She knows how to keep me healthy and safe. And she knows more than just running. I hope to follow her for a long time.

I’ll drink to that (another good part of my day):


Do your big and small selves (good/evil, obnoxious/calm, whatever you want to call it)  battle it out? Who wins?

Off to fix the hole in my tights from doing that jump,



  1. Congrats on still be able to run Boston! How cool is that!!!

  2. I have loved following you through this entire injury up to today when you got the thumbs up... looking forward to the post-Boston afterglow. It IS enough.

    I had to tell a friend, who literally just got the "yes, your pelvic bone is no longer fractured" from her doc that she could NOT do the half marathon this past Sunday. She said she'd walk it... I know her better, she'd get bored and run... even so, walking 13 miles is no joke.

    I am impressed by the way you worked around this injury (with the PP)... and now you're ready. Good luck!

  3. OMG. I am just like that. And dealing with your same injury, as you know. Sigh.

    Congrats on getting the blessing! That has to feel sooooo good!

    And again thanks for being an inspiration to those of us with torn-up hips. You give me hope.

  4. My small self/big self have battled it out quite a few times as I navigate this whole "running during pregnancy" thing. I hated having to take breathers, slow my pace, cut my distance. I hated not feeling like me. Now as I get closer to the third trimester and a probable cut-off from the doctor, I just cherish every run. Every mile.

    You've been such an inspiration during this recovery, and I can't wait to read about you finishing Boston!

  5. I really enjoy your blog! My family & I are international teachers and currently live in Caracas, Venezuela. I've ran all over Asia and hope to do the same in South America....we head to Costa Rica (Nosara) in 3 weeks for Semana Santa.

    Has anyone ever told you that you look like Teddy from Grey's Anatomy? You really do!

    Poco o poco, keep up the great work!!

  6. My small self is definitely winning out these days. I need to find a way to shut it up for a while though because I'm really tired of it getting in the way.

    Congrats on graduating from PT. That's huge!

  7. Congrats on receiving the go ahead! That's great!

    Very wise that you acknowledge your big self/small self and have the strength to say "NO!" when needed. I struggle with this daily - especially since my own injury!

    I'll be cheering you (and ALL runners) on in Boston! You'll do fantastic!

  8. My small self tells me I am too slow to bother.
    My big self tells I'll get faster. Someday.

  9. Keep it up, you're doing great! Love the blog.

  10. Yeah for fist-bumping PT supporters!

  11. hey Big Girl...have a blast in Boston. Hope to see you there :D

  12. YAA, You get to do Boston! So exciting! And that picture-- You're hilarious!So glad you got to fist bump on your way out!

    My big and small self always battle it out.

  13. Beth I am so happy for you! Congrats on the thumbs up!

    My good self/bad self accompany me on every run. That way I never get lonely, right? :-)

  14. How many shots did that picture take???

    Yes - all of my runs consist of that talk. Though I'm leaning more toward believing my little-self may have a little something on the big-self. I DON"T have to run faster for any reason. I have NOTHING to prove to anyone (I've proved enough to myself).
    Who knows - I may have my voices confused. Because even though I could go faster/longer (that's what she said) I'm not sure if I care that much anymore. I really am happy to 'just be running' most days.

  15. Kovas said exactly what I first thought :) YES!!!

    I also have those little shoulder-sitters who bicker with each other while telling me what they think of me…I am old enough to listen to the 'big self'…most of the time…except when I am running a marathon relay ;-)

    The hip…you are so smart to take such good care of it. A few months and a minute-per-mile slower is not such a big deal :) You are going to have a great Boston!

  16. they battle it out ALL.THE.TIME. My husband often has to intervene with his annoying logic and self control that I love about him of course. He has saved me from myself many many times :)

  17. YAY - you got the official approval from the PT! I say just enjoy it. Even if it isn't your BQ pace, soak up the moment. No matter what pace you run that day, you were fast enough to qualify and that is all that matters. Have a great time!

  18. damn, guess are you a lot better if you can safely stick the landing on that jump!!!
    :-) see you soon my friend!!

  19. My big self has outside help... my sister! If she knows I am injured she hides my running stuff so I have no choice but take a break! I usually listen of my little self :(
    Last time I saw a PT (last year) I begged him to let me get back to racing (good thing he was an athlete and understood ad man was he hot!!!!)

  20. I have suffered 2 stress fx's from running and I can totally relate to every word you wrote! I remember when I got the OK to run again I immediately went to the treadmill and put the thing on 10 for a 6 min pace. My friend shut the machine off and said WTF are you doing?!!! It's very hard! I know how excited you are. I honestly appreciated ever step I take nowadays post-injury. Congrats!

  21. AMEN. so excited for you!!!! keep listening to that big self!

  22. Great post! I'm so happy for you that you got the go ahead from PT! Awesome news. It's hard to listen to Big Self sometimes but Big Self knows best! Good luck!

  23. You go Big Self! And I need your photographer. I always love the pics of you. My five year old just can't capture the moments like those!

  24. Great jumping picture! I've tried to take some similar self-portraits with the timer but can't get the timing right! =)

  25. ah HUGE STINKIN CONGRATS! I believed in you the whole time.

  26. no one wins... ever.

    Constant mental battles here. My compromise is speed work days, I go balls to the wall. Long runs I do with my wife at HER pace. Any runs over 13.1 distance right now we walk/run. Garmin beeps every mile. Every time it beeps we walk. No questions asked. Its the rule.

    So far injuries are going away and our conditioning is right back to normal (Even with the walking... crazy, but it works).

    Be smart, that's all I can tell ya.

  27. I have mental battles All. The. Time.

    It's usually a compromise... running further than I really want to but slowing down before I collapse.

    It's all about balance.

  28. I definitely have those talks with myself all the time, I try to listen to my Big self because my small self gets me in trouble.

    Toni @ runninglovingliving

  29. has an article going live tomorrow about walk breaks. Crazy timing. Check out Brian's "digging a hole in the dirt" analogy.
    I talk to myself before eating dessert. And I always win.

  30. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy to hear the great news. I think we all knew you would make it! Your going to do great! When I run at the gym I park my van so I can see my SUAR sticker from the window right in front of the treadmill. And everytime I start telling myself I'm tired : I tell myself to "Shut Up" and on I go!

  31. The way I see it, the longer you are out there, the longer you have to soak it all in and enjoy your victory lap!

  32. Ha! I love the celebration jump photo! congrats on the thumbs up from the Dr. I recently had similar discussion because of back injury and my 10k. Not going for time but to finish!

  33. I'm sooooooooooooo happy for you! You're going to make the most out of Boston and probably walk away with the most memories of anyone. "Higher Level Athlete" I like the way that sounds and it looks good on you!

    I'm going to bookmark this post so I can refer back to it down the road of recovery to put myself in check.

  34. I win. I always win. I am a competitor damn it!!!!

    Seriously though it depends on the timing with an event. Far enough out from a race and I am pushing, closer to a race and I will back off.

  35. Congratulations! You are most definitely capable and a "higher level athlete!"

    I have very similar internal dialogue except my voices are named "fit girl" and "fat girl."

  36. Dude, you can run a 9:30/mile while coming off an injury. You are my hero. I haven't been able to get that speedy while healthy. Keep listing to the Big Self - she'll take you far!

  37. Go big self. Be smart.

    I have to say that my injury seriously humbled me. And I can also say that right now, I have NO desire to do any races in 2011. I want to get it right, once and for all, so I'm pouring all my energy into form. And you know what, it's something that has me just as charged as racing. So I think I've found my big self and I'm hoping she sticks around until 2012. Then all bets are off!

  38. I just want to know how the crap you were able to time that picture. Seriously, how many times did it take you? :)

    I can admit it.... Small self is winning out with me lately. Stupid Cipro....

  39. Your big self is so sensible. Listen to her. I don't think she'll lead you astray.

  40. Without the small self, we can't take nearly as much satisfaction with being wise enough to listen to big self. Kinda like a hero needs a villain to define itself. You have killed it with your approach and attitude in this recovery - Beantown earned.

    I've not gotten any fist-bumps from my PT yet. I suspect, however, that he and my Orthopedist fist-bump when they find out I'm training for another race. Repeat customers are good for business.

  41. Big self= adult.Maybe not as much fun, but always the better one to listen to. Small self= dumbass, kind of like a teenager. fun but has really bad ideas.

  42. I listen to both of them. My Small Self may get me into trouble from time to time but without her (Her name is Tabitha and she's a bitch... The good kind), I never would have started running, or run for Mrs. California, or competed on WipeOut, or flown a plane solo, or learned to drive, or gotten a degree.

    When I register for a run, I know I'm going to be the one who breaks the tape, but that Small Self says "Screw everyone else! They're just here so you don't have to run this race by yourself! Just run your race and do your best!"

    Small Self is the Diva and it never occurs to her that I can't do something.

    Sure, Big Self has to clean up the many messes that Small Self gets us into, but Big Self is "Strong, like Bull!!" And I wouldn't cross her either!

  43. Small Self vs. Big Self: One Bad-Ass Boxing Match

    Round 1: "The Snooze Alarm"
    (a.k.a. "The Daily Barnburner")
    Round 2: "Getting the Kids & Self Ready for School"
    (Small Self: "Is 6:45 too early to want to throw myself off a cliff just because the 7 year old spilled an entire gallon of milk on the dog?!!!)
    Round 3: "Why I'm the most wonderful/crappiest 3rd Grade Teacher in the World: The Epic Saga".
    Round 4: "Run 6 miles, or wash the dishes?" (Big Self's Bum Rush--running wins.Hell, I'm a runner, not a dish washer!!)
    Round 5: "Insomnia" or "Small Self's Bare-Knuckle Boxing" (Small Self is up worrying about termites,a deadly disease finding its way out of the CDC,whether or not deodorant causes armpit cancer . . . or . . not doing the dishes)


  44. Congrats SUAR!

    Big self has been in better control lately, but little self elbows big self in the ribs every so often. Then big self challenges little self to put her "big girl" panties on and little self replies: "nah, I go commando".

    It's a never ending battle.

  45. Can I just say your photo looks like you're eating the ceiling?!?! Too funny. So happy for you that you'll be running Boston after all your frustrations and keep up the great work inspiring and heartily entertaining the rest of us!

  46. Yay for running the Boston. Dunno how to balance the big self/little self; in reading many runners' blogs, I think if I could bottle my general indifference towards time and pace and all that, I could retire on the profits.

    Is it wrong that I really admire the phrase "fart with joy"?

  47. I'm so glad I read this today before my first run after a long involuntary break from running. It helped me listen to my Big Self better than usual - Thanks!

  48. OMG! WHERE do you get one of those Big Selves? I could REALLY use one of those. Two years of chronic injury and I STILL can't find mine. :)

    SO glad you found yours and more over - you LISTEN to it! that is GREAT!

  49. I call my small self my "negative self" and my big self my "wiser self." They talk to each other all the time and part of the journey, I found, is resetting my "default" position from negative to wise. It's not easy! In fact, it may be harder than the actual running!

    Great post ... and good luck in Boston!


  50. I am SO happy that you got the proverbial blessing! and that you are BOSTON bound. What a journey! Please do humble yourself, listen to that big self inside your head as you hold it high in Boston..being there IS THE accomplishment, especially after the recent months! Soak it up and enjoy!

  51. what wave/corral are you in? i tried to run today and couldn't b/c of the pain so i might be in the same boat as you on the 18th. would be nice to have each other to keep from getting caught up and injuring ourselves more.

  52. Listen to your big self! After knee surgery, I kept myself in perspective by reminding myself of the big picture...I plan on being a runner for the rest of my life! It was frustrating at times, but the patience paid off. I was able to start running the Sept. after my surgery & 1 year later, I killed my goal race (Imogene Pass Run)! When I ran the Boston, my time was a 1/2 hour slower than my qualifying time due to life time did not change the fact that my Boston marathon was an incredible experience!! I was able to high-five people the last 4 miles (I think my hand hurt the most post-race). Enjoy the experience.

  53. This post is actually just what I needed! Now that I'm dealing with an annoying IT band injury, my big self and small self are really getting to me.
    I am walking and barely running and I just want to be back to where I was. But, I know that I have to take this time and baby step my way back to health. It's just really hard, as I know you know!!
    I am so happy that you will be in Boston in 19 days! Woohoo! So awesome!

  54. Great news. I am very happy for you

  55. Great post just what I was looking for.