Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Key to Happiness and Guess Where I'm Going? (hint: it's 8,241 miles away)

The theme for this month (okay, well it's almost next month, so the theme for next month) is...


Yeah, so damn cliche.

But, it is truly the key to life and eternal happiness. Because if you can start to let go of the way you think things should be and accept how they actually ARE, you will be infinitely more content.

Letting go does NOT mean giving up. They are two very different things. It's more about acceptance than it is about apathy and laying down and becoming a total victim of your life.

Case in point. This injury of mine. It was making me crazy. Every single run has been a sufferfest of frustration because I am not progressing fast enough. Or, I am not where I used to be. Or, I will never be where I used to be.

Every run felt sucky, not just physically, but also mentally. If fact, I had a slight temper tantrum on the trail on Saturday because nothing felt good and everything felt like shit and I was hot and tired and people were passing me and it felt like I had to work for every.single.fucking.step (only Ken witnessed the tantrum, so I'm not sure it really happened). As I continued to climb up this small mountain at a snail's pace, I thought, "Screw this. I'm done running for awhile. I need a break. Maybe running just isn't my thing."

Well, we all know that's not true.

Coming down the mountain once my heart rate wasn't 300 bpms anymore and my leg wasn't screaming, I re-thought my idea to quit running. Instead I thought, "NO! That's not me. I don't give up. I'm going to continue to recover from this injury like is my JOB." I'm pretty dramatic.

What I ended up doing with that mess of emotions is this. I LET GO. This week I've been holding back when I run. I have been running slower and at a pace I can sustain without walking. I've accepted that right now and as I recover I'm slower. But I'm still a runner, dammit. I decided to be kind to myself about this. Maybe my speed will come back, maybe it won't. But, I want to love running and I don't want to be frustrated every single time I go out.

And, guess what? Not only have my runs felt really good (my leg still gets tired but that's not going to kill me), I am running at faster paces without even meaning to. Once I accepted being slower, it was a breakthrough somehow. MAGIC.

This is me running my new slower pace, which allowed me to run for 3.5 miles without stopping.
MAJOR milestone from where I was just a couple of weeks ago.

My lesson for today.

#1 - Stop trying to control something that is making you crazy the more you try to control it and the less it is working

#2 - Be kind to yourself

#3 - Accept where you are and where things are. Sometimes this means being willing to let go of your expectations of how things SHOULD be.

#4 - Realize everyone struggles, no matter what your social media feeds say

I love running again. I'm happy.

Oh, and guess what? I'm going to Thailand for 12 days in November!! I'm going to play with elephants! I'm going to eat street food! I'm going to get $10 massages without happy endings! I'm going to meet a Buddhist monk! I'm going to make sure my son is still alive! I'm not going to hang out in caves! I'm not going to drink the water and get giardia and diarrhea!

Tell me one thing you're hanging onto that you're going to let go of this week (magic will happen, I promise)

Last place you traveled to? Nevis/St. Kitts

Dream vacation? Thailand and going back to Greece. Morocco.



  1. Oh, how I needed this! I've been struggling too. I had a stroke this spring, and logic tells me that I should be happy and grateful just to be able to run. I'm slow and I'm frustrated. I keep pulling my calf muscles and hobbling through I need to remember what a joy it is to be outside and running.

  2. So happy for you!! After a really serious injury last year (non running related!) I have learned this lesson :to love where I am and all that I GET to do. Take a listen to a podcast episode about my recovery if you like.

  3. I've been fighting this for the past year and a half. The hardest thing about it is that my body occasionally throws me a good run. Like that 10 miler I ran in April where I didn't have to walk and finished in 1:28. While I was thrilled with that, it would probably be easier for me mentally if stuff like that didn't happen!

  4. I just found out yet another painted furniture store is opening in my city which ain’t big. I’m trying not to take it personally but it will take me a day or two. Plus I’m also struggling with running motivation so there’s that.
    Myrtle Beach
    Anywhere I can be irresponsible for a bit.

  5. I need to let go of how much I’m working out. I want to work out 4-6 x a week but the reality has been quite different lately with an illness and deficiencies holding me back.

  6. Beth, I still am hearing some frustration, like you said.....let it go and it will come back. You are runner, sorry to tell you, and if nothing else during your recovery (you WILL recover), adhere to a famous phrase: Shut Up and Run.
    Embrace the improvements, embrace the challenge to come back and enjoy being able to run as many that would want to can not. We are blessed that we are able to run, no matter how quick we are or how much pain there may be at times.
    You have Thailand to look forward to, enjoy!!

  7. This is great to see. Facebook hasn't been showing me your posts so I need to catch up but I'm glad your doing better. I started following you when I first started running and now I'm getting old and slow and in perimenopause and it sucks . So high five to us. Have a great trip! Btw, I started blogging when I got injured in January and I'm amazed at the awesomeness of the blog world. Cheers!

  8. I'm headed to Thailand in November for 10 days too!! Love traveling anywhere and everywhere.

  9. I'm so glad you've decided to let go. I know how hard it is. I have the type of personality where I plan everything so I understand how challenging it must be but VERY cathartic!

    For me, the one thing I'm going to let go of this week is my guilt over eating badly this past few days. I've been working very hard on losing weight since the middle of April and all was going well. Then I had some processed carbs (my downfall) and it's been very difficult getting mentally back in the game. I need to let go of the guilt and get back there because I only have 30 more lbs to lose. I've lost over 40 so far.

    The last place I traveled was Wells, Maine. I just came back this morning from a 2-day trip.

    My dream vacation is happening in December - 8 nights in Curacao. I've never been there but went to Aruba this past January and since they are near each other and very similar, I can't wait!