New Feature: Mile 23
The other weekend, I was having a bear of a day. Nothing was going quite right and I was angrily driving errands when the concept for this particular feature was born.
Occasionally I do sponsored posts or product reviews and while that is an important part of being a blogger, I strive to hold on to that authenticity and occasionally just say something that needs to be said about something I care about; exactly what one might say at mile 23 of a marathon when the pain has set in and defenses are down.
Also, these monthly installments will be accompanied by the worst possible race photos I can find of me because, the truth can be ugly and so is Mile 23.
So without further ado, I present to you, Mile 23, Post One.
When You Don`t Feel Fit In February
I was on a run this weekend when I excitedly proclaimed that I am starting to feel like myself as an athlete again – the agility, endurance, power and that feeling that you are running at the pace you are actually running at.
When I returned from my off-season, this was not the case. I mentioned it politely in passing in my Performance Reports, but it legitimately got me down, even though I KNOW BETTER.
The reality is, off-seasons are vital and everyone knows that. What few people discuss is the self worth that athletes tend to attach to performance and when you return with increased fervor but less top end speed, you can wrongfully question your abilities as an athlete.
I am going to tell you a story that proves everything I am outlining and of which I am certainly not proud.
It was one month into my training and I had a 5 KM tempo planned for the day. We had just landed in Florida from a chilly Ontario and Mark and I decided to go out on a run.
Here is what you saw on Instagram:
Here is what actually went down.
I was having an extremely off day and was not acclimatized to the heat and a host of other excuses. Anyways, I was huffing and struggling to hit the paces and Mark was sailing along in front of me. Suddenly, I had had enough and I yelled out I AM FAT AND SLOW! and proceeded to struggle along like a pathetic little soul.
Mark turned around, mid-tempo and looked at me incredulously. I had never used the F word about myself with him before and it was especially insulting as we were visiting my youngest sister who genuinely struggles with anorexia. It was inappropriate in every way. Bless his heart, he doesn`t coddle me and we finished the tempo and discussed my outburst. By discussed, I mean he laughed at me and I apologized for what I said when I was tempoing.
The bottom line to this story is that sometimes I struggle with attaching self worth with performance. But the fact is, my fitness DID come back and I am no more of a person than when I was struggling with paces that feel easy now.
What I am saying is that athletes are, especially in the area where I live, left feeling down about themselves right over a time of year when the sun isn`t shining and when activities both physical and social tend to be more limited due to cold and snow. I noticed a change in the conversations in my social media this winter and maybe it was because I was just paying more attention to it.
All I`m saying is, winter sucks and so does feeling unfit. But both need to happen for balance and so sometimes, all we can do is take our vitamin D and remember that we are so much more than the performances we produce.
And with that, I am off to race Sea to Sea! I will be out of range for about a week or so but I will be giving a full report when I get back. I have attached the tracking information below:
Main race website: Will have track link live
This is the link to the 2017 tracker. will be live when the race starts (all teams)
Race HQ Facebook page
Main SPOT page for team Get Out There Magazine