Monday, October 20, 2014

A few thoughts, here and there.

In 14 days, I will be in a corral, at the starting line of the New York Marathon.  Or not.  I have an entry, which I worked very hard to secure by running a qualifying time for the half.  That half marathon was one of my proudest races, one I will never forget.  Someday I hope to run a half as fast as that one again.  My run speed has taken a hit in the past year or so.  First with an injury that kept me out of the sport for 10 months, then getting into Ironman.  There isn't a lot of room for a lot of raw speedwork during IM training.  I know my body, what it is capable of, its limitations.  Someday I'll revisit the goal of a fast half, but right now IM is what I am up to. 

2014 was awesome.  IMCdA, Fat Salmon open water swim, Black Diamond Oly and Beat the Blerch half marathon.  Then...BAM.  Plantar fasciitis reared its disgustingly ugly head.  Again.  I had PF in my left foot in 2012, which forced the 10 months off running.  With lots of rehab and acupuncture, I was back in the game in 2013.  Everything was great until it hit in the right foot, hard, about a month ago.  Of course the worst day was right after we bought our plane tickets to NYC.  To run, or not to run.  That was the question.  An iconic race like NYC - I don't want to miss it.  Especially after how hard I worked to get there.  On the other hand, my training took a hit, missing key build weeks.  Sometimes you can run through PF.  But when its so bad that it feels like someone is stabbing the bottom of your foot...not so much.  I took a couple weeks off and cross trained, rehabbed it, cortisoned it and acupunctured it.  I did a couple test runs.  One 3 miles (no).  Later one 8 miles (ok).  Then one 13 miles (ok but not super great).  I started thinking in my head...I do not want to even try to run this marathon.  What?  That is not me.  Anyone who knows me well knows I am pretty determined when it comes to running and triathlon.  Why wasn't I motivated to make it to the finish line of one of the most amazing marathons?  As with most runners, runs are when we do a lot of deep thinking and that 13 miler was full of deep thoughts.  Where was my usual badassery?  Where was my mojo?  Why was it occurring to me that it might be better to spectate this one instead of running it?

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Or maybe an epiphany.  I don't want to be hurt anymore.  I don't want to hurt in body, and I especially don't want to hurt in mind.  Some of you may know I recently left a job I was doing for 2 years.  So if you don't want to hear anymore about it...then read no further.  But the rest of the blog is my catharsis.  Getting some things off my chest that I need to release.  Is it selfish?  I don't know.  Can't I just let it go?  I'm trying.  So here goes.

I'm reluctant to go into great detail.  People reading this who know me will know why.  I will say that I loved many aspects of my old job.  That's why I am still doing it, except now I am working in a different environment, one that is amazing and makes me happier than I ever thought I could be.  But one cannot work anywhere that makes them unhappy.  One cannot be in a relationship or situation that makes them unhappy.  Everyone has their breaking point.  You try to keep it together, to make it work.  You try and try.  You don't accept when things fall through, or there is lack of follow through.  You try to make it right.  Words are said, you are cut down.  Again and again.  You train, you try to find joy in things like running that you used to find joy in.  You want to know my breaking point?  When I had a panic attack during a run.  This actually happened twice and the second time it was really bad.  I couldn't breathe at all.  I had to stop.  I was crying, trying to breathe, trying to calm down.  I had passed a friend on the trail.  We smiled and waved to each other.  She looked so beautiful, and happy.  Running.  She was free.  A thought popped in my head.  I used to be like that.  I used to run happy and free.  My runs?  They had become my escape.  I WAS running from something.  And that's when it happened.  I totally broke down.  I stopped, cried, regained my breathing.  Deep breaths.  I made it the few miles back home.  And that was it.  That was the moment I had to look in the mirror and say "I matter."  I am worthwhile, I matter. 

Did I leave the job the in the best way possible?  Probably not. Not giving 2 weeks notice was unprofessional.  But let me tell you this.  Desperation makes people do things differently than if they were in a calm state.  And ultimately, employees get disgruntled.  They leave.  Its capitalism.  Especially employees who have been pushed to the edge.  And sometimes you have to do what is right for yourself, for your family.  Because me as an unhappy wife and mother isn't good for anybody.  And my family is who I care most about.  They matter.  I matter.

The following weeks after leaving were emotional.  I had NO plan.  I just knew something needed to change.  Fortunately things fell into after another.  And now, a few months later, I can say that I am healing.  I am better.  There is less anxiety.  I am happier.  And I matter. 

So where will I be in 2 weeks?  I don't know.  But whatever happens, I am content with it. My PF will heal, life and training will go on.  I am in a good place.  I am happier, my family is happier.  I can breathe again. 


Paula Kiger said...

I am so glad you shared this, and I know it wasn't easy (although catharsis usually is good in the long, um, RUN). I am freelancing on a part-time team (telecommuting) and on boss's day someone said "let's all write one sentence about what the boss has meant to us." I said "she is the first person in a decade to thank me and mean it." When she said "REALLY? I said "okay, maybe five years." Someone else chimed in with a similar sentiment. And it's not necessarily "thank you" that I needed but "I value you and I know how much you love this cause / organization." Thank you again for sharing; so happy to be a part of your new direction.

Coach Rebecca said...

Thank you Paula. Everyone should feel they have value. Everyone should be part of something that reinforces that sentiment. I am so happy you are part of the new direction too :)

Cay Miller said...

Hi Rebecca-
Wow, you've been through some big changes - new house, and now a new job! My husband, who is a National Park Service ranger, worked at a park where he busted his tail and was totally committed to the park mission. However, the culture ofthe park was terrible, and he was never appreciated. He was in such a rut! A chance came for him to move to a different park AND get a promotion. I urged him to apply for it. He was terribly afraid of the huge change, and never thought he stood a chance against his competition. Well, he did get the job and while it's not perfect, he does have a boss that values his opinion and input. Like Paula, I work for a wonderful boss who is very appreciative of my efforts and accomplishments. In one of his moments of angst, I told him that he deserved to work for a boss who appreciated him, just as I am lucky enough to do. As sort of a reverse mirror to my husband's experience, I could have moved to a different school district, but chose to stay here for the remainder of my career, even though I would have made a lot more money if I had changed districts. Why did I stay? Because I knew that I was blessed with a great principal, and that money couldn't replace the respect and affection that I receive here. I am really glad to hear that you are much happier in your new situation. You deserve it!

Kathy Fowler said...

I know that must have been hard for you to put on paper. Thank you for being brave enough to put yourself out there and I am so happy that you are finding your happy place again! Good luck in New York! I can't wait to hear how it goes.