Running. Lifting.Blogging. and LiviNG lIFE IN THE hAWKEYE sTATE!!!

ON THAT HIGH

ON THAT HIGH

    Clearly, still struggling to come up with the perfect title that really captures what the post is about. Probably because I never know exactly where these posts are going until I'm midway through. With that said, how great is it to have run after run go exactly according to plan with no awkward moments, no falls, and no point(s) where you feel like you physically/mentally can't go on. It is the best feeling in the world. And it's a feeling that I know all to well is fleeting, elusive, and something that you're always going to be chasing after. Yes, we all know that it's really those super hard/challenging and often times down right atrocious runs that build our character/motivation/fitness. But, no one can deny the fact that it feels a million times better when you're able to get in the zone and have a run where everything goes your way. Your pace is on point, form is decent, you actually run the distance you set out to run, you finally nail that PR that has been just out of reach for forever. Or, in Caitlyn's world: You stay on your feet, don't get stopped by a train, and avoid hitting the panic button every time an awkward/anxiety producing situation presents itself.

    Thursdays run captured this feeling perfectly. I knew going into the run that I wasn't going to be hitting any PRs or trying to have the type of run that is so epic that it should be narrated by Morgan freaking Freeman. It was what has become for me a typical "short" outside run of 6.5 miles with 5 hills in total that can be a real drag, especially after a super intense leg day. However, I went in with the attitude that I was going to run as fast as I could...and never give up on myself...even when my calves felt like they were on fire. There were times when I felt I wasn't going nearly as fast as I could. There were time when I was over it and wanted to just stop and pout about how uncomfortable/painful this run was compared to my previous runs. At the same time, all of these shitty moments were completely overshadowed by the moments when I felt fast, strong, and capable. When I knew slowing down was an acceptable option for the average person, but not for me, not this time on this run. Yeah, it sucked to find out that I was less than 30 seconds away from hitting another 10K PR. But, what would have sucked even more was stressing out the entire run chasing that PR instead of just enjoying the run (even when I wanted nothing more than to lay in the grass and make sweat angels).

    Full transparency, I wrote the first two and last paragraphs of this post on Thursday. I have really been loving blogging consistently every other day as opposed to forcing myself to write a new post every day. However, last night I was listening to the latest 'Run Selfie Repeat' podcast and mid way through I just got really motivated/inspired to start today's post a little early. That, and I was trying to distract myself from just how pissed off the topic of the podcast was making me (plus it was close to 40 minutes long...so I felt like I might as well be productive while I listened to it). A quick recap of the story behind the podcast for those of you who actually care about the high levels of body shaming we have in our country today...and it's not just in the running or fitness communities either. Latoya Snell, an avid runner/blogger/chef, was heckled toward the very end of the New York City marathon. A man literally walked up to her while she was running and said, "It's gonna take your fat ass forever to finish, huh?" I realize this is a very short condensed version of her story and the podcast that was done on it...but, how the hell in 2017 do we as a society think it is okay for stuff like this to go down?

    Needless to say, even with doing some blogging while listening to that podcast, I went to bed thinking about the topic of body shaming and my own personal experiences with it. I though about how I wish I had taken Latoya's approach and been able to deal with the after effect of those experiences right then and there (in the moment so to speak) instead of just bottling it up and letting it affect me for years and years. So, when I got up this morning to run, I used those experiences along with the Latoya's story to push myself all the way to another new 10K PR. Granted, I only shaved like 10 seconds off Monday's time...but I still feel damn proud that I was able to do that. 7 miles seemed to just fly by this morning. And with each mile that passed, each time I convinced myself that I was strong enough, good enough to be running this distance at this pace. I though of every single person who has called me every single derogatory name on both sides of the spectrum (from "that fat girl" to "that anorexic girl"). I thought of how none of them could even imagine themselves running for that many miles...how I would love to see the look on their faces/what they had to say if they could see me now.

    Because here's the thing about people who body shame other people, they do it to get a reaction, to make you feel like shit about yourself and further lower your already shitty self-esteem and confidence. And what's even worse, there are people out there who, once you regain that confidence or lose weight/get into better shape, will have the nerve to say that THEY are the reason you did it. That without them and their comments, YOU would have never had the courage or desire to make that change in your life for the better. And maybe for some people, that's true. But, at the same time, taking that perspective entirely detracts from all the hard work (physically/mentally/emotionally) that you as individual went through to get to where you are today. Instead, the perspective I like to take is this one, "I got here, I kept the weight off, I became a runner, I got stronger, etc. In spite of the hurtful and disgusting comments you made about my body. In spite of all the people who chose to treat me differently because of my weight."

    And tomorrow, when I attempt to run 9 miles (my longest run as of right now is 8.1 miles), that's going to be exactly what I use to keep me motivated to push through the pain when things get tough. The fact that, according to these people, I shouldn't be in the shape that I'm in today and I shouldn't be running the distances that I'm running at the pace that I am. I should still be that weak, shy, self-conscious, overweight girl that didn't have the strength to stand up to those people. Every time I lace up my running shoes, crank my music up and hit the pavement...it's a win for me and a loss for every single person who felt they had the right to body shame me at each and every stage of my fitness journey.

     I'm not naive to the fact that this "high" aka string of really good/fun/normal/badass runs has to come to an end at some point. And I know that my refusal to run short 2-5 mile runs on the regular when it comes to running outside or even taking consistent rest days may lead these good time to come to an end sooner rather than later. I know that in many ways I'm doing at least half a million things when it comes to running/training smart. But, I am really trying to live that No Regrets, No Excuses lifestyle. And to me, that means pushing myself every single damn run/workout...even when binge watching 'Young & Hungry' on Netflix sounds a whole hell of a lot more appealing than getting up at 4:23 a.m. to hit the pavement by 5:15. The weather doesn't always cooperate and sometimes my body just isn't in the mood to run long and fast. But, those things are no excuse for me to not show up and put in the work. Because, there hasn't been a single run or workout that I have done and later regretted..even that 3 mile run this past summer when I came home a bloody mess. No regrets there...and certainly no excuses because I didn't have to finish that run...but I did.

 
IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL

IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL

HARDER, FASTER, STRONGER

HARDER, FASTER, STRONGER