I’m debating whether or not to go on in endurance events. I noticed a few things lately that have me wondering whether I even want to run another marathon, ultra, half or full duathlon, etc.
I have rules for endurance, and they’re simple ones to understand:
- Keep it fun. If it’s not fun, drop out of everything.
- Protect your house. House is a synonym for “health and body,” and it’s not just physical health. It’s spiritual and emotional health.
- Maintain connection. What left me lonely in the past was devoting so much attention to the sport I burned bridges and shut people out. Never again.
- Don’t obsess over data. Use Strava/GPS for distance only.
- When I run 20+ miles, or bike 50+, don’t come home and eat everything. Have nutrient dense food on hand, leftovers from last night, or make eggs and oatmeal so I don’t go crazy.
- Remember the Scheme of Things. Think if a race fits into a training plan, or is it vanity? There’s a 6B too: just because I have a date open, don’t shove a race in there.
Well, I violated a few of those. With my right foot, it wasn’t fun. I kept going, even though my foot was bone on bone and severely screwed up. I was starting to lose connection. I was looking at pace per mile on Strava instead of miles ran. And I was starting to fill the calendar with races even though they didn’t fit the scheme of things. When I get the go ahead to run again, I have to decide if I’ll commit to those rules. If I can’t, then…
Also, I’m having moments with Chosen Family that are providing me with what I really need. Very early in the Bible, God looks at his creation and said “it’s not good for humans to be alone.” Later, the book of Hebrews says “let’s not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are already doing.” In April, I was with Donna and Shelby at New Holland Brewing and those two were channeling love into me. In May, I fell asleep on Shelby. Later in May, I’m with Donna at her 50th birthday party meeting new people! In June, I was with Kelly, Christina, Kate, and a few others, and in a moment of pure love, Kelly looked at me with love in her eyes and squeezed my hand. It’s not just moments like that. It’s 3.5 hour dinners with Shelby. It’s coffee with clergy like Jen and Beth. It’s coffee with Mama Krista from Grace. It’s Sunday mornings at Grace. It’s time at Salon Mia Bella, with a staff welcoming me to the Sisterhood. So many more!
Let’s look at some other things. I’m in graduate school. Getting my MSW and becoming a licensed MSW will help my career and get me out of a dead end job. And I’ve been talking with my adviser over this, and she told me I needed to figure this out. Besides, when I return to school, not only do I have 13,000 assignments due every week (it feels like it), I’ll have an internship that occupies 12 hours of my time every week. Not to mention the actual class time. That has to come first, or second to my paid job.
What about my volunteer obligations? Working with Mama Wendy at Out On the Lakeshore is really important to me. She’s Mama, and she’s the best surrogate Mama I’ve had since my Mom died back in 2010. She does a lot for me, even though we’re not around each other as often as I’d like.
What about groups like Gender SAFE and PFLAG? Those are crucial to me, and I don’t want to miss them because I have a race going on. Besides, that’s where I have Mama Krista A, Mama Sara, and Mama Ruth, as well as my best friends. I don’t want to lose that.. not now, not ever.
What about Grace Episcopal? This is where I found God again. This is where I found a God that wasn’t out to kill me. It really helps that our Rector is a lesbian, the assistant is gay, and me, a trans girl, is part of a great family that includes plenty of LGBT. Even here, I have lots of Mamas.
And what about me? Will my new foot let me run that far again? When I saw the orthopedic surgeon on June 17, he said to consider shorter distances. At first, I thought about half-marathon or 25K (15.5 miles), but even then, I’d have to build back up. I’m also considering my life isn’t the train wreck it was in the past, and that running all the time made up for the fact I was severely depressed and in a dead end job. But life is better now, and I don’t need to fill the void. And I’m considering too that there are other ways I can get an intense workout without dragging my rear end over X miles on a few particular Sundays. I can swim, I can ride, I can take part in triathlon (pending swim lessons). There’s other workouts like more intense yoga and Pilates, or Orange Theory Fitness, or Barre.
In other words, or the TL;DR of all this… I have much to consider before I whip out my debit card and sign up for another marathon.