A Change of Plans

It’s funny. I know that as far as life goes, we have very little say in the way things work out. We decide our own path and choose our own journey, but outcomes are very rarely in our control.

This is why fitness appeals to me so much. We choose our own fitness journeys and in many cases, with a little determination, the outcomes are within our control. It takes focus, commitment and more than a little motivation, but, when you want something badly enough, in most cases, you can go for it. A lesson I relearned last week after the Rock n’Roll half marathon put things into perspective though: while we can choose our own fitness outcomes, sometimes there are limits along the way. Let’s backtrack.

finish

A lot of you have seen this picture. I shared it a lot last week. It’s a proud moment. Right there I had just crossed the finish line with a new PR, 1:45:12 for a long half marathon course (13.31miles). I was stoked and crying, I couldn’t have felt prouder…I felt like I could conquer anything.

However, yet again, 1 hour after the race finish, I ended up in the medical tent. Body temperature dropped to 95.2 degrees (that’s .2 degrees above hypothermia for anyone wondering!), shaking uncontrollably with a pulse oxygen level of 90. Not awesome. Not fun. Potentially very dangerous. My body lost control of itself and it was a frightening place to be.

I learned a lesson that day that I’ve been relearning throughout the week since the race as we have attempted to figure out what exactly went wrong. Not everything is in my control. I can only push myself so far. This is a daunting thing to digest, especially as a distance runner with very specific training goals for the year. I trained well. I nourished well. I followed the rules and I still hit a wall.

The lesson here? We have limits. And sometimes, those limits require a reevaluation of our goals, of what matters and why we’re doing what we’re doing. I run because I love it. I don’t want to lose the release and focus it provides. However, I need to modify my goals if I want running and fitness to remain a part of my journey. I have to change my plans.

I’m explaining all of this to give a little background as to why I will be lowering my mileage in the upcoming months. I will not be completing my marathon, which had become a major life goal of mine, something I was really looking forward to. I will be dropping down to the half marathon – at the least.

This is hard to digest. But, my goal through this blog is to share my journey…the ups and the downs. While this seems like a major down (that I’ve been digesting for the last week, leading to fewer posts than normal!), it’s also an opportunity to evaluate what matters – to course correct and to find a balance. That’s what life’s really about. Changes make us stronger, they allow us to set new goals and to reach for new heights.

What changes have you had to make in your journey? Are you following what’s best for you, not the goals others have set for you? What’s your motivation? These questions should be at the base of every new goal you set. Sometimes a course correction can be a blessing, even when it’s hard.

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