Friday, March 22, 2013

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

I love racing and competing. I love the excitement of waiting for the gun to go off, the concentration that goes into pushing through those middle miles, and best of all, I love the agony of the final mile and putting everything that's left into one final kick to the finish. 

To me, that's what racing should be - an all out effort and nothing less. 

So when I realized Thursday morning that my hamstring injury will make it impossible to race this weekend's Chi Town Half Marathon, it kinda broke my heart.


Earlier this week, I had a feeling my legs wouldn't hold up for a half marathon, so I switched down to the 10k event. Thinking I could still race a shorter distance - and maybe even place in my age group - I did everything I could to rehab the area as quickly as possible. I iced the area, elevated my legs, wore compression tights, took ibuprofin, chowed down on beets, spinach, berries and such. I even took an ice bath after slow, easy runs. 

Eddie doesn't get the point of ice baths.

 None of it seemed to work. This week, I've been unable to run faster than 8:30 pace without pain kicking in or even sit at my desk at work for longer periods of time without major discomfort. I had to come to terms with the fact that I'm not able to race any distance this weekend. 

It's particularly frustrating because I know I'm fit enough to run a great time if I wasn't injured. I was pretty disappointed, but after thinking about it for awhile, I began to see that there was still a way this race could be saved . . . 

Just because I'm not able to "race" the way I'd like, doesn't mean I can't participate. And just because I can't get a PR, doesn't mean I can't help my mom get a new PR. She runs around 11:30 pace so 6.2 miles of that should be very doable for me, even with my current injury. 

So despite being unable to line up on Sunday morning with my usual race goals, I'm still very excited to put on my Oiselle singlet and shorts and help someone else achieve their race goals.  When life hands you lemons, make lemonade - there's always a bright side, a silver lining. You might have to adjust or re-frame what it is you're aiming for, but in the end, you'll be just fine.

Like that Fun song, Carry On, says: "We are shining stars/We are invincible/We are who we are/On our darkest day/When we’re miles away/Sun will come/We will find our way home."

So before I wrap this up, just a quick shout out for my friend Sheila's blog, SMW Roadrunner. I'm thrilled to be her featured MKE athlete this week, so check it out!

Your turn: Tell me about a time you've turned lemons into lemonade! Or, if you have any tips for healing a hamstring injury, I'd like to hear them!

- ST

10 comments:

  1. Last year for the Big Chill RACC, I was dealing with some medical issues, but I was feeling better & decided that a run & being with my friends was what I needed. Ran the 1st 5K....was so miserable I seriously debating dropping out. But then realized that if I took a break, my friend Sara would catch up to me & that I could run it in with her. I ended up pacing Sara to a huge PR, she said she couldnt have done it without me. That was the highlight if my day!!!

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    1. That is an excellent story and a perfect example of turning lemons into lemonade! I remember how thrilled Sara was with her time that day - kudos to you for helping her PR!

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  2. I think running with your mom is a great idea! You'll have company so you won't be focusing on your own injury or pace, and you'll probably feel just as great (if not better) at the end! Good luck to you and your mom!!

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    1. Thanks Danielle! It's been awhile since I've run with my mom during a race so this will be a treat :)

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  3. Sun, you are such an inspiration! I love that you found the silver lining of your injury. Your mom will be SO excited to have company during her run. I know the race will be something that you guys will remember happily :D

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    1. Thanks Alex! I'm happy to say my mom got her new 10k PR despite a few race course issues. More on that in the race recap!

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  4. Oh Eddie! I miss that little guy and his ways :)

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    1. He misses you too! I think he misses our movie nights and getting to socialize with all the ladies :)

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  5. I'm so sorry you weren't able to do the half, but I love your outlook! I hope you and your mom had a blast!!

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    1. Thanks Laurie - despite a few race course issues it was a nice day and my mom got her new PR!

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