What Doesn’t Drown Me Makes Me Wanna Fly

Sometimes life deals you a funny hand. For instance, I love to run although I am not the best. I don’t let that stop me. I try to counter my concerns by being a prepared runner. I read a ton of blogs:

What to eat while training, before the race, after the race…

What exercises help your lower legs, your core, your breathing…

Speed drills, endurance drills, faster, slower, up the hills, down the trail…

What kind of shoes to wear, does your underwear ride up, do your inserts fall out…

There is so much information and (trying to be as best prepared as I can) I take it all in, I digest it all and then…I follow none of the advice. Why is that? Ma used to say: “The highway to hell is paved with good intentions.” Not that I liken running to hell, though sometimes it can feel that way. Things get in the way. Life gets in the way. Running is my escape. For an hour or two a couple of times a week it is just me, the path in front of me and the sound of my breath as I try to maintain my cadence. The world falls away and is replaced by happy thoughts and sweat.  Why bog that up with how everyone else feels I should be running? So I read these blogs in hopes that one day I will strive to be a better runner and utilize the words of wisdom from those who have gone before me. We’ll see how that works out for me.

Recently, I read a blog that mentioned “getting outside of your head” for a better run. Basically it instructed me to let my thoughts fall away and let my brain be still. I tried that once. Hardy har har. For those of you who know me – I am ADD (or whatever equivalent there is for adults). I have zero doubt. My attention span is like a ping pong game. My thoughts are everywhere. At any given time I have one primary thought going on in the middle of my mind and four other sub thoughts that tickle at the edges of my peripheral brain without requiring full attention. I compartmentalize my thoughts like books on a shelf, taking them down and running my finger along the spine while trying to determine if I want to read it or save it for later but never really taking my mind off of it completely. Like the puppy from Disney’s “Up”, I have a lot of squirrels throughout my day. I have had people ask me why I don’t seek help for this issue. Simple – I believe that scattered characteristic is a vital part of who I am, I am happy with who I am and it would terrify me to change a dynamic part of my personality all for the sake of making others more comfortable with my inner clockworks. (I have just realized I chased a squirrel – writing about running and then finding my way to my lack of an attention span…HA!). So the “getting outside of my head” concept: no, not gonna happen. What I find is this – my first mile(ish) kind of sucks. Always. It is in that timeframe that I am running my finger along the spine of my thought-books, trying to figure out which one will command my attention for the duration of my run. Once that clicks into place (it might be analyzing a movie I watched when I was twelve, replaying the highlights from the girls’ weekend that just happened, thinking of places in the world I hope to one day explore or trying to consider a new recipe for this week’s menu – always something with a positive uptick), all things become ok. I run then I walk then I run then I may walk some more. The thing is: I am ok with the fact that my lungs are burning and that incessant monkey is dry humping my back. I am ok that I am not at the head of the pack with my name on the bib, not just a random number. I love the sport. I love the comradery among strangers. And (on race day), I love the feeling of running in a pack. It makes me think of those sage lyrics from One Republic: What doesn’t drown me makes me wanna fly.

So this Sunday is Race Day. I have energy gummies and gels. I know which shoes I will wear (with inserts). I have put out of my mind the Plantar Fasciitis which crippled me a handful of months ago. I will run, then walk, then run some more and complete the Marshall University Half Marathon in Huntington, WV. I will run this race for Mander, who graduates Marshall in December. She will be my support group, coming to my aid if necessary and cheering me on as needed. I will have great moments and those that make me want to die. My senses will be on overload. What doesn’t kill me makes me feel alive.

For those of you who I have asked what song gives you extra umph during training – some of my thought-books will be those songs and as I hum those songs in my head I will think happy thoughts of you and you will help me pass the miles with a greater ease. For those of you who matter to me and who I have not inquired about your music – no fears, I more than likely have a song pre-associated with you and you will be there with me along the path as well.

Thanks for the positive thoughts and vibes.

Five days and counting.

#MarshallHalf #Run #IGOTTHIS #SeanAstinIsProudOfMe



    1. Thanks so much! It is my second ever half. I “sort of” know what to expect. Having Plantar Faciitis this year set me back as far as training harder. I am hoping to finish the race in high spirits with the intention of running another half (with better prep) in the spring. 2016 goal: USAF Full Marathon next September. Thanks for the well wishes…

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