“The best laid plains of mice and men often go awry…”
As you might can already tell, this weekend did NOT go as planned. I AM a planner, and I tend to keep “the plan” on my person at all times, regardless of what “the plan” pertains to. The Evernote app on my smartphone allows this. Whether it is a vacation (what to pack, what to see, what to do, what to buy), a grocery list, or a running schedule, “the plan” is with me always. Usually, a plan is what is needed to ensure what needs done, gets done. However, spontaneity is the spice of life (as is variety), so I do like to leave flexibility within my plans. Too much rigidity suffocates me. And yet, still, I do sometimes find myself getting perturbed when “the plan” goes awry. Thankfully, when it went awry this weekend, I was able to just go with it.
It started with Saturday morning… when the alarm went off for my run, I was NOT feeling it. Despite the prior day’s preparations (hydrating, carb-loading) for this last big push before my first half marathon, when I woke up, I was exhausted. So, I hit the snooze a few times. The alarm was VERY early, and I could afford a few snoozes. When I finally got up and ready, I was feeling good. The morning was cool, which was a refreshing treat. THIS was going to be a good run!
But, then the dogs started following me… they did NOT need to follow me on this run as I would be crossing a major highway. And putting them on a leash is not even an option… we are VERY rural, and these dogs are working dogs, not pets. So, I headed back and tried putting them in the house. Time was ticking… the sun was up and the thermometer was rising. It gets hot QUICK in Texas! I managed to get one inside, then I started working on the other. Just a few minutes later, my husband let the one out of the house… along with both house dogs. So, then we tried catching them all up again. It just wasn’t working. I was very annoyed by this time, especially when I looked at the time. I had a choice to make… either he could drive me away from the ranch and I could start my run (and battle the rising heat), OR I could wait till the next morning and we could go run in the park. I chose the latter. AND I chose to be happy about it.
As it turns out, they were GOOD choices. We had a wonderful, restful day together, went to see “Hubble” at the IMAX, scouted restrooms and parking spaces at the park, picked up some more gels, had a wonderful pasta dinner together, and just generally enjoyed a very relaxing day together. After a good night’s rest, we woke up before dawn, gathered our gear and headed to town. He biked while I ran. It was the farthest I’ve ever ran before – 11 miles! I was absolutely determined to suck all the life and mileage I possibly could out of this run, and I was happy the whole way through – smiling through the pain of the final miles, light-heartedly greeting every soul I passed along the way. With a bit of a limp, I finished my run, then stretched and played in the water park along with the kids.
How do I manage to keep going when my muscles want to stop? I remind myself of how good I will feel once I have the pain behind me. I remind myself that life is short and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. I remind myself that pain is fleeting, and victory is eternal. I tell my body that IT works for ME, and then I attack my day with all the energy and force I can possibly muster! And then, victory IS mine!!