Tuesday, July 13, 2010

calling it quits ...

Yesterday, my little sister said something that stuck with me. I was trying to convince her to join my running cult ... I mean, running hobby. We were talking about doing a half marathon when she said, "I could never do it." To which I replied, "I didn't think I could either. But now, I run marathons." And then she hit me with it.

"Yeah, but you get an idea in your head and you just do it. I'm not like that."

She's right. When I decide that I am going to shoot for something, I make sure that I accomplish it. Failure is not an option. I've always been that way. But, it got me thinking. Is a drive like that what differentiates runners from non-runners? Or the obsessive runner (like me) from the recreational runner?

I've mentioned it here before, G and I gave ourselves a tag line after a run where we let our drive to finish win out over our common sense.

G and I are "Runinspired: Runners first. Logical thinkers second." (Our shirts are in the works)

I ALWAYS finish the run. If the schedule calls for 10, I am running 10. Not 9.92. It's just how I roll.

My obsessive nature was proven yesterday during my six miler. I had just eaten a HUGE lunch (with dessert) and it was 90 degrees out. Feeling guilty about lunch and knowing I had to get my run in at some point, I headed out without really thinking about how my body was going to handle all that food.

I started running and was feeling fine. Until about mile 1.5. Then it hit me. I was going to vomit. So, I stopped. Sipped some water and composed myself. I started running again and made it another half mile before I was vomiting on the side of the road. This pattern continued until mile three, when I decided I was going to walk a tenth then run half a mile until I got home. It worked, but I was on the verge of vomiting the whole time. It was rough.

The kicker was that I was running a zig-zag course. And even at the three mile turn around point, I was less than a half mile from home. I could have cut the run short at any point. But I just couldn't. I just kept thinking about what my sister said to me. That I decide to do something and then do it, no questions asked. I knew I wasn't really sick. I knew that I had just eaten too much and tried to run too soon. And since I knew that finishing the run wasn't really detrimental, except maybe to the front yards I yakked on, I kept going. I didn't quit. And it will make me stronger. If I can run through vomiting, I can run through mental fatigue and self doubt. Getting through the tough spots is what makes you a champion. But, I'm sure to most people, I just looked like a lunatic puking on the side of the road ...

Like I said, I'm a runner first. A logical thinker second.

35 comments:

Keri said...

The weather was crazy here yesterday. I had to cut my run (track workout) short. I can't believe you ran through all that vomit! haha Hope you hydrated :)

Shannon said...

I can be pretty obsessive too. When I say I'm going to run a certain distance or workout for a certain amount of time, I always push through. Being pregnant had made me have to listen to my body more, but I understand what you're saying. I don't know that I could run after throwing up though. That might be my limit.

misszippy said...

It's definitely the attitude of a winner, no doubt. I will just add a little flip side to the coin though...you're young and very new to the sport. You will mellow a bit as you age. I used to push through absolutely everything, never miss a workout, etc. I'm still incredibly dedicated and rarely miss any workout, but I have learned that there are times (like if I'm getting sick) that I will back off.

Founder of Jog for Joubert Syndrome said...

can you pass some of that obsessive running nature my way....my crazed running behavior has gone missing!!!! you are so hardcore to run through the vomiting. its game over for me once the chunks start flying!!!

amy said...

Thanks for this post! I'm the same way (and my sister has said the same thing) but my mental toughness is in a little bit of a funk right now. I'm working on it, and blogging about it, and definitely motivated by other people's stories, esp about running through puke :)

Jen said...

I am the same way... but I wasn't always like that. I set my mind to something and then I do it. I do not give up easily. It took major knee surgery to get me to stop running a couple of years ago.

Great post!

Allie said...

Wait, you're not supposed to feel like you're going to throw up on every run?

abbi said...

I never in a million years thought I'd turn into a runner but I am obsessive about things and if I set my mind to something, it happens. There's certainly a lot of mental in running so I think that's why it's been working for me. So, I agree with you, the drive definitely sets us apart.

Nicole said...

I'm pretty obsessive and anal about running. I thought it was the nerdy dietitian in me! My running OCD is also why my husband hates marathon training...he says it consumes me...whatever! Sorry your run was rough...love the shirt idea though! I'm right there with you!

Jamoosh said...

On the one hand I have never had a DNF of a marathon. On the other hand, I had a knee operation because of it.

ajh said...

I ALWAYS finish the run. If the schedule calls for 10, I am running 10. Not 9.92. It's just how I roll.

Your remark above is totally me. I call myself anal quite often. Perhaps many runners do have this trait. I do worry sometimes I go too far - run when I am sick to complete a training plan - sound familiar? But it all seems to work in the end.

I like not being a quitter.

Katye said...

sign me up for the shirts!

Marlene said...

Oh yikes, brutal run! Way to stick eith it... not sure I could do that!

You raise a good point about "logical thinkers second."

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

I completely understand this!!

That's why you could have easily done that AMAZING 50k with me!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Like words out of my mouth..and the TOTAL difference between me and my siblings.

Your run sounds ROUGH, what to tough it out vomit free.

Becka said...

Some people are just built that way. I also follow the "failure is not an option" motto. I set goals, I complete them. And usually if things are progressing too slowly, I'll speed that up which stresses everyone out around me. Goals are good! Everyone needs to strive for something!

busyrunningmama said...

Love this post!! Hate that you were vomiting, but love your drive! You rock! I am really the same way! I still have total drive to do a half marathon, I was injured 2 months before my first half...that was 8 months ago, a shoulder and knee surgery later, I walked 3.25 miles last night and ran 3 whole minutes.....I know I will get there though, I have the drive, now if my body will just let me.....

momof3 said...

ROLLING ON FLOOR LAUGHING! Because it's good to stay true to yourself... even if it means being a runner first, and a logical thinker second.

Emz said...

"Runinspired" -- I am your first order. [if they are for sale].

FREAKING Awesome.

it is

AND

you ARE!

INSPIRING post.

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

I cannot believe you kept going, even though you were puking the whole time! Wow! While I like to finish things that I start, I have learned when to quit and be o-kay with it. It took me awhile and having two kids to get to that point, but I'm a much happier person because of it! :)

Her Name is Rio said...

I was at a party Saturday and when someone learned that I ran, she asked, "Are you OCD about your running, then? "
I first thought- how dare she? Then I realized - yes...yes I am.

Kerrie T. said...

Hard core.

Southbaygirl said...

Nice blog-nice to "meet you".....I've had to push thru that horrible vomit feeling it sucks! But damn if you dont feel "great" afterwards!

Nice job!

Karen said...

I totally know what you mean...I'm the same way. I don't cut corners with my milage! Sorry about the yucky run! :0(

racing dawn said...

Way to get through! My running has been off for a couple days and I need to buck up and stay on track. I take your post as a pep talk/motivation. My running mantra is 'finish like a champ, not a chump'. Gotta finish those miles!

N.D. said...

I used to be like that, and now after having my son I've toned it down and it is what it is - I probably would have done the same thing and walked/ran here though, but 9.92 miles rounds up to 10 for me now! You're inspiring!

Tara Kieninger said...

I agree. Success is a DECISION! Determination is the means to make you successful. I haven't always been determined, but I'm working on getting better. On behalf of this newbie runner, thanks for an inspiring post!

the dawn said...

hmmm, i've actually thought about this a lot as well. kinda like the chicken and the egg: did i become a more serious runner because i'm obsessive or has my running made me more obsessive. i often have those same conversations with people about how "anyone" can run marathons and its really just about choosing to do it. when actually, you might have to first be obsessive and then choose it...

runningwithsass.com said...

wow you are WAY more hardcore than me! I so would have gone home!!! good job!

Brigitte said...

Now THAT is impressive! Can't believe you completed your zigzag route when you could've taken the short route home. I like your mental stamina - well done!

Wifey said...

Got to love it! Vomit and all.

Winks & Smiles,
Wifey

Julie said...

awesome post!!

Cynthia O'H said...

If anyone saw that, they probably just thought that you were so fast and pushing so hard that you made yourself sick.

Hope you felt better by the time you got home.

Beana said...

I loved reading this because I so identify with it! I haven't had quite the intense experience you described, but I never quit on a run either!

Katie A. said...

Been there, done that a bazillion times! And I think that most marathon runners are crazy Type A personalities - which I know you fit into! I do too, and know that it makes me stronger!