Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Reflections and Gratitude!

So, 5 days left....time to reflect, time to be still, time to be thankful...

A FEW REFLECTIONS....

*One year ago this coming Thursday I laid in an MRI machine after literally being carried in there by my husband because I couldn't walk. I knew by this point I had a somewhat severe injury but wasn't altogether prepared for what was about to unfold. One year....I was told one year would be a realistic time frame to consider running another marathon.....This year has passed.

*A lot learned this year.... I am not invincible, I am not slow, I am not "too old", fast is relative, it is never too late, my body can only handle so much, I can still improve, I need to be proud of MY accomplishments, I am capable, I need only to measure myself against myself....

*I have learned that one mile running can be as rewarding as 26 under certain circumstances. An 8 minute mile on lungs that feel like they are about to explode but legs that have been ACHING to finally go is as satisfying and rewarding as a race well run.

*I've run 4 races in 2011 (not including the track). 3 PR's and a successful HM training race. I have NOT had a bad race.

*On January 2, 2011, I ran a trial marathon, not for time, in 3:37.

*In total, I've run 900+ miles the last 16 weeks (don't feel like tallying this). Higher mileage than I've run for either of my previous marathons and faster speed than I've EVER run. I am strong, I am fit, I am ready.

*I have but 3 hours and some odd minutes to showcase this 900 miles of training. Only ONE RUN....

*A finish time will not define me. My value as a person does not hinge on a finish time. I can only control what I can control. I owe it to myself to challenge myself however, to not just ACCEPT my fate but to CREATE my fate!

A LITTLE GRATITUDE.....

Driving home from one of my seemingly daily traveling expeditions this evening I just started feeling overwhelmingly grateful for my life. Watching my daughter sleep in the seat next to me....listening to music, processing my thoughts. So many things and so many people to be thankful for. I've been abundantly blessed

*I'm thankful for my husband. I'm thankful for his incredible support of my passions in life. I'm thankful for the nights when I walk in the door from work and he's got EVERYTHING taken care of because he knows I NEED to run. I'm thankful for his friendship.

*I'm thankful for my kids. So very thankful for my kids....

*I'm thankful for my parents, my sisters, my extended family and how fortunate I am to have such a close relationship with them.

*I'm thankful for the basics-health, food, shelter, financial security....

*I'm thankful for my current state of mind-the contentedness, the peace.

*I'm thankful for my body. Thankful for my strength, my power, my ability.

*I'm thankful for my two DEAR friends J and B who although they are not "runners", they understand what it means to me. I'm thankful for belly laughs, duct tape, patience and the "safety" I find in them. I'm thankful for an upcoming girls weekend with NO WORKING OUT!!

*Thankful for friends who send me things like this before a marathon. I have read this a thousand times Joni! Even when life gets crazy and busy and we don't always connect, I am so thankful for the friend I've found in you:)



*I'm thankful for the many friends I've made through this blog. So many people who have continually encouraged me. I read MANY blogs for MANY different reasons. I'm INSPIRED and MOTIVATED by MANY people for MANY different reasons!!!!! I am so grateful for EVERYONE who reads this blog and has taken the time to support me through it!

*A really extra special Thankyou to YOU, and YOU, and YOU who have made a HUGE impact both on my training, my motivation, my life.....Could NEVER thank you enough:)

I'll post one last quick shoutout post on Thursday and then that's all she wrote for awhile:)

25 comments:

Nicole Wagner said...

Jenn, those are GREAT reflections and great things to be thankful for. You always seem to just have it all together. You seem very level headed and balanced. I like that:)Being only a few months old in this blogger world, I did not know about your injury a year ago. It gives me hope that a year from NOW I will be about to kick some A$$ on my next marathon and this will all be a distant memory:) You have come really far and it is so inspiring that you are stronger than ever, faster than ever and seem to be more focused than ever. I think Injuries have a way of making us fight that much harder for what we want. I will be so excited to hear about your race! I know you will do amazing!!
my favorite part of your post was this: I am not invincible, I am not slow, I am not "too old", fast is relative, it is never too late, my body can only handle so much, I can still improve, I need to be proud of MY accomplishments, I am capable, I need only to measure myself against myself....

thanks for the lift! xo

Small Town Runner said...

I am grateful for you!!!

And this post made me tear up ... Why do I do that so easily???

You are in a great position for this race, Jenn. And, more importantly, you have a great perspective on it all.

What you are showing is maturity! You are a ripe fruit :) What kind of fruit runs the fastest to the finish line? ?? I don't know if you have ever read Richard Scarry's children's books, but maybe you are going to be like the speeding banana. GO BANANA!!!
Wow. this is getting out there... I better quit.

So glad you see how wonderful it is that you have made it to this point. God has GREAT things in store for you still, friend. :)
G'night!!

Michelle said...

Yay! So sweet! I love your blog and you are so down to earth! Love it!

Jill said...

I'm almost crying. Really!

I remember your post-Boston reflection post last year and how you stated you had never been injured and then wham, you fell off of blogplanet and it was a couple months later when you sent me an email and told me of your stress fracture. I had been so worried about you but thought maybe you were just taking a blog break that we sometimes need. I was heartbroken to hear of your injury!!!

A year later, here you are running faster and better than you ever have. You give me nothing but hope and as I told my PT yesterday, "If you don't have hope, what do you have? I cannot give up, despite how frustrated I am with all of this..." Thank you, Jenn, for all you've done for ME!

Now, get out there and rip up that course and smile the entire way knowing how far you've come and how much you are loved!! I'll be thinking of you every mile!!!!
xo

TX Runner Mom said...

Great reflections! Yes, fast is relative...so good to read that! :-) Your recovery has been amazing and you are doing great things...something about having what we love taken away can really make you want to do it (and do it well) that much more!

Miss Erosion said...

Your are such an inspiring person. This post really makes you take a step back and appreciate life in general. :)

Johann said...

Really nice post. You’ve come so far it is fantastic. You have a great view about everything. It’s all about the big picture, that gets me through anything. The big picture with long term goals.

Running and living said...

It was lovely to see another side of Jenn! You know how much I appreciate and admire you, for the type of person you are: kind, smart, strong, independent, confident and real (among others).
You are in the right place to have a great race, and you will, no matter what the result. I am not going to give you my prediction - maybe I WILL write it down and take a pic of it:) - but I know if all the uncontrolables get in place you are going to have a huge PR. Honestly, whether you run sub 3 or 3:09, or 3:30, my opinion of you will not change. You are pretty amazing in my book!

Amanda@runninghood said...

Jenn, I just saw this...thought I'd check the blog roll really quick today just in case you posted something. Aww, I need to come back when I can give a proper response to this...it deserves more that a quick ramble with kids at my feet and yogurt on the floor. Jenn, Lovely beautiful Jenn! This is my favorite post from you yet...such wise, beautiful, moving words! Seriously feeling goosebumps reading them. Wow. You are so loved. So loved. That gift from Joni...did she make it? I'll be back in a few after I get things under control here. Love you Jenn. I hope you don't totally play it safe this weekend...you've done the work...so much and so strong you are...hope you give it your all at the end there once you know you are safe for a BQ...this is YOUR race girl....all the pieces coming together...physically, spiritually, emotionally...all the components are there...use them. Love you!

Jennifer Cotter said...

No, a finish time does not define you. This post makes that perfectly clear. Like Nicole, being relatively new to the blog world, I did not know about your injury, either. As inspired as I was before, now I am really impressed! Can't wait to hear about this race. You will knock it out of the park!

Small Town Runner said...

OK. that was my late-night, no brain cell ramble, Jenn..
Working on an email for you.
Love you!!!, R

Aron said...

AHH love this post. You have had an incredible comeback and incredible training cycle, I can't wait for you to let it all out this weekend!

Britt said...

Your words and attitude are positively inspiring! I'm glad to have come into contact with you, even though we may not know one another that well I feel like you are a wonderful woman that has so much strength. I especially enjoy the paragraph about your learnings this year, it gave me goosebumps and put some butterflies in my stomach. You are quite an inspiration to me, and a wonderful role model of a woman, mother, runner, and believer of all things.

I am excited to see what this weekend holds for you, it seems like it will be quite an amazing experience. Enjoy every moment of your next 5 days.

Cory Reese said...

This gave me goose bumps. Thank you. Great motivation!!!

Tricia said...

I LOVED this, seriously made me tear up

Amanda@runninghood said...

2011 sounds like one of the best years of your life! At least with running (and gaining me as a friend...totally joking :) :) )
Seriously though, 3 PRs and 4 races, so much you have learned, running again so soon after your injury (and stronger too), A trial marathon that is a BQ for you if it had been a certified course....wow! Reread these words of yours before your race:
"A finish time will not define me. My value as a person does not hinge on a finish time. I can only control what I can control. I owe it to myself to challenge myself however, to not just ACCEPT my fate but to CREATE my fate!" Serious wisdom here...God speaking to you! Love this! Thank you. I might put it on my mirror or in my running journal with my favorite quotes.

And this...I can so relate. I remember e-mailing you about how hard an 8 min mile felt when I first started running again after my injury:
"An 8 minute mile on lungs that feel like they are about to explode but legs that have been ACHING to finally go is as satisfying and rewarding as a race well run".

Again, this is wonderful. Needs to be published or put in a tab on your blog so I can come back to it. Love you again Jenn! You've become such a dear person to me. I hope you let yourself GO on Saturday and just do what you've trained to do...you only have today...give it what you've got! You hope to train for a fall marathon too but this...this is now and you have it and you've done it so make the most of it! The cards seem to have come together perfectly. And no matter what you run...love that your time will not define you. because like Ana Maria said, no matter your time, it doesn't change who you are to me! You could run a 5 hour marathon and I still think you were the best thing since sliced bread! :)

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

Jenn, this is a beautiful post! I'm sorry i linked you a little too early--duh, your race is THIS weekend. Blonde moment.

You have come full circle and are such an inspiration. Running teaches us so many humbling lessons. I am grateful that I have connected with you!!!!

ajh said...

This was a very thoughtful post. I loved the reflections of where you were and what you have accomplished. I loved the gratitude and pleasure you were feeling in your life.

Caroline said...

beautiful post...made me think about what I am grateful for. a lot similar to yours...it is good to pause and think about our life once in a while right....thank you.

Julie D. said...

wow, jenn. this is such a great post. That was just a list of words of wisdom that I want to tape to my bathroom window!!! Since I'm just getting to know you and your blog...you have had quite a year!!! 900 miles in 16 weeks is absolutely amazing. You are ready. During that 3+ hours of running this weekend, YOU WILL SHINE. You are an inspiration to many. Get after it this weekend, Jenn. You will kill it!! GOOD LUCK!

kristen said...

Beautiful Post. I love those moments of overwhelming peace and feeling so blessed.

Your.SO.Ready.

Carie said...

I love this post! I am going to run my very first marathon on September 4, which is also my 35th birthday! I can't wait! I recently found your blog and love it!

lindsay said...

I have sappy moments like that too. There nice :) Until I get to the bottom of the post and find out you are not thankful or inspired by my marathon "training"... I'm offended... ;)

Candice @ I Have Run said...

Awesome reflections. What an great, great post. It is so inspiring. YOU are inspiring. I am grateful for you.

And what a rockstar with the training totals. You will totally rock it!!

ashley (redonk runner) said...

those cards are so cute!