Today was the Tipp Hill run in Syracuse which is a decent sized run (3000 people this year) that happens the weekend before St. Patrick's day around the Tipperary Hill neighborhood. It is historically an Irish community and is the only place in the United States that has a stop light with the red light on the bottom instead of the top (you can read why here.) It's a 4 mile race and highly known in Syracuse as being the first race in the running season because it means winter is almost over!
I was nervous for this race because I am not sure I could run 4 miles but was excited to try anyway. It's a fun race and I loved it when I ran it two years ago. I woke up early, got dressed up in my finest Irish running wear and set out to run. It was freezing today but I did a good job of ignoring it while waiting for the race to start (and by "ignoring" it I mean "complain as much as I could to everyone around me as often as possible"). My running friends are much faster than me right now and against my judgement I let them drag me to the front in a MUCH faster pace than I could handle at this point which had me convinced that I was going to get trampled in the first mile. The good news is that I was pretty sure I would look just as cute flat as I did 4D.
Finally the race started and I took off running, being passed by MANY people (several wearing kilts). Then, less than a mile in disaster started to happen. I knew that my pants were too big but they were the warmest I had so I took a chance. I took a chance....and failed. An EPIC fail. Despite the fact that the drawstring was tied as tight as it would possibly go my pants decided to fall down repeatedly until the last time when they almost dropped to my knees (Thank goodness I caught them! Also, thank goodness that my underpants that stated "Will charm the pants off you" on the bum were not available for viewing as the most ironic misfortune of all time). I was really upset and frustrated about it but decided that there was NO way I could make it 4 miles since I barely had made it through a half. I would have had to hold my pants up the entire time which would have been disastrous for my shoulder (I injured it running a couple years ago and has been really unhappy lately and it would have really thrown my stride off).
Needless to say I was (and am) really upset. I don't give up on anything ever. Failure isn't a feeling like I like or even know how to handle because I usually just regroup and go right into Plan B for which there was none this time. After I walked back to the start/finish line I stood in the freezing cold in my running gear (aka not warm enough for just standing still) to wait for my friends to finish. I stuck around for a while but instead of going to Colemans, the Irish bar in Tipp Hill, I just decided to go home. I called my mom as soon as I got to the car and started crying like a fool because I was so upset with myself and the amount of failures that have seemed to be snowballing since Christmas.
Thankfully my mom was able to put some good perspective on things for me. I am not perfect but I often push myself to be and for some reason have since birth. I have nothing to prove in life to anyone but myself and what happened today wasn't my fault even though I was blaming myself. I am doing really well with getting myself back on track health-wise and running wise and even though I want to be right back to where I was a year ago I need to be easier on myself. Right now I am leaps and bounds ahead of where I was a few months ago and that is an achievement even though I don't see it in comparison to where I WANT to be. Other areas in my life that I have spent the last few weeks pushing myself over, work and trying to force my heart to heal faster and life decisions I am trying to force myself to make now now now, are things that I need to step back on and let them sort themselves out otherwise I am going to make the wrong decisions out of pressure and desperation.
In other words failure is all about perspective and mine has been severely warped the last couple of months. I'd love to beat myself up about today but I really can't because my willingness to get out there to begin with is a huge improvement. I'm trying to push too hard on things that I'm not ready for which is only going to push myself into unhappiness. Therefore I am going to take the same approach to all these things as I have to my scale: putting all that pressure and self imposed decisions into an imaginary closet and waiting until I'm ready to take them out. I am always a girl with a plan and my unplan IS my plan which is kind of scary but I'm going to go for it. I'm pretty confident that I will come out better for it in the end....I think...maybe?
I get a lot of people who tell me they could never do what I did when they found out how much weight I lost or how I became a runner or how I took a massive leap out of my comfort zone to get into the job I have now. The thing I always say is to take it one step at a time, make small changes and over time they will add up into something bigger. I say that there is no reason to push yourself, no reason to compare yourself to anyone else and no reason to try to adhere to what the masses are doing. There is nothing you can't do if you set your mind to it and as long as you are exceeding your own expectations then what you are doing it working. Life isn't on a timeline so be easy on yourself because every little bit counts.
It's advice that I am finally going to try taking myself.
Also, I might need to find a beach to sit on in the next month or two to just sit on and do nothing but read and play games on my phone and not think about anything but sand getting in my awesome JCrew beach bag.
And I might need to give up facebook for a while to avoid the "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality that is easy to fall into at my age when everyone I know is getting married and having cute little babies. Facebook is such a blessing and a damn curse, I swear.