09 May 2010

Do You Know Where Your Limits Are?

Right now, I'm taking things very easy, recovering from surgery. I'm out of work another two weeks, and I don't think I'll be running too soon. I went for a walk today, which was successful in that I didn't pass out, but I am pretty tired from that. I'll be heading to bed pretty soon (around 8:30pm). Getting back to normal is going to be a slow process and I'm trying to be smart. My doctor's appointment is next week and I hope the 24th to be the magical date upon all is normal.

My mother got very upset with me before. "You don't know when to stop. You worry me..." My painful performance at Miwok 100k worried the hell out of her. To recap, my shins hurt, my feet were swollen with blisters, my asthma was bothering me, and I was terribly dehydrated. I was crying much of the last 12.5 miles. I was so proud of myself that I didn't quit.

"I want you to promise me that you know when to quit." I knew none of those things were causing permanent damage, just temporary misery. The misery wasn't so overwhelming, and I knew once I stopped I would feel relief...but how amazing it felt to finish when I was so weak and I had struggled so hard.

Was it smart that I pushed? Do I not know when to stop? How can I stop when I'm constantly pushing? My mother asked me these questions  and I didn't know how to answer. I know how to be strong; how to push; how to keep going and dig deep; how to grin and bear it. Sometimes, digging deep is harder than other times. Miwok was mentally a challenge because of the pain and dehydration...but when should I stop? How do I figure that out?


Iliana Dimitrova said...

This weekend, I was suprised to see Phil stop @ 100m and Johnny to stop @ 165m when he had 4:30h lead for the win, but I think now I know the answer when to stop. Get well soon!

Chris Owens said...

I've been following your blog for a while, always great race reports! Get well and get after it soon!

KevInDC said...

I think knowing when to stop means you need to know what you're willing to give to the race. Blisters? Pre-hypothermia? Cramped legs for a week? Saline drip?

Once I know that, I know better when to stop.

Also, had my mom in town for the weekend, which had her reading and hearing about (my) ultra-training. Mom's will always be ultra-concerned about our well-being. If she had her way, I'd never run at night, never run alone or without the world knowing where I was, always with shoes, always with moleskin, always fully hydrated/supported, ad nauseam.

Keep it fun. Reach your goals.

Strike the balance.