Just Call Me Murphy, Part 3

Last year I had a lot of physical issues {outside my illnesses}: shin splints, glute pulls, IT band woes. A lot of this was because I was a toe runner; some of it was because I have one leg longer than the other. (We all do - mine is pretty noticeable, though. And while it's no HUGE deal, it makes a difference in my running stride and cycling stroke.) In an effort to correct everything, I taught myself to relax, lean back more and focus on not striking on my toes. I was SO SURE this year that I knew ALL my strengths and weaknesses to a T. Strengths: endurance, persistence, muscles, good run form, decent cycling, good running backgroud. Weaknesses: sprinting, force, speed, swimming, hills, illnesses.


Well, when I corrected myself last year, guess what happened? I'm now a hard-core heel-striker with a lazy right leg (that's always been the case, partly due to the length difference, but I never knew it was so bad). Just like I overtrained last year, and was SO determined this year not to overtrain that I UNDERTRAINED. Murphy's Law of Perceived Athletic Progress. Apparently, my running form is NOT good AT ALL:. I've been told that my gait is horrible and I run "like I have a stick up my butt." Ok, so that part is hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This got me thinking a lot, and of course it got me down. I'm having more and more consistent weeks as I teach myself how to push through my bad days, and I feel like I'm making a lot of progress. But with progress also comes information that isn't necessarily flattering: after all, we can't progress without leaving something behind, so we typically have to come face-to-face with one of our worst habits and confront it in order to move ahead. And for me, it never fails that, every time I think I'm making progress, I'm actually regressing.

So, remember that horrorscope on Friday about tossing out the way I've been thinking the past 10 years? I think I'm gonna sack up and do it. Because I think the bigger problem here is not whether I'm progressing or not: it's that I'm thinking about it too much. And I'm whining about it too much. I have soooo many posts where I'm just crying, crying, crying about how sick and tired I am. I should be just getting out there and doing my thing. Thinking about that moment and what I am doing and feeling in that moment. Analyzing what I'm doing and what progress I'm making every single day isn't going to help me - because all it's making me do is stress out about the little details and lose track of what I'm really good at: the big picture. And that takes me back to what my dad always said to me when I stressed out about the little details: how do you eat an elephant?

Well, DUH - one bite at a time.

I have a lot of work to do before I can be a better triathlete. Elephant-sized work. But the elephant is going to get eaten, as long as I keep biting. So I need to stop worrying about the elephant's size, stop checking to see how much more elephant there is to eat, and just concern myself with taking little bites every day. Otherwise, the elephant is going to eat ME. (And God knows there's not room on Dirty Jobs for an episode about the effects of Meggan Ann consumption on an elephant's GI system. Besides, Mike Rowe is pretty hot, and I'd hate to meet him while climbing out of a steaming pile of elephant poo.)

2 tidbits of wizdom:

Tea said...

hey...what's wrong with running like you have a stick up your butt? That reminds me of popsicles and summer and fun stuff like that! How can that be bad?

So--this post is like pushing the reset button on the computer, right? You're rebooting now because of technical difficulties (usually user--in my case), and you're ready to take it one thing at a time!

Wes said...

There's nothing wrong with being focused on getting better. That's a sure sign you are a triahlete :-) When you obsess about it to the point it becomes a negative, well that's when you need a chill pill (or alcohol in my case ;-).

When MAJ and triathlon become fused as one being... You will find a great satisfaction with you who you are. Yet, you can still work hard to become better :-)

Rock on, sister!!