Thursday, September 26, 2013

Don't Look Back?

In the past week, I kept having this (or something like it) pop up in my social media:

I know that is meant to be an inspirational poster to keep people from looking back with regret.  But the thought kept stirring through my head that sometimes, it's absolutely OK to look back, because what was behind had excellent life lessons or really was better than where an individual is in the present.

That's definitely the case with me!  Since our return from the Grand Canyon vacation in May, I have been working very hard to get my running back.  I realize that with each year I age, I am going to lose some speed but my fractured foot had pretty much ground my running to a halt.  So, I do look back at where I was before that and use it as motivation that I can get there again.  I'm at the point now where I'm running about 20 miles a week, with my longest run generally on Saturday.  Right now I'm running about 5 1/2 miles and trying to increase my mileage by 1/2 a mile every few weeks. (My ultimate goal is to do a weekly 10 mile long run.) I know that sounds ridiculously slow, but honestly I need to be conservative because each time I've done that increase my foot has been a little achy at first.  Like weird phantom pain that goes away once my foot realizes I'm going to keep running.

Also, (during one of my very first comeback runs) on Memorial Day running along with a friend, we were going up a hill and I'm sad to say I felt a "twinge" high up on the back of my leg.  As we went along it kept pulling and tugging to where I'd have to stop every once in a while and try to stretch.  It turned out to be a hamstring injury of some sort that actually got worse and worse as the summer progressed.  It was so sore, I couldn't even lift my leg to stretch it out. I refused to go the doctor (I'm sick of doctors and physical therapists!) and when I finally did Google and read up on it, I probably should have, as it seems when it's that high up it generally means a tear of some sort.  It was just such a stupid thing and the minute it happened I knew it would dog me the whole summer.  And it has.  I'm just now getting to the point where I don't have to walk up every single hill.  So that has held me back a bit too.

Still, I look back at 2010, 2011, and early 2012 and I know I can run like that again.  So I look back with hope.

I'm that same way when it comes to my weight I guess.  Maybe I should settle and stop worrying about the scale... but I don't quite feel excellent yet.  I feel good and definitely so much better with the weight that I (re)lost over the summer, but not quite excellent.  I know that excellent feeling is about 20 more pounds away.  I know this because I've been there before.  There's also something in me that wants to prove my doctor wrong, who told me in 2008, "Most people who have this sort of thyroid issue are never able to get back to their pre-thyroid weight gain."  NO!  I refuse to let that be true!  I want to feel excellent again, and so I look back and that's where I want to be.


  1. Agree with you totally!! Learned some hard lessons in my life, and I often reflect on those by looking back, hoping not to repeat them!

  2. I've heard that in a car the windshield is big, and the rear view mirror small. Definitely good and helpful to look back, but don't stare! Moving forward in each moment is where we actually live now. Like you didn't already know that, Helen!

  3. I hear you. That is one reason I keep trying. I felt different 15 pounds lighter, even though I can't seem to budge that off for the past 2 years.

    Looking back is both bad and good. I think it just depends on how you view it.

  4. I agree that it's hard not to look back while going forward - I am so glad you got your mojo back and working your way up to 10 mile runs is amazeballs in my book.

    I've had a pretty good summer, down 16 pounds, but I hear you, the next 20 would make me very happy! I wish I wasn't so short! Hugs!

  5. Love that ecard and agree with it wholeheartedly!

    I don't know, maybe it's because as I've gotten older, I've stopped fighting to keep things the way they were so often...our bodies DO change, and while there are the rare oldies who can still knock out a marathon like no one's business, eventually all the years of use starts to wear and slow us down a bit. I still look back, but like you said, it's more of a memory and/or learning experience. I don't expect to be the same physical person in another ten years...but hey, who knows what crazy thing I'll take on then?

  6. I agree that sometimes looking back is good. I don't think that you are increasing your running miles slow. The biggest mistake I made when I started running was moving too fast to a new distance. Now I'm back at where I started and this time I'm doing it right. Right now I want to end where you want to end: at a 10 mile regular run. At this point I'm not sure if I ever want to try training for a half again. Right now I'm enjoying those long walks with Bella more than the thought of running a long run at the weekend.

    As for the weight loss, as long as you are not happy with where you are, I don't think you can settle with the weight you have right now. I'm not happy where I am right now but also too lazy to do something about it. For now I accept it but I am not ready to accept it for the rest of my life.

    You are strong! I have been reading your blog for a couple of years now and you are a strong woman who gets what she wants in the end and this time won't be different. You can do this.

  7. I am sorta in the same boat and actually just wrote a blog post about it. My shoulder injury is getting worse, not better, and I'm having an MRI on Saturday. Meanwhile, my favorite jeans are not comfortable any more. I have to consciously remind myself to be grateful and to keep plugging along from a place of joy and acceptance rather than desperation and despair because D&D never works for me (although I visit that place from time to time, too).