Patience and Positivity

Last weekend, I started drafting a post to outline my 2016 goal races but pushed on the brakes as one of them fell through.  I picked up the writing again this week and once again had to push on the brakes.  It’s been a tough weekend, to be honest, and I’ve been trying quite hard to not have a self-wallowing pity party and keep the positivity flowing.

My first goal race of the year was to be the Horsetooth Half Marathon in Fort Collins last weekend (4/17).  I was stoked to tackle a relatively challenging half marathon course knowing I was in great shape for the race.  Unfortunately, mother nature had different plans and sent two feet of snow our way over the course of the weekend.  I don’t mind running in nasty weather (I AM from Minnesota, don’tcha know!), but I absolutely hate driving in bad conditions.  C’est la vie, I told myself, and it was easy to get over because I had wonderful friends in town to spend time with.

I had been eyeing the Cheyenne Mountain Trail Races for some time, knowing they’d be a blast because of their Race Director, Tim Bergsten of Pikes Peak Sports.  After the Horsetooth HM fail, I decided mid-week that I’d go for the 50K and treat it like a training race.  I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning, putting on my Roost gear and brushing my hair when “pop,” my lower neck cracked and shooting pain radiated throughout my entire neck, head and right shoulder.  I immediately fell to my knees muttering “no no no no no no!”

I knew immediately that my race was shot.  I couldn’t move my neck without searing pain.  I tried to get some more sleep but couldn’t and finally asked Pete to take me to urgent care.

Urgent care was a bust – they told me they thought I had a slipped disc and sent me to the emergency room. Yay!

Thank goodness for educated practitioners – the ED doc said he doubted it was a slipped disc, but rather spasmodic torticollis:

Spasmodic torticollis is an extremely painful chronic neurological movement disorder causing the neck to involuntarily turn to the left, right, upwards, and/or downwards. The condition is also referred to as “cervical dystonia”.

I left the ED with muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories and pain meds, and subsequently spent the remainder of Saturday sleeping in a haze of self-pity and medications.

It’s really hard to be positive in these types of situations, when you’re so looking forward to a race and feel jazzed about the experience, especially coming off a recent DNS.  Nevertheless, I’ve been trying to stay positive, telling myself that everything happens for a reason.  I have a big season on deck and should be extremely grateful for what I have: a healthy body and mind that just needs some R & R.

Patience and positivity.  Those are my current mantras.  Did you know that according to some definitions, patience and endurance go hand in hand?

Patience (or forbearing) is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on negative annoyance/anger; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can have before negativity. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast.

It’s easy to self-absorbed in your troubles.  It’s hard to be positive and have patience, but much like my love for endurance sports, I’m tackling the latter and will NOT DNF.

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