Well, I made it. I'm home safely from the trip of my life. I had a fantastic time and have so many wonderful pictures of everything. I'm about 3 shades darker and feel 10 times more independent. It was so much easier than I could have imagined. There were actually a number of times that I had to remind myself that I was in a different country and I was doing it by myself.
Anyway, I'll post pics later. I have to unpack and get organized.
Wow. It's come down to this. Two days until I leave. I just spent a couple of days in Vegas for a friend's 30th and then a couple of days in Palm Springs for my b-day. I can't believe I'm turning 30. And I can't believe how much my life has changed in the last 4 months.
A couple of days ago, something unexpected happened to me that has caused me to rethink the last few months. And I think leaving for this trip is exactly what I need to get my mind on the right track again. My stomach has been in knots for the last 3 days anticipating this journey. I lose my breath every time it hits me. My stomach drops. And I literally want to break down and cry. I can't believe I haven't yet. Well, actually I have. I'm kind of waiting to let it all pour out in therapy tomorrow, if I can make it that far.
I'm so scared. I feel so alone. I feel so alive. I am curious. I am excited. I am nervous. I am questioning. So many emotions that I'm trying to handle but not sure if I can.
I don't know if I will blog tomorrow. So if I don't, cross your fingers for me. It's time that this girl steps out of her comfort zone and discovers what she's truly capable of.
I'm scared. Scared out of my mind. I woke up this morning in my Vegas hotel room with the worst feeling in my stomach. Sure, it could have been the alcohol from the previous day (Power 3 Quarters of an Hour perhaps?), or perhaps the fact that today is the ex's b-day. But I couldn't fall back asleep. And I couldn't stop thinking about Europe. I'm so nervous.
It kinda all hit me when I stood in the bathroom feeling kinda alone. And I got scared. What if this happens when I'm away? What if instead of being the independent woman that I want to be, I freak out and shut down when I'm there? And my dream of being there and getting all that I long to get out of this trip is gone because I mess it up?
I'm catastrophizing, I know. But that's what I do. I think about the worst case scenario. And I know this is going to be all that I make out of it, but I'm so scared. I'm excited and nervous and scared and sad and confused and ..... sigh....
I'm so glad I made that extra appointment the day before I leave (my 30th b-day, BTW) to see The Greatest Therapist in the World. I need his encouragement and slap across the face (not literally people) to get me through the trip there.
Anyone have any extra Xanax to get me through the next few days and the flight there???
Therapy today. Hadn't seen him in about a month for whatever reason. Told him about the 10 miles and expanded more about the new/old guy in my life and, of course, talked about the trip.
He asked me if these changes were because I wanted them or if they were to have something to say to the ex if he ever came back. And believe you me, I have enough experience in this area to know that what I've been going through in the last few months is all about the changes I want to make for me and no where near what I think the ex would like to hear. I spent a lot of time trying to convince myself that the things I was doing after the 8-year ex was because I wanted them. And now I have a small tattoo on my back that proves it was more of what his reaction would be if I had ever talked to him again. So I brought up the notion of me, in the past, trying to convince myself of what I wanted and that I hoped, was almost certain, that this wasn't the case this time around. And he asked me when I was going to start trusting my own instincts. Hmmm.... good question.
Somehow, the conversation came back to the 10 miles. And it hit me. The world's greatest metaphor for my life right now.
When I started this marathon training, I trained by my own methods, mostly because I knew no other way. I would run as far as I could, become tired and walk, and then try and convince myself to run again. It wasn't structured, it was all about how much I wanted to push myself, trying to find a way to overcome my own mind over matter struggles, without boundaries. And then I started with the intervals, using a watch (sort of like a stopwatch, but for runners, that beeps automatically to tell you when to walk and when to run). And my running changed for the better. I found I had more stamina and the structured time segments somehow made the running easier. This last Saturday, I went into the training session thinking, holy shit, 10 miles. But somehow, having that interval watch (those beeps), allowed me to believe in myself. I never cheated once, even when I was running the 5 miles back on my own. I wasn't tired and I stuck to that watch religiously during that run.
So this is the thing. My next step in this therapy process is being able to trust myself. To be able to trust that the decisions I'm making are because I want them and not because I'm trying to convince myself that I am. I need an interval watch for my decisions. Something that will keep me within my own structured boundaries and allow me to believe in myself to make a decision that is best for me. To keep me honest. Holy shit, right? So what will it be? What will be my watch? Will it be this trip? Will is be my new place? He said that perhaps every time I turn that key in my door, it'll be the beep beep of my trust in myself. Who knows...
But the metaphor was perfect. And really, as long as it works for me, that's all that matters. And it does. Now I must find my watch.....
So yesterday I ran 10 miles. TEN MILES. Really? And I ran them.
I started running intervals back at the 6 mile sessions. One of the ladies introduced it to me and it's changed my running. I was doing 3:1, where I'd run 3 minutes and walk 1 minute. And that's been holding strong for me. It allows me to pace myself so that I don't run out of steam by mile 4. Otherwise, I'd run for as long as I could and then walk until I finally felt like running again. It took me forever to finish. So for the last 4 weeks or so, I'd been doing 3:1 intervals.
And then one week, I tried 5:1 intervals. And I made it through the first 5 or so intervals and my mind started f-ing with me and I stopped and did it at my own pace. It was disheartening, but I went back to my 3:1's and held onto that.
Yesterday, I followed quietly behind the 5:1 runners because my 3:1 pal wasn't there. I told them to just let me go if they saw me trail off. I turned on my iPod and ran a short distance behind them. And before I knew it, I was at the 5-mile turn around point. One of the ladies gave me her watch so that I could continue the pace on my way back (they were full marathoners and were running 14 miles yesterday). I am happy to report that I made it all the way back on the 5:1 intervals. I didn't cheat at all. Not even on the shitty hills that usually kick my ass. Actually, when the timer went off for my 1 minute walk and I could see the finish line ahead, I ran the rest of the way in.
I couldn't believe it. So much so that I started crying on my walk back to the check-in tent. I ran 10 miles. Holy crap. I'm almost there. I have 3.1 more miles to conquer and I'm there. And I didn't get tired once. The only thing that is difficult is the foot pain (blisters, toes, etc.) and now my knee is bothering me. I could hardly walk by the end of the day. My hip flexor has been healed (thanks to the wonderful physical therapist that I went to). But I hope that my knee doesn't get in my way.
So here's to 10 miles. Something I never thought I could or would ever do.
It's August. Does anyone else realize that? Am I the only one? Yesterday I had a fund raising event where family and friends got together and they were all asking me if I'm excited to go to on my trip. Well, yeah, of course I am, but it's not for another.... oh shit it's like 2 weeks away isn't it??? It was like that scene in a movie where the camera goes from the shot me, my friends and family, and the others in the background.... to BAM! The shot of me, realizing. Aaaaarrrrgggghhhh!!! And it all started surrounding me. I have to pack. I have to be prepared. I have to get Euro. I have to get an adapter. I have to update the music on my iPod. What I am I going to bring? When I going to pack up my stuff for the move? What if I have to move the weekend I get back? What if I forget something when getting my classroom ready? What if my principal gets pissed that I can't be there for the staff meeting? What....?????? Oh god.
And I had a moment. I need to figure this out. I need to make lists (because that's what I do best) to cover all of my bases. I need to take care of all that I can before this trip so that I can relax and enjoy everything. But it's so much.