When I was in college my boyfriend lived in a house with seven other people. One night I was over and they all had made a big spaghetti dinner together and, in the process, got into a big roommate fight. I don't remember what it was about, but it got tense and everyone was angry and sitting and sulking in the living room. One of the roommates (there's always a peace maker) came out into the middle of the living room, exasperated and near tears and said "Come on you guys. Let's just all eat noodles!" It immediately broke the tension, her delivery and words were spot on--and it became the go-to phrase whenever the mood needed to be lightened or a disagreement was getting heated. To this day I say let's just all eat noodles if I want to diffuse a situation. So I'd like to say to my body, my mind, my spirit, and my determined little runner deep down inside: Come on you guys--let's just all eat noodles!
If you've read enough of my blog posts then you will be familiar with this tired old theme: Why does Diane have so much trouble with long runs? I have come close to throwing in the towel a couple of times--like really close. Not with running as a whole, just on this long run part of running. Although I ebb and flow with intervals and shorter distance races and time trials, I can show up for those. All the intangible working parts inside of me are all in their correct lanes and I don't encounter the same mental obstacle that I do when faced with a long run. And when it comes to ultras, although I haven't had a lot of experience, well I really have clear sailing there. So why not just throw in the towel on the long run? Just don't do it--why does it even matter? Luckily, if I am considering bailing on the long run, that last thought will stop me dead in my tracks, because the answer to the question why does it even matter is this: Because how you do anything is how you do everything. If I'm going to proclaim running as my teacher then I have to let it teach me everything, not just the things that come more easily.
The funny part of it all is this: the idea of a long run falls in the top five list of what I think of as romantic daily experiences, right up there with drinking coffee on a screened-in porch while it's raining and writing next to a fireplace on a weekday afternoon. In fact, squeeze my long run in between the two and you have a perfect Diane day. I can't begin to explain why long runs stump me; I don't understand what it is
that I'm coming up against that creates such a barrier to success. My coach and I have tried six ways to Sunday to unravel this, with some progress but no ultimate breakthrough. So what's the solution? I really don't know. But I do know this--I'm not throwing in the towel on the long run. We will just keep
trying because it's just out of reach and begging for a solution. I know the long runs will be all the sweeter for the effort, but more importantly I think the long run represents something I need to learn about life. It's not okay for my mind to bully my body. My body and mind and spirit and my little runner deep down inside will all be better off when I can figure out how to get us to all work together.
So come on you guys--let's just all eat noodles.