Don’t Judge A Book By A Cover

Have you ever sat down and wanted to say something to someone, anyone, to be completely honest and upfront over how you are really feeling, and know they are not going to look at you like you are growing a foreign object out of the center of your forehead? To know that they are listening, actually hearing what you have to say, with no predetermined speech forming in their minds on what they think you want to hear? To know that at the end of saying what you need to, that person might just stand up, say nothing at all, but reach over, and hug you? And that in the end, that person still sees you the same way they did before, not as a lesser person?

If you don’t, the I envy you more than you could ever imagine. I don’t know what it is like to have that confidence in yourself, to have that knowledge people see the real you, and accept you for all your short comings. I don’t know what it’s like to be able to honestly say when asked how I am doing that I am having a really shitty day emotionally and I don’t know how to handle it. I don’t know how to let people see when I struggle without feeling ashamed and weak, like I am less of a person to them.

I often say to people I have no clue why anyone likes me. Mostly because a lot of the time I don’t always like myself. I look in the mirror and the face that stares back at me is unfamiliar. My eyes are the same shade of blue that they have always been, but my features seem that of a stranger. I don’t know who I am. I don’t understand why I feel the way I do some days, and I wish to hell I could figure it out.

I don’t know how to accept that I am good enough the way I am. I feel that I should be doing more, achieving more, doing something more profound with my life than what I am. I don’t know how to accept that I am just fine being me. Probably because in the background of all this I don’t fully know what being me is all about.

I still struggle with the acceptance that people can like me just the way I am. I always feel that I do or say the wrong things and people don’t really like me. I call it the “fat girl syndrome” because when I was heavier I used to try so hard to be accepted. I feel dumb when I don’t know things that everyone else seems to know, and asking someone when I don’t know what they are talking about makes me feel stupid.

I am used to being a doormat, letting people treat me like crap, take advantage of me, and toss me away when I no longer had any use in their lives. And you know what? It hurts. It hurts to feel that you are useless and unwanted and have no place in someone’s life. It sucks thinking that unless you are always the one giving and giving there’s no relationship with a person. It sucks not feeling comfortable asking someone to help you, or do something because you are afraid they are not going to want to be seen with you. It hurts to think that someone only thinks of me as being good enough to fuck.

I try to hard. I know that. I try to hard and push myself more than I enjoy a lot of times with my running and what races I sign up for. I am too hard on myself at work, when I make mistakes and I do not give myself enough credit that I am capable of making the right decisions when it comes to what I know is right. I cave when I don’t want to, letting others dictate the direction of our friendship. I get mad at myself and cry a lot, because I don’t understand why I can’t see myself as being worth more.

I feel lately that my surroundings are a never ending spiral and I keep twisting and turning, never knowing which way is up. I am struggling to control my eating, some days barely getting in the proper amount of food required to give myself the energy I need. I take things to heart way more than I should, and am not capable of saying to someone “you hurt me. I don’t need you in my life, I deserve better than this.”

I am tired of having what I do, and what I eat criticized. I am sick of coworkers and family saying to me “should you be eating that?” “Wow, that was a pretty big meal you ate, are you sure you should have eaten all that food?” Being under, or at least feeling like I am under scrutiny over what I eat is the worst feeling ever. I hate eating in front of people. I am so self conscious over what I eat and who I eat with that there are times I just choose to not eat because it is the easier option.

I worry constantly that the size I am and my life is a dream that I am going to wake up from any minute. That the person in the mirror, the one I don’t recognize is really a figment of my imagination and all that I have gone through these last years was a dream. There are nights that I want to cry, not knowing how to accept how my life has changed. How I have changed, and how the people around me have changed in how they view me.

I have a hard time understanding how someone can tell me they are inspired by me. Or when someone tells me they are proud of me, I don’t know how to accept it. I always think I am not accomplishing enough, and that so many people out there are so much better at so many things, what is so great about me, inspiring about me? I am just a person who fucked up, gained weight and had to have surgery to help me get it off.

I see myself as a failure because I couldn’t get the weight off without surgery. I once asked a male friend if he thought less of me for having weight loss surgery, and he said no. To this day, I still have a hard time accepting that because I think less of myself for having it. I wish I was strong enough that I could have achieved what I did on my own. I wish I was ok with the path I took, and one day I hope I can find peace with myself for all that I feel I fail at. I hope I can learn to accept that I am ok the way I am, and I don’t need to be anything more or anything less.

I struggle. I don’t let people see it. Writing this has been one of the hardest things I have ever done, as will be posting this for others to read. It’s not easy admitting you struggle, or you feel like less of a person for it.

BMO Half Marathon – my non PB that was

BMO is always going to be a race that holds a special spot in my heart, as it was my first half marathon in 2013. I really enjoy the course, as it has a good downhill to start, pretty scenic and let’s face it the medals are pretty nice. The downside of it was the price, and this year when they sent out the email over it, I looked at the cost and thought, “nope… I am not going to do it.”

Krista mentioned in Vegas that she had dropped down to the half at BMO instead of doing the full, and if I was running we should run together. I knew Krista was quicker than I, and with knowing the course I figured we would be able to pace me to a PB.

I wasn’t too willing to pay the price of $119 at this point so instead I bought someone’s bib who was not able to run. Did I mention that I decided to sign up a week before the race, and this was going to be my 3rd half in 3 weeks? (More on my stupidity afterwards)

Sunday was pouring rain. I was lucky enough to be able to spend the night with my amazing friend Candice downtown so I didn’t have to stress on parking and how to get to the start from Langley. I took a cab to the start line. I originally planned on wearing my short sleeve shirt, but with how bad the rain was coming down, I threw on my long sleeve Nike shirt before gear check, and kept the short sleeve overtop.

Gear check went smooth and quick. Stupidly I packed my phone without letting Krista know where I was going to meet her so panic set in. It seemed everyone who I knew was able to spot me, and then finally Krista, Stephanie and I met up. Krista took this quick selfie of us, and it’s the only shot we got.

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The pace bands we had were for 2:22 which gave a buffer for my PB, so I was feeling nervous, and at the same time excited. We started off down Cambie Street which is always so incredible. When you look for 4km and all you can see is a sea of runners, it’s surreal and awestruck. Our pace was quick, much quicker than what I was used to and my legs felt heavy. We skipped our first walk break to take advantage of the hills.

And then came the naked chicks. Yep, you heard me. 2 ladies whom I hope to heck were still drunk were pressed against the window of their apartment waving. My first thought? “Damn, I wish my body looked that good.”

And that’s more or less where things started to fall apart. My stomach was hurting, my legs were heavy and I felt like I was fighting a headwind the whole way. I don’t remember much of the course. I remember Krista being beside me and so positive and telling me we were doing amazing. I kept looking at my watch and checking how we were doing pace wise. I kept trying to be positive, but deep down I knew it wouldn’t happen.

We hit Stanley Park, and the course goes through the Park instead of the SeaWall so you don’t always know where you are. When we hit 16k, I pulled over to the side and started dry heaving. If there would have been anything besides GU in my stomach, I probably would have thrown up. Krista was amazing. She kept saying we were going to finish, but she made sure I set a pace that I could handle. We walked a lot more than I would have wanted. I had to stop probably 3 other times to heave, and I worried that maybe something with my hernia was acting up. (Thankfully my surgeon said no, it’s just pushing my body too hard, so one less stress removed)

We hit the last stretch of the course, and I felt like lead. At this point there was no PB for this race. My goal was to cross upright and hopefully under 2:30. Krista never left my side. She stuck by me through my struggles and kept positive and telling me how awesome I was doing. I cannot express how much this meant to me, having her stick by my side no matter what. We crossed together, got our medals, grabbed our gear and I got changed. At this point I was thinking I should take myself to emergency at Richmond Hospital. Krista was ready to drive me, but I ended up just coming home, and emailed my surgeon rather than go when it might have been nothing.

When I got on the SkyTrain, I called my Dad and cried. I was heartbroken over not reaching a PB, and how bad I struggled and feeling like I had let Krista down with not pushing myself harder. I was devastated over how I could barely move, and I felt like I had been hit by a semi truck full force. I couldn’t walk down the stairs without going sideways, and I was wet, miserable and just done.

More or less, my body was done. I should have never ran BMO. Sometimes I do not listen to my body when it is telling me things, and I think I can do everything. In the last 2.5 years I have underwent 3 massive surgeries. I have ran 8 half marathons, and started trail running as well. I have been burning the candle at both ends with poor sleep, poor diet, and not giving myself the time to recoup that I need.

I emailed Run For Water last night and said I couldn’t pace bunny the 2:30 half that I was supposed to be doing in 3 weeks. I woke up this morning with a dehydration migraine that was causing me to dry heave and not be able to see straight. I called in sick to work and stayed in bed for more or less 15 hours sleeping for almost all of it. Not to mention the 3 hour post run nap I took yesterday before bed as well.

Pure exhaustion on my part. Thankfully, I have some pretty amazing friends who made me feel a lot better last night. It’s amazing how we sometimes don’t see ourselves the way others do…

So instead of being down on not hitting a PB at BMO, I have decided to come away with this as being a PB in a different way. Last year I ran the course in 2:50:48. This year my official time was 2:29:36, which means for this course I set a PB of 21:12 in the span of a year. And that? Is pretty damned amazing. For how I felt to still be so close to my best time, is bloody awesome. And to have 8 half marathons under my belt in 365 days, with having 2 major surgeries which prevented me from running for almost 4 months, damned impressive.

I am going to race my 5 Peaks race this weekend. I will do the Sport instead of the Enduro and will start slowly training, both on the trails and improving my sleep and eating for Baker Lake on October 4. I will not be signing up for anything I am not already racing, and will listen to my body.

But next year? Next year I plan on kicking some major ass at BMO.

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Just….. Stuff

So today, in Canada on twitter #BellLetsTalk was a common hashtag on a lot of people’s timeline. Mental illness, depression, bi-polar, anxiety, they are all thing more people deal with on a daily basis than we realize.

While I think it is really great that social media is available to help raise awareness, to talk about it, and money is raised for the cause, today is a day I find very hard personally.

Today I am reminded over and over that yes, I tried to commit suicide. And while I am so incredibly fortunate that I didn’t succeed, and that I didn’t damage my body with the copious amounts of pills I took at once….. I have to face that I did set out to do it.

And if you asked me why, what could have made me think life was that bad, I probably would be leery to tell you… But I would if asked. It is not something I will write about here. This is a public blog, and very few people in my life know what happened…. And this is not the place to air it out.

But I do struggle. There are days I want to curl in a ball and cry. There are days I find functioning hard, and there are days that I get mad, angry and want everyone to rot in hell. There are days I blame everyone and everything for shit that I know isn’t their fault.

Then there is the other 99% of the time. I am just so god damned glad to be alive. I am so thankful my stupidity thinking things were so bad, and life wasn’t worth living, didn’t cause me to die.

Today I am reminded I am one of the lucky ones. So many others suffered and weren’t so fortunate. So many people have lost loved ones, because they thought it was the only option they had.

I don’t know if this even makes sense. My heart has been hurting all day, and I just feel overwhelmed with emotions that I know tomorrow will be gone. But today, right now, they are here and real and…. Suck.