Feeling really discouraged. My femur is hurting again and I know I just did it to myself, I should’ve come back slower. I’ve been feeling pressured to get back because Coach increased the cut off for the progression run, basically saying if we don’t finish it we’re on our own until December and can try out again then. He said that last year too but the cut off was progression 3, then still didn’t cut anyone who didn’t make it past progression 3... but in our team meeting at the beginning of the summer he said he was relaxed last year and this year is going to be firm and cut whoever doesn’t finish. Including the slower injured folk like me. He basically said he’d give our top girls leeway if, say, Angie rolled an ankle because he’d be stupid not to let her on the team, but implied that the slower folks like me who are borderline traveling might not be given that leeway. I’m going to see if I can meet with him soon because I’ve been stressing myself out about it, and at this point it’s just seeming like an impossible goal for me. I could’ve prepared and trained for it this month and I know I would’ve been able to finish it especially if I hadn’t gotten injured and could build base mileage on top of intensity of training, but I have to take the rest of this week off then drop back down to 2 miles so basically I’m screwed. My motivation has gone out the window, I know if I work hard on the bike and in the pool I still might be able to finish it but... my headspace right now isn’t great and I just want to give up. So I might take a couple of days completely off of biking, pool, core, running to try to give myself a break and remotivate myself to work hard.
In all reality if I did get cut it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, I’ve already signed my scholarship/financial aid contract so I have that for one more year. But I guess at this point that’s all I’m running for- to save my scholarship/hopefully stretch it out another year after this one, maybe take my 5th year out too if I’m doing well at that point. I love running and the joys that come from it, but I guess what I’m saying is I’m not motivated by competition anymore. Maybe that’s my problem. I’m motivated by trying to better myself and achieve/exceed the goals I have set for myself, but when it comes to competition I really just want to be able to travel and compete. I’ve settled for training goals and bettering myself in workouts because in all reality traveling is an opportunity that I don’t get very often. It’s also hard to dream and have these big goals for yourself when you’re struggling to convince your coach that you still have potential, sometimes I need that encouragement and to have someone else cheer for me, motivate me when I’m doubting my own ability, and sometimes I’m frustrated because I always feel like I have to prove my own potential to coach and show him that I have the drive to work hard, that I am motivated and so on. I’ve been doing that all of this year. I’ve had to be my own mental coach, and I guess I’ve gotten pretty good at it. Even right now there are things I’m telling myself to coach me through this. But some days, like today, when things aren’t looking good, I just wish Coach would tell me that it’s okay, that I’m going to pull through and when I do get back, if I work extra hard with what I can right now, I can come back stronger etc. I tell myself that but sometimes I have a hard time believing it. And I have a tendency to run more than I should because I worry about not being back in time, and I really can’t do that. If I want to heal completely I need to not rush it.
Running collegiately is extremely stressful, if you can’t already tell. I just hope it’s worth it. So far I’ve managed to stay completely debt-free and I’ll have two degrees by the time I’m finished, so I’d say it is. Plus, I’ve made so many friends and I really do enjoy running and being on the team. And there are so many perks to being a student-athlete that do make it worth all the stress. Sometimes I just need to clear my mind and stay positive. Hopefully when I look back on all of this I can be grateful for the grit and determination that I do have, if I didn’t have them I’d have quit a looooong time ago.
I guess I can be proud of myself for sticking it out this long, even when things were really tough and Coach was telling me my scholarship might be lessened or completely taken away. When that happened I had a day like today where I was stressed out of my mind and really questioned whether or not it was worth all this stress. I’ve had probably 10 of those days this year if I’m being honest, but two where I really actually felt like it was too much. But I pulled through last time, I toughened up and worked as hard as I could, took it one day at a time and found joy in the smallest accomplishments, and eventually I did start to improve in practice. I’m pretty sure the 80% right before I got injured, the one that I shaved 45 seconds off my time, saved my scholarship. And if I did it once I can do it again.