Out With The Old, And (Still) In With The Pneumonia

Yesterday, the final day of 2011, I had a bad run. It was the first time I’ve been to Central Park for a workout since my Himalayan Adventure, and I had high hopes that I would enjoy a relaxed 6-mile loop. Sadly, my hopes were dashed.

I’m still battling the remnants of the pneumonia that I picked up in Nepal. And I shouldn’t have set the bar so high for myself yesterday, but that’s what I do. I met up with a couple of friends, and we started out at an easy pace. We caught up on life and chatted about our New Year’s Eve plans. Then I stopped talking, the effort was becoming too much. We tucked into Harlem hill, and my chest tightened up. I couldn’t breathe. I slowed to a walk, and I wanted to cry. This hill that I used to hate, but over the years had come to love, was suddenly back on my bad list.

At the crest I began to jog again, but the damage had already been done. I was mentally shot. I took another walk break on the next incline, and then cut off onto a dirt path to head back across the park where I started. In total, I completed about 3.5 miles. I should have been congratulating myself for getting that far, but instead I was frustrated. Mad at my lungs for being weak, angry that I’m still not better after three weeks of rest, annoyed that I got sick in the first place.

This morning as I welcomed in 2012, I realized I’m being way too hard on myself—I’m expecting too much, too soon. I’d like to say that I’ve resolved to lower the bar, to be more compassionate with myself (mentally and physically), and to stop feeling frustrated when things don’t go the way I imagine. But I haven’t. Instead, I’m looking into new training plans, new shoes, and destination races, and coming up with goals that are above and beyond the ones I set for myself last year.

I’m clearly not paying attention to the lesson I should have picked up from yesterday’s disappointment. Instead, what I have learned is that I’d rather shoot for the stars than aim too low. If I don’t even reach the moon, yeah, I’ll be bummed. But the kernel of positivity in my heart reminds me that the day I get it will be incredible.

Happy New Year!!! Have you made any resolutions yet?