Monday, April 16, 2012

First world problems

One of my favorite Twitter hash tags is #firstworldproblems. It helps illustrate those silly things that we (we being relatively well-adjusted, happy, healthy people) consider our problems. Recent posts I've seen include things like whether to get Starbucks hot or cold or the pressing problem of going shopping and not finding anything to buy.

I've been dwelling a lot lately on what I'll call my first world problems. My marathon training is not exactly going as planned after a few weeks of struggling with Crohns. My planned 20 mile run last weekend turned into my being able to only run 13. I say "only" like 13 miles is nothing to write home about. It is - it's a big deal. And even though I am taking new meds and am coming out of a Crohns flare-up, I was "only" able to run 13 miles. I was seriously depressed after the run. It takes me writing it down to realize how ridiculous that sounds.

My husband and I are traveling to DC in a few weeks to visit friends. It's the same weekend I'm supposed to run my second 20 miler, but it'll really be my first. I really don't want to run 20 miles in DC and then be sore and tired all weekend. I want to enjoy visiting our friends. And as crazy as it sounds, I'm stressing over it - big time. My biggest problem in life right now is when to run my 20 miler. Somebody slap me please.

Today was the Boston Marathon, basically the Super Bowl of running races. Temperatures are soaring into the 80s in Boston; certainly not ideal running weather. I followed the Boston Marathon feed religiously on Twitter, and splits are certainly slower than expected. The winning male, Wesley Korir, ran almost ten minutes slower than last year's champ. The high temps even prompted Boston organizers to allow runners a guaranteed entry for 2013 if they picked up their numbers but didn't start.

Training for a marathon takes so much time and dedication, and I'm sure there are lots of people who will be disappointed with their times today. At the same time running is something most of us do for fun (save elite athletes who make their living by running), and running a marathon a few minutes slower than expected in harsh conditions really isn't the end of the world. Those running Boston today should be so proud. The time qualification alone keeps me out of the race, and I would love to be part of that event. But I know that feeling of finishing a race yet not accomplishing your goal. 

There is a homeless shelter across from my office, and some mornings when I walk into work I see people waiting outside in the cold for food and shelter and think wow, I have so much - so many blessings.  

Maybe I won't get in the solid 20 miler that I've been expecting, and maybe my marathon won't be as fast as I hope. But at the end of the day, in terms of "problems", those are pretty good problems to have.  

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