Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Drill Sergeant Daisy!!

I wish I knew how to photo shop-I'd totally put a picture of a sweet daisy wearing a drill sergeant's hat!

But...alas, I can't, so this will have to do!

If you will remember, the last time I went for a trail run with Daisy, she pretty much laid down the law with me and told me I would NOT be walking the next time.  (That's not really what she said, but that's what it sounded like through my "filter" if you know what I mean.)  Well...as usual, I was worried.  I have had one really great trail run out there with her, but that felt like a fluke really. 

Almost as soon as we started today, I felt like I might be in trouble.  I wasn't hurting, but it wasn't feeling great the way it had that one really good day.  We made it to the section I usually psych myself out on and I got worried.... so, I started telling a life story.

Let me pause here and say, anyone who knows me knows how I love to tell life stories.  I'll pretty much tell you anything about myself that you care to hear, maybe some things you really don't care to hear!  I am who I am, and, although I might be completely ashamed of some of the things I've done in my past-I'm not ashamed of who I am right now in my life.  Daisy said something one time that I completely agree with--our life experiences don't make us who we are, they reveal who we are.  I have learned from (most of) my mistakes, so I'll boldly tell you about them because there's no sense in hiding.

Anyway, I told her I was just going to blather on about something because it seems to help me not think about the running.  She said it was a good thing because she was not having an easy time of it.  REALLY?  SERIOUSLY??  It always shocks me when I hear a seasoned runner say that.  I don't know why, but it does.  It's usually strangely comforting, but not today.  Today it seemed to kick in the "I have to walk now" mantra in my head.  I kept telling myself I just needed to get a little bit further---and then I saw the end of the trail.  Remember, it's "six minutes" from the end of the trail to the parking lot (on pavement).  But, from the point where you can see the end of the trail to the pavement is about 75-100 feet or so.  I tried to tell her I was going to walk to the end....

And that's when it happened.

Sweet Daisy busted out "the hat" and practically screamed, "NO YOU WILL NOT WALK".  (Well, that's what it sounded like in my head anyway...it was probably something more like, "no, you can do it, keep on running, you don't need to walk.")  So I thought, okay...it's just SEVEN minutes (instead of six) to the car.  When we got out on the road, I don't honestly know if I kept on talking or not.  Most likely I did, but I was on auto pilot.  I'm pretty sure my mouth kept making sound come out, but I don't remember anything I said.  The good news is, she probably had no clue either since I'm sure no human being could have understood me through my gasping, huffing and puffing. 

We made it all the way to the "incline" and I thought, "there's no way I'm going to make it up this hill".  The day we had such a great run, I was almost able to "sprint" the incline.  The day I "had to walk" to the pavement (the last time we ran the trail), I was able to "sprint" up that hill incline.....but today I was seriously thinking about taking a short cut up a little trail that cuts out that daunting little incline.  But, I knew I would really regret it if I did.  Instead, I started slowing down about 1/2 way up (it's only about 150'--maybe...I don't know, today it seemed like it was a mile long stretch of Mt Everest!)....and she did it again...she morphed into Drill Sgt. Olsen (my DS from basic)...and said "YOU WILL RUN UP THIS HILL, PRIVATE...YOU WILL NOT STOP UNTIL YOU GET TO THE TOP."  (Again, that's what my brain heard.)

And...I almost did...I stopped just shy of the parking lot.  She turned around and said, "you're there, don't stop now!" and I started up again to finish the last 10' or so.    I really thought today was going to be the day I would lose my breakfast....but no.  I don't know I'm capable of running so hard I puke.  I've heard a lot of people (including Daisy) talk about doing that, but I just don't think I have it in me to push myself that hard.  I almost want to do it, at least just once, to know what that feels like....to push myself that hard.  But, I don't even give myself time to think about it.  Like today, I just pull on the brakes and before I even know what's happening, I'm stopping.

Naturally, I forgot my Garmin again...but Daisy timed us at 37:59 (our fastest time up there so far....at least we think it was faster than the other day when neither of us had a watch and neither of us looked at the time when we left).

Here's the thing--I've had other runs that felt better to me (like the other day up there when I didn't feel like I had to walk at all).  I've had other runs that my body felt really good start to finish, and I felt like I could keep running for days.  But....today felt really good for another reason.  I started this run feeling like I wanted to walk (before we had even gone a mile).  There were several times I thought I wasn't going to be able to finish, much less keep running.  Each time I had to force myself to keep going....but not in a mean spirited way.  Usually the "drill sergeant" voice inside my head is not so nice to me...but today it was more encouraging than anything else.  Tough, but encouraging.  Twice Daisy had to be that voice for me...she didn't make any bones about her expectation for me, and she also didn't give me an out.

I'm not happy that I feel like I let myself down by trying to walk once, and then stopping short of the finish.  But, I did it, even though I didn't FEEL like it.  I'm really thankful I was with Drill Sergeant Daisy today, to keep me going for a White Trail PR!!

Afterward we had a great conversation about my goal to run the Rocket City marathon in December...but I'll leave that for another post.

Thanks for stopping in, come again real soon!


  1. WOW! What a thought. This BLOG might have given me the incentive to get out and walk. All I have to do is hear the Drill SGT yelling. I wish I could remember some of the Jodi calls we used to use when marching. I am looking for a CD of those calls. If you know where I might find some, let me know. I am glad you had a good run.

  2. Don't worry I can imagine your drill SGT even without her hat. Don't forget that I spent 20 years of my life (the best) in the Navy.
    Glad you had a good run.


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