click on any picture in a post for a larger view

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I don’t mean to complain but . . .

I really do hate to complain, I don’t mean to complain.  But the truth of the matter is, I’m screwed.  I mean, really, really screwed.  At this point, the only thing that is going to save me is fortitude.

Definition of FORTITUDE

strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage

Examples of FORTITUDE

  1. She has endured disappointments with fortitude and patience.
  2. <it was only with the greatest fortitude that the Pilgrims were able to survive their first winter in Plymouth>


Middle English, from Latin fortitudin-, fortitudo, from fortis

First Known Use: 12th century

Related to FORTITUDE

Synonyms: backbone, constancy, fiber, grit, grittiness, guts, intestinal fortitude, pluck, spunk


I first started thinking about fortitude after my pastor spoke about it one evening that I went to church with my oldest son.  I had never really thought of the word before.  I had thought about “suffering gracefully”, which I cannot do.  But fortitude?  Well, that got me inspired.  2010 has been a tough, tough year – in so many ways that I won’t even begin to go into.  All this time I’ve been hoping and praying for things to get better, but then it dawned on me: IT MIGHT NOT.  I always thought a positive attitude makes things better.  But I’m realizing that I can’t control the world and that a positive attitude, well, that’s all good and all, it helps emotionally, but it surely doesn’t stop the bad things from happening.  As I sat and listened to that sermon, I thought to myself that I’d better suck it up and get me some of that fortitude, because things might not get better for a long time.  Of course, I’m not merely talking about my physical strength and abilities, I’m talking about life.

But concerning my physical strength and abilities, namely TRAIL RUNNING, it’s all been going downhill for a while (or should I say uphill!).   My training went astray last Father’s Day when we were involved in that 4 car collision (which by the way, the adjuster of the person at fault is telling me that my medical bills were way too high, and they aren’t even considering all of them, and my “training” means absolutely nothing to him – I am after all a 45 year old woman with 3 kids and a husband at home – what the heck business do I have traipsing around the hillside like I’m some kind of athlete?”  He didn’t say that last part, but that’s what he was thinking, I just know : )).

And thus I digress.  SO!  I really started thinking about fortitude again last weekend when I got stung by a wasp twice while running up the Santa Monica Mountains.  And I prayed for fortitude. I made it through that race amazingly fine – especially with very little training.  Which brings me to now:

That day I got a sore throat.  The next day decided not to workout, not because of the sore throat or sneezing and coughing, but because my quads were so stiff from that long downhill run.  When Tuesday rolled around, I decided to get to the gym to at least loosen up – I have the Saddleback Marathon looming ahead.  I sat in the steam room and sauna (lovely), foam rolled, worked on abs and lifted weights.  And since my deltoid and pec seemed so much better, I had the bright idea to workout all muscle groups, including my arms.

My arm (shoulder area) has ached since.  I practically wear a heating pad over my shoulder now as part of my normal attire.  Not only that, I’ve got that dang glute issue going on, not to mention, lower back pain.  I’ve been stretching and rolling the glutes like mad.  Doesn’t seem to help.

Wednesday, I wanted to run, but I was too sick.  Thursday, same thing.  Now I’m really falling into the pits.  I can’t even look at runners on the street, I get so jealous.  I was so sick, my husband had to get the kids to school.  He came home and told me, T____’s mom  “was going for a run this morning.” 

“La, la, la,” I covered my ears.   “I don’t want to hear it . . . wait!”  I uncovered my ears.  “Where’s she running?”

“It didn’t look like she was wearing trail shoes,” he said.

“Have you ever noticed her legs all dirty, I mean, this is important!  THINK!Has she ever picked up her kids with her legs caked in dirt like I do?”

“No,” he said, “I’ve never noticed her legs covered with dirt.”

“Okay.  GOOD.”

Thursday, I was still too sick to run.  My deltoid/pec still aching, glute painful, throat sore I headed off to the gym – I had a marathon in a little over a week.  I got a good workout.  I spent over an hour on the elliptical, lifted some weights (no arms!), did ab work and lastly did some lower back strengthening (bad, bad idea!)

Friday, too sick to run.  But I felt better, better enough to get the kids to school, do errands and take the Boo Cruise out of the Harbor.

Saturday, big plans to run.  Too sick to run.  So I finally went to the doctor, spent two hours in the waiting room.  Turns out, my cold turned into a secondary infection, which fortunately can be treated with antibiotics.  “Are you going to give me the fast acting kind?” I asked, eagerly. 


“Should I double dose the first one?”


Fortitude, I need fortitude.

Sunday, again, big plans to run.  I caked on the Icy Hot, took 4 ibuprofen and laid a heating pad over my lower back when I went to bed last night (at 9:30).

When the alarm when off at 5:00 AM, I decided I was still too sick to run. 

And so as you can see, I am screwed.  With practically no marathon training whatsoever, I’m going to run one next Saturday with 5,000+ feet of elevation gain. 

Fortitude!  Please give me fortitude.


  1. Sending get well wishes your way. While you have not run this week, a week of letting yourself recover and get well is more important than getting sicker. (Or at least that's what I've told myself this week as I've been too sick to run.) You will finish your race because your mind will prevail when your legs are tired; just remember that your legs know how to do the distance and enjoy the race!

  2. Thanks Rachel! I'm kinda relying on that body memory thing. If the RD will let me finish after the cutoff, then there's a good chance I will finish. Sorry to hear you are sick too. Get well soon.

  3. Go out slow and ease off!

    Seriously listen to your body and let that dictate the pace...you may not have physical fortitude but all those trail miles have given you mental tenacity

    Go, enjoy, complete!

  4. Stuart you are so nice. I loved reading your comment. I really like "go out slow and ease off!" I must follow that advice. Thanks for your wisdom.

  5. Hope you're feeling better. The weather should cooperate this weekend at least.

    I'll echo Stuart. Start off slow and slow down from there. At least you're trying. I wouldn't even dream of doing that right now....

  6. Thanks Glen. I will definately "go out slow and ease off." It really will be a miracle if I can finish this thing : / On the plus side, I'm really happy to get out in the Santa Ana mountains again. I usually stay away because of the mountain lions.