To be completely honest, I did not want to share this post
for a long time. When I set a goal, I achieve it and my in-race injuries prevented that. However, I have come to terms with what took place and recognized it as a humbling experience. The most important lesson from my injury: practice self-love.
A year ago, I finished my second marathon and was injured during the race at mile 10. I was devastated as I had worked so hard the entire year to sustain my Boston qualifying pace of 8min/mi. My knee injury at mile 10 slowed me down which resulted in compensating my body weight to the opposite leg for the remaining 16.2mi, and well, that resulted in a foot injury.
I felt inadequate and wanted to quit, but I decided to buckle down and tough it out even though that meant I would no longer be running with my pace group to qualify for Boston. As my pace group ran ahead, I limped down the pavement with the sun beating down on me. Eventually, as more and more people passed me, I heard,
“Is that Natalie?!”
The familiar voice caused me to turn around and there was Chelsee, my sister-in-law. Running alongside her was my father-in-law. Thanks to them, I was able to push through the pain and finish. Having them by my side encouraged me to move forward.
What made the race worth finishing was the fact that I had the rare opportunity to cross the finish line with my family. I will always treasure that moment!
Despite finishing my second marathon, I still felt bad for not finishing at the time I had sought out. People would congratulate me and I would smile with thanks, but I was still beating myself up over the incident. In 2017, I also did my first 70.3 Ironman, ran my second half-marathon and biked up to Mount Lemmon for the first time. I should have celebrated what I was able to achieve in 2017 while working a full-time PR job, holding office as vice president on two nonprofit boards and actively growing my blog. Instead, I let my poor finish in the Tucson marathon weigh me down.
Much more came from not being able to workout regularly over the next few weeks. My foot was injured to the point where I couldn’t even cycle because pushing down on the pedal was too painful. My weekly endorphins had changed dramatically. I went from doing 125-150mi of cycling and 50-60mi of running per week down to nothing. I felt extremely anxious that I was unable to do my regular triathlon and marathon workouts. My orthopedist told me to take off three months from running. To further add to my frustration, I had my wedding in less than two months (February 2018) and I had no idea what I was suppose to do to stay in shape.
|Photo Credit: Tara Leinen|
I quickly thought what low-impact workouts I could do. Barre3 came up because I had a few friends who were in incredible shape who used that as their main workout. I saw a special on the “Mind and Body” app for first-time clients for $99 which included unlimited classes for a month.
Barre3 ended up being a much more invigorating workout than I had previously anticipated. For those of you who aren’t familiar with barre3, it is an aerobic and strength-training class that pulls concepts from yoga, ballet and Pilates.
With barre3, I found myself mentally at ease in the same way I found when cycling or running. I was able to focus on my breath and give it my all. I found peace through the workouts. What I loved about the workouts was how they were completely different than my regular triathlon and gym workouts. With barre3, intricate muscles were targeted and I was able to see myself develop strength in new ways. I found my health to be balanced physically and mentally.
Later in 2018, I came to the realization that completing my second marathon was a great achievement and that it was already enough. I didn’t need to be so harsh on myself. 2019 is a year I promise to practice greater self-love and I look forward to sharing more with you.
The end of the year is often when we reflect. For those of you who are reflecting on your year as a failure due to health, job and/or relationships, I am here to tell you that you are more than enough. You are always enough.
With barre3, I am excited to announce my partnership for their January challenge! The challenge, includes:
- Unlimited barre3 classes (online or in-studio)
- One month of free access to Headspace
- An exclusive barre3xHeadspace mindfulness plan
Headspace is an app that includes daily meditations and mindfulness plans with the goal of improving health and happiness around the world.
To sign up for the January Challenge with barre3, go here, or call barre3 Tucson at 520-299-1287.
I would recommend practicing most of your classes in-studio, and relying on the online classes only when you’re on the go or short on time. Please feel free to email me or DM me on Instagram if you have any questions about barre3!