I have had a few goals in my time running and a few in my life. I read a lot about running and about other people’s running goals and trials, successes and failures. If we don’t set goals we don’t have a reason to push ourselves to improve and to step out of our comfort zone in order to achieve them. When I weighted 200 lbs and wanted to lose weight the goal was to lose weight simply by running. I did it. When I wanted to run a half marathon I signed up, trained and I did it because I set the goal. One thing I know about goals is that if you are afraid of them you should definitely put it out there for everyone in the world to see, tell your close friends and just do it! The thing about the running community is that we have all failed at some running goal at least once so if I fail I don’t feel like anyone would have anything but encouraging things to say. Runners are just like that and that is one of the greatest things about us. So I’ve talked about the big “M” for a little while now. Wanting to, hoping to, thinking I might but not quite yet because my son is still in High School and I feel like training would take away from the time I feel like I want to give him as I did his siblings. My time is coming make no mistake about it and I’m looking forward to it. At this point it’s about a year and a half before I could even make my first attempt. The improvements that need to be made in order to successfully achieve this are great in that I will have to work my ass off to get there. I’m willing and willing is all you need when you marry it with determination and Ukrainian stubbornness.
So a few posts ago, I told you about someone who told me “yeah, good luck with that” in retort to my statement that “anything you can do I can do better”. It’s been in my craw ever since just stewing and brewing and marinating itself into obsession. Don’t tell me I can’t because I will make it my mission to throw it in your face. So there it was like this horrible dangling participle floating in the air begging me to take it on. How can I not chicken out of this? If no one knows then I could just forget it for a while or even forever and no one would be the wiser! But what I would never want to happen is to get old and never have tried to do it. I can live with failing at it because at least I tried to and that is respectable. So today, I put that goal up on my wall to look at every day. To keep in the back of my mind every minute and to take with me in my heart on every run. It’s now up there for real people to see other than me. It isn’t a secret any longer and even though this scares the shit out of me, @KellyKKRoberts made me believe that trying is what we do and that to give it your all is all we can do. Fail or succeed to meet the goal is less important than having tried. So here it is. The 9:30 average paced runner, 2:14 half marathoner is setting a goal for the big M. No date yet but training and working toward this goal starts now. Hanging on my wall at work and now here for the world to see… my marathon goal times now on the proverbial record…
God help me!
I have this horrible habit when I run of looking down. Now this is problematic for several reasons. It could get me hit by a car. Considering that I run with earbuds it could happen and that would in fact be bad. This little bad habit causes me to miss a lot of the things people tell you not to miss in life like flowers and pretty sights along the run. Although I don’t look down the whole run, I do struggle to maintain my line of sight straight ahead. I actually started my running this way because I was fat and struggling to breathe. I didn’t want to see how far I had to go so I would look down focused on the ground in an effort to not panic at how much more running I had to do. It’s just how I learned it. The less I looked up, the less I could see people giving me the “you’re fat go home” look. The less I could see pity in the eyes of other runners and bikers who probably wondered to themselves why I was torturing myself. Now, as a runner I would never EVER think that about anyone who is out there trying, no matter what they looked like because I was that person. So I began by not meeting the eye of passing cars or people and I find it so hard to break that habit. I have to force myself to stop looking down when I catch myself doing it, which is still a lot. I’ve come a long way and I have so much to be proud of and I know it. I feel good and have so much confidence now. I feel strong and accomplished and I might even say a little bit bad ass! It’s hard to run and I do it as many days as I can which is something many can’t do and some won’t do. I’m so proud of myself and I shouldn’t be looking down because that’s a short sighted view that never changes compared to the wonderful view ahead of me each time I go for a run. Like anything it’s just a matter of time to break that through repetition and consistency. It’s a goal I have for myself for this year and I’ll certainly get it done because I have learned over the last 2,132 days like so many other life lessons and self evaluations that I’ve conducted and learned.
What are some bad habits you have while you run?
It’s amazing to me how one day I can feel so crappy and another can find me running like I’m super woman. Today I wore a cape as I practically flew all 4 miles. I’m having so much more fun these days because I have embraced my slower pace and just go out with the best attitude for having fun and enjoying the fact that I can do this. I have a half marathon on Sunday and this is the first half that I’ve run that I am totally just looking forward to with excitement and without fear. Maybe it’s because I know I can do it but I feel like it’s because I know it will be my slowest race and I’m ok with that. I just want to have fun with my friend and enjoy it. Funny thing is, now that I’m just having fun, my splits are travelling back down to between 9.5 and 10 minutes which is rather amusing. Try hard and do 10 or kick back and have fun and pull in 9.5 LOL! So funny to me. Today was a day that I easily cruised through and enjoyed this beautiful sunrise. I stopped and took a picture and didn’t stress out because I was “STOPPING” for a second. I’m not being timed and no one in the world cares so why should I miss the opportunity to take a picture that will forever remind me of this strong day. This was one mile in and it only lasted for a minute before the sun crested all the way to the top of the trees and the beautiful pink horizon dissipated into a golden sky of the morning. On the way back the sun coming up painted just the tops of the trees which was equally pretty. All in all I felt stupendous and thought about my friend Barbara who takes pictures that inspire her along her runs. I thought about runners that I follow because they inspire me and how they seem so brave and courageous and strong. As I ran to my playlist it seemed that all the songs cued up had a strong bass line that seemed to be the same beat that my feet were pounding out and that my heart was singing to. Simply awesome is how I felt. Strong and capable was how I ran and happy and positive is what I embraced. I simply love running for all of the good days and yes even for the not so wonderful days. It’s helped me find and push my limits and helped me find myself again. It reminds me that I want to skid into home plate at the end of my life screaming Hell Yeah! Woo Hoo! and not carrying any regrets with me. It’s found me friendships and goals and motivation and determination unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I’ve found wisdom and encouragement and because running makes me feel so good, I try to share a little bit of my happy with as many people as I can because it’s the greatest feeling in the world!
Most days I have a plan for some kind of a workout. Today I had decided on a lunch run affectionately known as Runch and had posted my intention on my FB page. That was the plan and honestly I once again wasn’t jumping up and down to head out into 36 degrees if I had a choice. I love running in the morning and in the colder air but lately if I can do a Runch I’m all in for that. As long as I get some fitness in with a majority of those days running, I’m good and also flexible should I need to switch things up. It’s a good thing I’m flexible because my morning transformed quickly from my plan A to an instantly configured plan B. My husband asked me to help him with something this afternoon which now meant leaving work early and no real lunch / Runch opportunity. Clock on the stove said “you have 5 minutes to get ready to fit in a 30 minute run”. There was my opportunity to make a change or call it a rest day. Hell NO! Not a rest day for me, not today. I was already in my room donning thermal running gear, lacing up my kicks and waving goodbye to the fam within those 5 minutes. Out the door I went and it was a pretty decent run I think. I got my 3 cold morning miles in and felt accomplished and pretty good about having to punt. Some days that’s just the way it is. As runners we need to be flexible many times to make it work and get it done otherwise we are just spectators.
Today I did not woos out of cold weather. I think when I looked it was something ridiculous like 30 or maybe even 28. I don’t have the luxury of running at lunch today or didn’t think so. I remembered after my warrior run that my son does not have school and can make dinner for us. Well it’s a good thing I didn’t remember that because I would have missed out on an enjoyable, technically freezing cold run. I didn’t mind the cold. I wore my lined pants that are all fuzzy and soft inside that I love wearing until I put them on and remember I have to keep yanking them up. No worries I put on long socks today so my ankles were warm and I didn’t have to yank up my drawers. LOL So out I went because I was determined to do so. Socks on my hands (couldn’t find my gloves) only lasted a mile, a hat on my head so my ears stayed warm, double layer thermal shirts all in the name of getting it done, and I did. I finished proud of myself for getting out there. There is something incredibly empowering about running in the freezing cold. It makes me feel like an invincible warrior more than any other type of run. So what does the invincible warrior princess do after a great ice run? She votes! Yep I did my duty and exercised my right to choose by voting. I hope you do too and I hope you get a run in today.
Some days it isn’t really motivation that gets you out the door as much as it is just kicking your own ass to get it done no matter what. Today was one of those days. I woosed out of 36 degrees this morning and opted for a Runch. The time came and I was absolutely dreading it. Not one bone in my body wanted to go for a run today and join my brain in the festivities. My brain was the only logical section of me that wanted to go, probably because it would go against the routine to not do so on a day that all body parts had not agreed was a rest day. I hated the thought of running today but knew when lunch came that I was going to kick my ass out into the cold and go because I’m not a quitter. I am not a quitter and I don’t want those around me to think that I am either. you can’t miss my workout bag. It’s not like it’s black or a color that blends in….OH NO! My bag is not only bright orange, it’s camo print bright orange so when I’m going for a workout at lunch everyone knows it when I walk in the door. No getting out of the message I send when I get to work that I am determined and focused to work out. There’s pressure that I intentionally put on myself there so that I don’t in fact wimp out. I have once or twice wimped out and gone home to run or maybe once just not gone at all. Rare is that day now. So I put my feet in motion, changed and practically launched myself outside into the crisp November air. I can’t really complain because it’s warm for November. 46 is a gift and by far not the coldest I’ve ever run in.
Every step I take is begrudging to myself but I settle into what seems like a slow pace just to get it done. I’m familiar with the road I’m on because I run it all the time at lunch. It’s a busy road with a wide side lane that I usually can be found in. Every step is a relief because I’m one step closer to being done. That’s all I want today is to be done. I get to the mile mark a half mile short of my turn around point and my Garmin tells me that I’m on my regular pace. Not quite 9:30 but not 10 either. Not bad for a piss poor attitude on autopilot. At the half way mark I don’t stop except to yank up my pants and turn around. I’m not tired, I just don’t want to be out here. At 2 miles I am still on a decent pace and happy to be on my way back nearly finished and when I’m done I stop my watch and give myself a mental pat on the back for not quitting or turning around before I was done.
Some days even when it’s respectable you just call it done and call it a day. You won’t be into every workout every day and that’s ok but you need the self discipline to get it done on the days when you just feel blah or meh about a workout. Some days you have to take a day off, some days you need to take on and some days you just want one. Accept those days as part of the process of fitness but don’t let them be a regular distraction because that’s how we fall off the wagon and as we know, the wagon is a hard thing to get back on once we fall off. So today is done and I’m happy. Happy that I did it, happy I had the discipline to get out there even with a half hearted attitude. Happy that I can say I did it. Today is done and tomorrow is not yet written. I’ll tackle tomorrow when it gets here, till then…