Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Game On!!

My running off-season is over already! Now that I'm a little over 8 weeks away from my first-ever 10-mile race, I'm officially in training again!

Unfortunately, I was a little too lazy in my off-season and thus have been struggling to get back into the groove of training. Mornings continue to kick my butt, and I've already fallen short of some parts of the training plan I'm trying to follow. My first long run was supposed to be at least 4 miles. I was aiming for 4.5. I only completed 3 and some change.

It's hard not to be discouraged by that failure. Until that happened, I was feeling pretty confident about this race. I knew I had some hard work to do to prepare adequately for it, but I believed I was capable of doing that work and driven enough not to give up.

I still believe this.

Right now I want to wallow in my disappointment in myself, beat myself up for my shortcomings, and think of this 10-miler with dread and self-doubt. Instead I am going to repeat my current training mantra: "Discipline. Tenacity. Success." I'm a strong-willed woman, and when my discipline is lacking, my tenacity kicks in and keeps me going.

I don't know how to banish negative self-talk entirely from my mind, so my new solution is to counter it, not necessarily with positivity of the sunshine-and-rainbows-and-unicorns variety, but rather of the gritty, determined, do-it-or-die-trying variety.

If my brain says, "I suck at mornings!" I'm not going to say, "No I don't, mornings are awesome and so am I!" Instead I will say, "So what? I'm getting up anyway, and working out anyway, no matter how grumpy I am or how much it hurts."

If my brain says, "I can't possibly complete a long run on the treadmill!" I'm not going to say, "Yes I can and I will kick its ass because I'm awesome!" Instead I will say, "It does not matter how much it sucks or how many times I have to walk, I will finish the distance, and I will finish strong even if I'm miserable."

If my brain says, "I'm too slow and I will never get fast enough in time and will probably be removed from the course when I fall below the slowest allowed pace," I will not say, "I AM fast enough, and I WILL get faster, and I'll complete the race no problem because I'm awesome!" Instead I will say, "Yes, I'm slow, and I might not improve my speed enough to maintain the right pace for the entire distance. It's entirely possible that I might get removed from the course before reaching the finish line. But I will fight with everything in me to keep that from happening, and it won't be the end of the world even if it does, because DNF is still better than DNS."

I'm running this race, come hell or high water. And so I will train, even if it hurts, even if I suck, even on my worst days and when my attitude is poor. On my best days, if I can be disciplined and positive, GREAT! I will embrace those days and make the most of them. On all those other days, I will be tenacious despite my negativity....and I will embrace those days and make the most of them too. It won't be pretty...but it still will lead to success.

Discipline. Tenacity. Success.

Game on.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Why Are You Still Here?

I never meant for this blog to last this long.

It was meant to record a journey to a specific goal. I had no plans beyond that.

Now the journey has been recorded and the goal has been achieved, but so much has changed in the process. Instead of wanting to do one triathlon, I want to be a triathlete all the time. Instead of running to lose weight, now I run to feel strong and happy.

Still, I set out to accomplish something and I did. So why am I still here, and why are you?

My story isn't too extraordinary, but I think maybe that's what makes it useful. I've overcome an injury, fought to become active again after (many) pregnancies, carry a little too much extra weight, and struggle every day to find the time and energy for working out amidst the many responsibilities in my busy life. In other words, I'm just like lots of other people.

I know my readership is small, but I hope my writing can make an impact. I long to inspire people the way so many others inspire me.

But do I have anything interesting left to say?

Yes. I believe I do still have interesting things to say, even if only to myself. There are a plethora of fitness-related blogs out there, many with more helpful information or better background stories than mine. But I think there is a place in cyberspace for my ordinary little life, my tiny contribution, my story that isn't finished being written. So the reason I am still here in this blog is that I'm still here in the real world too, still on this journey and hoping it doesn't end until my body literally cannot do it anymore. I once thought I "might as well tri" one time, and now I figure I "might as well tri" over and over again -- and I might as well write about it too!

That just leaves the question of why you are still here. I can't answer that question for you, but I'm a little curious about your reasons, if you know them and don't mind sharing. If you are one of my handful of faithful readers, and you plan to keep right on following me, why?