Enduring an Endurance Race

Ok. I have to be honest with you all. This has basically been me since Saturday.

If only temper tantrums were acceptable for adults.

It's been a rough week.

Sometimes life creeps up on you. Sometimes your personal life crumbles, or your work life falls apart or you just can’t juggle a million different balls at the same time. Breathe with me. (DEEP, DEEP BREATH) I’ve been the crazy person deep breathing in the corner trying to get it together all week.

When life gets hard I like to do 2 things. 1. (No brainer) I Run. But this week, I’ve been feeling down and haven’t been motivated to get out. When that happens, I 2. Watch Ted Talks. Whenever I am feeling panicked, I watch Brene Brown’s talk on the Power of Vulnerability. (Watch it here.) It’s my security blanket. I’ve probably watched this talk a hundred times. I think there’s a lot in it that speaks true to life in general in addition to enduring an endurance race.

Here is this week’s mantra. I’m enough. It’s seems so simple right? Whether you’re increasing your mileage or jumping hurdles in your personal and/or work life; sometimes it’s helpful to just close your eyes and whisper “I’m enough” until you believe it. To put it into context, here is a piece from Brene Brown’s Ted Talk on vulnerability. In those moments when you doubt yourself and you find yourself asking; “ 'Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?' just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, 'I'm just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I'm alive.' And last, which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we're enough. Because when we work from a place, I believe, that says, 'I'm enough,' then we stop screaming and start listening, we're kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we're kinder and gentler to ourselves.”

So now that we have remembered our own power, strength, beauty and perfect imperfections: Let’s talk a little more about what it means to endure an endurance event. Here are three things I am working through right now:

1. Be Vulnerable.

It’s alright to say “I don’t know if I can do it” as long as you complete the thought with “but I am sure as hell going to try.” Life’s hard, complicated and messy. And no matter how you plan and train there’s going to be road blocks and speed bumps. This week I’m trying to work up the courage to join a charity team to run the NYC Marathon. I’m afraid I not only won’t be able to raise the money but I am terrified to train for a marathon again. CRAZY RIGHT! I KNOW! Just admitting that I am afraid to run a marathon is making me laugh. (The things you’re afraid of are usually the most worthwhile. I am going to sign up.)

2. Believe In Yourself and Your Worth

So you missed a few runs. You had to work late. Your family needed you. You got sick or injured. You couldn’t get out of bed. That’s ok. You’re not starting over and you haven’t been set back. You are where you are and be ok with it. The fact that you even want to try is something to celebrate. Forgive yourself and don’t let hiccups stop you. You are going to have bad runs where you want to stop and walk home. Remind yourself that it’s just a bad run. Push through it.

3. Do Your Research

If you’re training to run a distance race make sure you research training plans. Include running hills and intervals. Incorporate your long run. Sometimes finding time to squeeze in training is difficult so it’s important to make every run count. Even your short runs are important. Find your pace and realistically set your goal time. Do you want to finish? Do you want to run the entire way? Do you want to break 2 hours? Set goals for yourself. Set daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals and race goals; and don’t be afraid to check in and re-evaluate as you progress. There’s nothing wrong with adjusting a goal to meet the level you are at. Just completing a distance race is an accomplishment.

So basically those are 3 things I am trying to remind myself right now as I struggle through training for my sub 2 hour half marathon amidst the chaos that is my life. I hope you all are having a better week than I. What are some helpful mantras that get you through training? Any advice?

Email me at RunSelfieRepeat@gmail.com