Monday, November 14, 2011

Thoughts about this racing season - 2011

As my first full racing season is winding down, I have been reflecting on what I've accomplished this year and I am amazed.  I have reached things I didn't dream that I could accomplish.  This is not a pat on my own back, but this is me urging you that you can become a runner even if you don't think you can!  You can push further and become something you didn't believe you could be if only you could get out of your own way.

I was recently told that maybe I need to change the name of my blog.  With my recent first place finish and new PR, maybe I wasn't such a "newbie" anymore.  The naming issue crossed my mind earlier this year, but when I really think about it, I am still very much a newbie.  Somehow, God has graced me with some physical abilities that are beyond my comprehension, and for that I am thankful.  However,  I am not only referring to physical abilities, but the journey as a whole.  My mind and my body are still growing and learning the rules of this new journey I am on.  I am still a newbie, don't let the veneer fool you.

I look back at my mental state a year ago.  I was hating some runs.  I was thrown off by the end of daylight savings time.  I wasn't running enough.  My brain told me that the Frostbite Festival 10 mile run was a crazy thing to sign up for, not to mention the half marathon that I would eventually run in the spring. 

All of these things put seeds of doubt in my head.  Any one of these could have derailed me.  I could have said this is just too hard.  It's just not worth it.  Oh, thank goodness I didn't allow myself to get in my own way!  Here are the things I would have missed this year:
  • Two 5K personal records (PRs) in May (25:15), and again in October (23:41).
  • Completing a half marathon in 10 minutes less than I anticipated (2:01:00).
  • Lost 15 pounds.
  • A first place medal in my age division for a 5K.
  • Long runs with amazing talks with my husband!
What if I told myself this was too hard?  What if I told myself that I didn't have the time?  What if I told myself I couldn't do it?  Simply stated, I would have been so very wrong.  I would have missed out on some amazing things and amazing feelings that I just can't replicate.  Pulling on these memories now, they still make me smile.

So, you don't think you can run?  You are trying to run, but still hate it?  You can't find the time to run?  I've been there.  Believe me, I understand.  I used to refer to the negative little voice in my head a lot at the beginning of this blog.  One day, I told that voice to shut up.  I took control of the situation.

Sometimes you have to recognize the little voice and tell it to shut up.  Whatever it takes.  Get mad at it!  PROVE IT WRONG!  If you've never been one for confrontation, there's no one better to confront besides that annoying voice in your own head telling you that you can't do something.

If you are not running now but want to, find a couch-to-5K program and follow it.  Go slow, and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.  Find a race to register in the spring, and don't back down! 

If you've fallen off the wagon, get back on with a vengence.  Don't let life pass you by and don't make excuses. 

If you are regularly running, go farther and/or faster by changing up your running plan.  Find some new running buddies if things are getting stale.  Keep it new and it will renew you!

Just get out there.  Just run...

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