“Divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart.” – Mike Fanelli
“I can’t do this. I’m too fat. I’m too slow. I’m too weak. I’m not good enough. I look ridiculous (well, now that’s the truth for me, but it’s OK!). It’s too much, I quit.”
Have you had this playlist running through your mind? Maybe these thoughts creep in when you’re attempting to do something hard, or maybe they are just there lurking for when you THINK about doing something difficult.
As a beginning runner, I have definitely been tuned into this playlist before. However, as I recently found out, it’s possible to change the channel with a change of heart. You don’t have to listen to this loop; and as hokey as it sounds you DO have the control.
I was bit by the running bug earlier last year, making all sorts of goals and plans that never saw the light of day. And that just turns the volume up on that negative playlist when it comes back on. If I can’t make those plans/goal materialize, how would I reach an end-goal? Somewhere along the road of continuous U-turns, I said F it. I stopped making plans and goals and just started. I have a tendency to jump BIG when I jump in, and that I did. I signed up in the early fall of 2013 with runDisney for the 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon , which will be run on February 23rd, 2014, with my best friend.
Gulp. Slow and (not so) steady, wins the race… right?
I registered for the race as a member of Team Lemon, runners who commit to not only running a sponsored race, but also to helping raise awareness and funds for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF). ALSF does an amazing job in awareness, research funding, and support for children (and their families) who are battling cancer. I am truly honored to be a part of their team. Making the commitment to the Half Marathon and to ALSF brought a new sense of urgency and also with it a new “playlist” (that wasn’t always positive). Now I had people relying on me. People who have donated, people who are cheering for me, and most importantly Team Lemon and the families ALSF supports. In the past, I have been a people-pleaser as a lot of us are. In this case, I am having to learn how to be selfish first in order to people please later. Selfish to put my motivation and needs first in order to reach a goal that not only benefits myself, but also so many who truly need it.
My typical procrastinating self carried me to the countdown to the big day, which finds me now at T- 5ish weeks, despite the warnings of my fit and also long time runner of a husband. The goods news is that I honestly do best in this mode, its a pressure I put on myself and for some reason I find myself being able to turn it up in these situations. (Procrastinator’s Anthem, anyone?) Despite this, I still found my negative playlist was at an all time high volume going out for my first run over a 5k distance.
“Why not me? Why can’t I do this?”
Whether it was the perpetual fire-under-my-ass of being a procrastinator burning a little hotter or whether something else happened; somewhere I found the ability to change the playlist a little more than half way through that run. “I can do this. And most importantly, I am doing this because I WANT to”. So many times I’ve beaten myself up when trying to stick with something new (especially physical things) and somehow turn it into a torture session; completely forgetting WHY I was doing it in the first place. (Hint: this process makes it much easier to give up). I was able to finish that run feeling strong, worthy, and ready. (Well as ready as I am EVER going to be to run in a tutu in front of tens of thousands of people.)
Getting out of bed and lacing up my running shoes before this morning’s first light, I couldn’t help but smile. I finally felt like an active participant in reaching MY goals. With that self-affirmation, I just knew I was on my way to run that half marathon with my heart, body and mind. I’m all in.
To learn more about the awesome work that Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation does and to learn more about the little girl who started it all, please visit Alex’s Lemonade Stand’s website.
If you’d like to donate to ALSF on my behalf, please visit my fundraising page with Alex’s here.
(Side thought: My last post was in July?! When did augustseptemberoctobernovemberdecember exactly happen? Despite apparently losing track of time; I’ve recommitted to myself and to this blog – so stay tuned!)