Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Midweek Motivation: Eyes on the Prize!

Midweek Motivation!
This has been my mantra for the past couple weeks as I am tempted daily with deciding between instant gratification (skipping a run to get an extra 1/2 hour of sleep, not making myself lunch from home because people hosting events at work will be bringing goodies) and doing what is going to keep me on track (running early since I know the rest of my day will get filled with work-stuff, taking extra time in my morning to put together some healthy food and then avoiding the room where the goodies are kept). It's been hard, and I've definitely given in on a few days, but I try not to beat myself up about those. I am thankful to have you all, and other good influences in my life...discipline is a very individual trait, but it can't hurt to have someone there to slap your hand away every once in a while!
So, even though it's okay to give in to the "now" on occasion, don't lose sight of what you want most. Whether it's a 5K PR or finishing a marathon, or if it's just trying to run once a week to keep up your base or keep those favorite pants from getting too tight. Make your intentions clear to yourself and those around's much easier to keep your eyes on the prize when you and your circle can see it ahead of you!

Happy Wednesday Runners!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Midweek Motivation: Lesson from the super-competitive back of the packer!

I am super competitive. It is a trait that has been ingrained in my psyche since I was very young. My parents were "sports" people and my sister and I followed suit, becoming competitive athletes, and vowing our undying allegiance to all Minnesota sports teams. For me though, my competitiveness has not been isolated to my athletic endeavors, but has shown itself in pretty much all other pursuits. I mean, I've been a Mom for over 8 years but I still can't bring myself to "let" my children win at board games. So it's no surprise that the impetus for me to start running two years ago was a competitive one; I found out an old high school swimming rival was doing a local triathlon and man, I really wanted to beat her! So I started training and fell in love with running. What was surprising though, was how afraid I was when I got to the start line of my first running race. I was looking around at all these super-fit, shorty-shorts-wearing, GPS-tracking, barely-breaking-a-sweat runners and thought to myself "I don't belong here!" I was sure I was going to finish dead last, and for a super-competitive person, that thought was super-deflating.
Well, I didn't finish last, and I certainly didn't come in first, in fact, I have no idea where I placed. I was too busy marveling at how awesome it was to be in this huge group of people, young people, old people, people of all shapes and sizes, people who were going for a PR and people who were running well below their normal pace because they were running with a friend. This was not an elite group, I was not the "worst" runner there...I realized quickly that this new athletic journey I had embarked on was not about beating others, but about improving myself, pushing my body to it's limits, about competing with all my preconceived notions about what I was capable of and winning on every level.
This past weekend I did my first triathlon of the ninth overall. I was feeling pretty good about where I was physically, so of course my hope was to make the podium. As I watched all the waves in front of me I again marveled at how all-inclusive this sport is. Men, women, teenagers and Septuagenarians, all competing together. Super ripped guys in tiny Speedos, two pregnant women who chuckled at themselves for needing the ladder to climb out of the pool. One guy who swam elementary backstroke, because that was the only way he knows how to swim, giving it his all while everyone else in the pool was churning out Olympic-caliber crawl stroke! Before I began running, I was unable to appreciate the bravery it must take for some people to get out there and compete, knowing that they will be lapped, or knowing they simply don't "fit the mold" of an athlete. It is both humbling and empowering to get to the start line not knowing what the outcome might be.
So, as the snow starts to thaw, and you start seeing more posts about races, more of us talking about our training plans, and all the inevitable pictures of people with finisher medals around their necks, don't be afraid, don't be jealous, don't think "I don't belong here". Sign up for that local 5K, try your first triathlon, embrace your inner competitor! Every time I get home from a race Kayley asks me "Did you win Mom?" And while I have yet to be able to tell her I came in first place, I always tell her that "You know, I didn't win, but I did a really good job and most importantly, I had a lot of fun".
Happy Wednesday Runners!