Let’s Get It Started

First of all,  I’m sorry I’ve dropped off the grid for nearly a week!  This past week was absolutely crazy, and I really lacked the time and energy to do any blogging :S

Secondly, happy Super Bowl!  Though my Packers didn’t make it this year, I will still be watching the game (and eating tons of appetizers).  Also, who is excited that the Puppy Bowl has penguin cheerleaders this year?!

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any cuter, they added penguins

Anyway, a few posts ago I talked about the struggle to find motivation to work out when it is so cold outside.  The best way for me to motivate myself is to sign up for races.  I don’t like to fail, so the fear of falling short is usually enough to get my butt into the gym.  So, I’ve decided to run the Fargo Half Marathon again this year.  Fargo is a good half to run.  The course is very flat, and a ton of people come out for it.  It’s a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, so there are definitely the really good runners who sign up.  But there are also many people who come out to try to accomplish a bucket list item and are less psycho (ahem, me).

I did the Fargo Half last year and it was really fun.  I think pretty much the whole town was out supporting, because there were few places along the 13.1 miles that weren’t filled with people cheering the runners on.  However, I fell short of my goal.  In both half marathons that I’ve done, I’ve made it to the 10-mile mark and then had to walk.  This year I REALLY want to run the entire thing, so training starts now.

This is the training scheduled I’ve tried to use in the past, but never really stuck with it:

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I would always get off the schedule (usually on the days when I was supposed to do the longer runs) and then end up just sort of improvising.  As a result, the longest training running I’ve ever completed as been just over 8 miles.  Therein lies my problem; I’m going to get up to the 12-mile mark before the half this year.

This is a 10-week program.  In order to start it you have to be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping.  The Fargo Half is May 10, which means the program starts on March 1.  I have just under 4 weeks to get myself ready to start, so on Thursday I bought myself a membership to Planet Fitness ($10/month what what).  Y’all, it was ugly.  My first day there I legit ran 1 mile and walked.  One stinking mile.  

This training is going to be all about attitude and mindset.  I went home after my mile run feeling very disappointed in myself.  When I woke up the next morning, I decided there is no room in my life for negative feelings.  Yeah, I’m out of shape.  But I’m taking steps to make it better.  So I got up yesterday morning, was at the gym by 8:15, set the treadmill speed to 5.8 (so slow, I know) and the time for 20 minutes, and I ran the whole time without stopping once.  Yeah, it was slow.  And yeah, I’m really sore today.  But I set a goal and I achieved it.  Even though it wasn’t an amazing length or pace, I did what I set out to do.

The lesson I learned from all of this is to dream big but set attainable goals to help you get there.  Have an ultimate goal, but make sure you have mini goals along the way.  You want to start a multi-million dollar company?  That’s awesome, but you should probably set a mini goal of staying in the black your first year in business.  You want to lose 100 pounds and become a healthier person?  Kudos, but it’s ok if you only lose 4 pounds your first week of dieting.  You want to run a half marathon?  Go you, but if on your second day of training it takes you 21 minutes to run 2 miles and you feel like dying after, that’s totally fine.

If you’re like me, you find that it can be pretty easy to be really hard on yourself.  Setting unrealistic goals can lead to disappointment, which can lead to discouragement, which can lead to premature abandonment of your dreams.  Let me be clear: I am not saying anyone should ever limit their dreams.  Dreaming big is what changes the world.  BUT, we have to keep the big picture in mind.  Have a big dream, but also realize that big dreams often don’t happen overnight.  Create a path that leads to your dream, and the journey toward it will be a lot less emotionally painful!

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