Monday, August 15, 2011

Accomplishing a goal

It's really funny how much I let things get to me.  I want to shrug stuff off!  It's hard to change things that you have did for so damn long and I'm willing to change but sometimes being willing to change and actually doing it, are two different things.  I am working really hard to change that about me but I also realize that I am still human.

I can't believe how much I let get to me the Mint City 10 mile race that I signed up for.  The day before the race, I probably peed at least 40 times.  I had to call a friend just to have a smack upside my head to "center" me back to reality.  There is really no words to describe how I felt that morning of the race.  I was scared, excited, humbled, you name it.  It was wonderful to see all shapes and sizes of people there.  We all had one thing in common:  to do the race and finish it.  Some were walkers, some were runners and some were both.  My personal goal was to run it, not stop at all and finish it.  I knew I could do it but I am so used to running by myself and knew it would be different with other people around me.

It was rather humid that morning.  I was just happy that it wasn't rainy.  I got there around 15-20 minutes before.  Seen a couple people I knew and got a couple "Good Lucks".  I did my stretching and then of course, looked up to heaven before the race started and said one last plea to God...please let me do this!  And then we started off.  It was almost claustrophobic feeling at first.  I don't like trying to start my run with wall to wall people. Thank God, that didn't last long.

As usual, I had a lot of time to think and pray during that time.  I wanted to treat this race as if I was just out running like I do every morning.  I tried to zone out what other people were doing and act like I was the only one out there.  For the most part, I did do that.  I caught myself finding people to run "against."  I didn't want to do that, it just happened.  I think that is a normal thing to feel a bit competitive when you are put in that environment.

Every mile marker that I hit, I did my little "Yeah baby" move!  I'm sure other people thought I was nuts but I didn't care.  I was going to enjoy that race to the fullest.  I got to the halfway point and seen the big "time" board and it showed me that I was right on the mark for what I normally run 10 miles in.  I even found someone to talk to for just a few minutes, which is not something easily done when running.  I noticed for the most part, the people that ran near me finished near me.

I didn't have any trouble until around mile mark 8 and it wasn't anything bad, I just had side pains.  But since I'm used to ignoring pain, I ran through it.  I had to laugh...there was a person on the side of the road and said to me, "Everything is downhill from here, you can do it" and I replied back, "Um, Morton St. hill goes uphill."  Not that I was going to worry about that...I ran that hill 5 days a week.  I wasn't about ready to have that hill conquer me!  At that point, there was the end in sight.

I was pushing myself to the brink and I knew it, but I also knew I was almost done.  The only thing I could think about is how I was going to feel when I crossed that finish line.  I envisioned it would be just me running normal and no hoopla.  But I could hear the cheers of the other runners finishing and knew by the then it would be different.  There was maybe a couple of  people there that knew what I was about to accomplish but for the most part, it was just a personal moment for me and no one else.

I got near the end and there was this lady that had been going back and forth with me.  She was "the one".  The one that I picked to beat. It sounds bad of me but I needed to do that.  She was just entering the finish area and so was I.  I saw a friend of mine/fellow runner and he said "Sprint Monica" and so I did!  I sprinted across that line with as much of a smile on my face that I could muster being that I almost felt like I was dying!    At that point there were no thoughts/feelings other than "Please God, don't let me puke."

I was gagging at that point but got that to stop.  I walked over to the food area and grab a 1/2 banana and a water and went and layed down on the ground.  I put the towel over my face and the tears started flowing,  No one knew I was crying.  It's hard to explain into words how I felt at that moment.  I did something that I haven't did in over 27 years.  I ran a race and not just any race that I was used to from Cross Country in High School.  I ran 10 miles.  If you would've told me two and half years ago that I could run that far, I would've laughed.  No way would a 258 lb. woman be able to run 10 miles, just no way that could happen.

I finished that race in 1 hr.35 minutes and 49.6 seconds.  I placed 8 out of 15 ladies in my age group. I finished 130th overall out of 219 people, I think!  My pace was 9:35 a mile.  I was happy with how well I did.  But even more than that, I was happy that I ACCOMPLISHED A GOAL THAT I SET OUT TO DO!  I have been trying to get to goal weight for over 2 1/2 years and that is still very important to me but the one thing this race showed me is that I CAN AND WILL DO JUST THAT!

"One part at a time, one day at a time, we can accomplish any goal we set for ourselves."
Karen Casey, from Achievement of a Life Goal

Monday, August 1, 2011

Letting fear get to me!

It's been a little while since I blogged...I'm apologizing right now for it!  I know that I said I would be better at it but I just haven't had it in me.  You know the old saying...the road to hell is paved with good intentions?  I say this a lot, but I have a 6 lane expressway heading there with no cops in sight and no speed limits posted!  LOL!  What I need to do is jot things down that come to me and then come back to it when I get the time to write.  Somehow, when I am inspired to write, I lose the thought that I had or I start second guessing myself.  Going to try to be better about it...I have to is my outlet!  With that being said, here goes...

I'm sitting here trying not to let things get to me but they do!  As hard as I try, those damn demons just won't let me be.  Going to apologize ahead of time for this possibly being a little negative.  I try not to be and the days that this does happen are getting fewer and fewer in between.  And to that, I'm thankful.  I remember when I first started off on this journey of mine...I cried a lot, worried a lot and stressed a lot!  It's been better for me to not sweat the small stuff as much.  But just every once in awhile, something sets me off.

I'm running in the Mint City 10 mile race this coming Saturday and it scares me to death that I am doing this.  I know it doesn't make any sense to anyone.  I have been running now for 28 months.  I run 5 days a week.  I have did as much as 13.23 miles outside so I know that I have the stamina and endurance to get this done.  It just comes down to this...I'm scared that I have committed myself to this.  I have to show up now and I have to follow it through or I would look like a failure!

The similarity between this race and my weight loss journey is uncanny.  I am running this race alone.  I'm doing this weight loss on my own.  Nobody can run this race for me.  Nobody can lose the weight for me.  Nobody will be disappointed more than me, if I don't run this race.  Nobody will be disappointed more than me, if I give up on my weight loss goal because it is taking so long to get there.  So, I think it is appropriate for me to be alone during this race.  Granted there will be other runners so technically I am not alone in this but I just need it to be this way.

Don't get me wrong...I am looking forward to doing this race.  It's a goal that I will be able to accomplish.  It's something that I've needed to do.  It's out of my comfort zone.  I'm trying to hard to be a lot more open to things.  I am 42 years old and I really don't want life to pass me by without doing some things that I want to do but am scared to do!  That is why I love the Bucket List movie.  I don't think you should have to be dying in order to have a list like that.

I think it is good for people to come out of their comfort zones once in awhile.  It helps you to grow as a person.  That is what I am hoping for after this race.  To not be so predictable, to run and not think about how many miles or whether I'm doing it fast enough.  I just want to get out there and enjoy it.  To savor in the free therapy it gives me, to have my "alone" time with just me, my thoughts and God!  It's my outlet, along with the writing.  It didn't used to feel this way.  I looked at it as exercise and now I look at it as something that needs to be done for me to become a better Monica!
"If you're never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take any chances."~~Anonymous