I have a 5k tomorrow. The 2nd one since my back to running journey has begun. I’m still doing Insanity and just started the 2nd month this week, which is a lot more intense. My legs feel shot. Maybe not the best decision when I know I have a race coming up. I have picked up running a lot more than I did before my 1st 5k in May. I try to get at least 1 run in the week along with all the cardio Insanity provides. Dale and I have actually run together a few times. I love that, but also feel bad for holding him back. I’ve gone on my longest runs, which isn’t actually all that long.
I ran the lake across from our house the other morning by myself and ran to push it when I felt it was too easy. It’s just over 2 miles, not a long run, but it was good for me. It helped me evaluate things a lot better and to stop listening to my mind. I wanted to quit before I started. It’s hot out already. My ankle doesn’t feel that well. I think my stomach hurts. Only about a quarter of a mile in my legs felt like crap and my mind wasn’t helping. There was one truck in the parking lot and no one in sight. So my other excuses turned into I would be raped and murdered again. Not that I have been raped and murdered before, obviously, but my mind tries to get that drastic. I did the run anyway. I listened to myself, and then told myself to shut up and enjoy the area. The smells that take me back to my childhood and allowed me to dream about visiting my grandparents. The sounds that really have a calming effect and you can pick up a rhythm with.
When my mind said my legs were too tired or when they thought my breathing was too heavy I really thought about how my legs were feeling and to take it to my core or use my arms – focus the energy elsewhere. When I didn’t want to run the last steep hill because it is through the woods where there might be snakes and spiders and where I think I will twist my ankle again because the terrain is so rough I told it all to shut up. I got my ass up the hill and back to the drive way 2 minutes faster than the last time I ran the lake. And I felt great the rest of the day. Strong and accomplished.
I’m nervous for tomorrow. I know I shouldn’t be nervous. I know that I am not training to run for 5k’s like I did in the past, but I’m still nervous. Maybe it is because I plan to run with a couple of girls from school. I’m doubting myself. I’m doubting that I can keep the pace even though I talk all this fitness crap my mind still tells me I’m not the athlete I should be. There’s that teenage mind in there trying to beat me down.
So why do it? Why do I do it? My college friend asked this the other day. She was specifically talking about marathon training, but I applied it to why I make the sacrifices I do to do what I do.
Why do I continue to choose to get up at 4:30 Monday through Thursday to get a work out in no matter how much sleep I got?
Why do I run when I can be my most creative self when reaching for excuses not to do it?
Why do I now count calories and watch what is going in my mouth when I don’t have a weight problem and have NEVER had any kind of desire to do this in the past?
Yes, I want to be healthy. I want to do what I can for my body so it doesn’t let me down even though I’m not fully in control of that. I want to maintain where I’m at. I want to feel good and have confidence in myself.
But, do the sore legs and the fact that I STILL have some cellulite and I STILL have a mommy pooch especially 3 WEEKS before my period actually shows up feel good? EFF no. Even though I, in my opinion, have worked really hard, I’m not close enough to the perfect picture I painted in my mind.
The main reason I do this is for three sets of eyes I have on me who always know where I’m at. One set of light blue, one set of dark blue, and my one set of brown eyed beauties. They watch me and they learn by what they see. It’s not about putting me first. I really don’t see things that way. I see it as you do your best to put God first, then make sure you have a happy, healthy marriage, then make sure you have your family taken care of. Taking care of you is something I see as all encompassing. It’s something that is over at the side continuously moving through each priority you have set – your relationship with God, your relationship with your husband, and the mother you are to your kids. It umbrellas all of that. Do I have it down pat, no, but I’m working on it. I will never reach perfection 100% of the time and that is not my goal. I’m just reaching for the best and stretching to see how much better best can be. I fully expect some setbacks.
As a mom I want my boys to be strong in who they are and what they believe in. I want them to stand up for the right things in life and I DON’T want them to be afraid of hard work or limit themselves because of their own doubts. I want to raise them with the example of working hard and pushing past what you THINK you can do to find out what you can REALLY do. I want them to see me and their dad working hard, sweating, building, falling, getting up, and working for things we want in life. I want to show them imperfection, determination, and success.
When they are faced with their doubts or with people doubting the things they can achieve I want their thoughts to be, “My mom and dad can do it, you better believe I can do it.” Maybe they won’t realize that right off. It took years for me to see what my parents did. But, I finally got it. Totally not perfect along the way, but doing the right things to build integrity and strength.
So I continue to get up at 4:30 am and sweat like nobody’s business because I am committed. I know this is going to get me closer to my goal of stretching what I think I can achieve.
I run to be an example to my kids and to whoever else is watching. I run because it is a release for me. It is an opportunity to gain strength mentally and physically. It is a way to tell my mind that I’m going to listen to the excuses then I’m going to kick their asses. It is a way for me to realize I can do more than I thought I could. It is a way to bond with my husband. It is a way to spend some special one on one time with Wyatt occasionally. I enter the races to honor others. I use them to get me through.
I count the calories because it is now important to me to know what I’m putting in my body and how it is affecting it. I rarely reach my goal calorie intake. That explains a lot to me; headaches, tiredness, etc. I never knew that before, so I was never fueling my body the way it needed to be fueled.
They see all of this. This is the way they will be raised and the way they will hopefully live their own lives. Happy, healthy, with failures that they know they can overcome stronger, and the willingness to keep getting better and achieving more than they ever thought they could.
Plus, I need to keep up with those little punks now and as they get older.
Recently Wyatt has been trying to get rid of the training wheels on his bike. He thought he could go cold turkey. “Just take them off and I will get it.” He failed. He was frustrated. He begged to have them back on. He didn’t give up. We put the training wheels back on and waited for when he was ready again in the meantime he peddled away turning the 3 wheels behind him. He spent one night with my parents and my dad helped him get it. He achieved more than he thought he could. We took the training wheels off. He was afraid to use his brakes. He kept working. He now uses his brakes. Then he was afraid to turn so he would use his brakes to stop then get off of his bike to pick it up and turn it. The other day he ran up to me, “Mom, the most AMAZING thing just happened. I learned how to turn on my bike without falling off. Isn’t that awesome?!” His eyes, his facial expressions, his pride, his celebration, I’ll never forget it. This is only one small example of what I do want for my kids, but an honorable milestone nonetheless.
My goal for tomorrow morning? 8 to 8.5 min miles or final time of 28, but honestly, I want to crush it. What I’m using to pull me through the last mile to the finish line? For a lot of reasons, I’m running for my father-in-law tomorrow morning. That might get me a bit emotional, but I’m going to use it for strength. I’m going to count on my girls to distract me at the finish line when it is all over so I don’t lose it because I’m honestly not doing well with just typing it out.
What I’m doing isn’t setting records, or PR’s, it is nothing big in the grand scheme of things, but it’s about my life and the life I want for my boys and it all starts with building the baseline and foundation.
And reaching new heights.
Wish me luck! Happy weekend!