Saturday, August 25, 2012

I Signed Up For WHAT?

Thank goodness today was a relatively short run. The storm Ivan is giving us some much needed rain. However, I absolutely hate running on a treadmill! I have been putting it off all day long. But, as soon as I post this I will get my lazy rainy day keister onto it. Meanwhile, I thought I would show you guys how I have motivated myself to get out there (or on there) for the past couple of months. Maybe even help those of you who are still wondering to yourselves how you ever thought you could ever sign up for that race and complete that "insurmountable" number of miles. Yep, this is dedicated to you and me.

As I have shared before I am one of those people who apparently loves to scare myself into a challenge. Shortly after I signed up for the Tower of Terror Ten Miler I kind of sat there and stared at the course map.
This is the map of terror.
No really. I sat there and stared at the above course map. I looked at it and thought, "Holy crap. That is a long way. WHAT WAS I THINKING?" I was literally starting to psyche myself out thinking I had bitten off more than I could chew. I was new at running! Still am but I was very new. The most I had ever done was a 5k. I, puny mortal and out of shape girlie, was going to triple the amount of miles and finish without getting swept? Idiot! I felt like I was kidding myself.

And then I thought of all those cheesy but true motivational quotes I liked.
"You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith." ~Mary Manin Morrissey
“You've done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.”- Ralph Marston
Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~Doug Larson
 Doug Larson was right! And so were the others! I needed to look at this a different way. A different way...hmmmm. *snap fingers* That's it! If I broke it down by the training runs and posted my progress on the "map of terror" it wouldn't be overwhelming. I could see how far I had already run on the actual a virtual way. Yes, I could do this. So I looked at my training plan. First run would be a 3 miler. No problem. I just ran that in May. But then after running that (marking the time on the map) and then several other runs I noticed I was in trouble. Click here for that story. But I noticed my trouble because of my map marking. This required more stuff to add in on my map. 

No longer the "map of terror".
 Marking my goals on the map has completely changed the way I train. How so? Three ways.

#1. I am not so intimidated by the sound of the length of the long runs when I say them out loud. Seriously, people will ask me at work how long my run was last Saturday and I will casually say 9 miles. They gasp and say "You are crazy!" I will giggle and think to myself "I thought so once too." But what I say in reply to them is "Oh you should have seen the things I saw on that run! THAT was crazy!" I can say that because I can SEE how far I have already come.

#2. I am now conscientiously working on improving my time and form. I do however think it had taken getting over the intimidation of how far the runs sounded to even acknowledge that portion of my training.

#3. I now do consider myself a runner. An out of shape runner who is not only working on getting fit but also trying to enjoy her runs a little more each time. And I am no longer afraid to ask questions in my online running groups. I am a runner dang it and I need to know how to love my sport more and more each run and that means info and not ignorance. Never be afraid to ask what you may think is a dumb question. Believe me, someone else wants to know the answer too.

My friends (and those who can relate to my story) never let fear block your way to your goals. Find a way to break it down. Try this map idea. Enjoy your long runs more. Find the crazy happening around you when you run so you have something to laugh about or tell about when you get home. Do not be afraid to ask questions of people who have been running all of their lives. Many of them love to share the love they have of running with people like you and me just starting out. Fresh ears for old stories, ha-ha! And who doesn't like sharing what they love to do?

Meanwhile, a question to all of my new seasoned runner friends out there. "What did/do you do to get yourself away from psyching yourself out of a race when you sign up for a new more challenging race?"

Keep it up and maybe I will see you at a race or two! Ah I have to go get on the treadmill. Happy running! Look for the crazy!
- Cristina

P.S. Thank you to Carlos and Stephanie for the replies to last weeks posts. They were extremely helpful. Something is wrong with Blogger and I couldn't reply. Thanks again!!


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