100 Days

Thursday marked 100 days until my marathon. Yikes!! In celebration, I purchased my airline tickets before they went up. I’ve had my hotel reservation for a while, but was holding off on the tickets, because once they were bought, I feel like there’s no backing out! So, now it’s official, I’m definitely going to New York City.

My training this summer has been tough. Wow, what a different animal the marathon is! I trained for the Half marathons I did last summer with few problems, although the heat was tough & I had my first bout with heat exhaustion. I made it through & ran a decent race in October, even though my training had been a little off. This summer is kicking my butt, though. The long runs aren’t just bad, they’re awful. Today’s was no exception to that, unfortunately, but it is done. Pretty much wiped me out for the day, though. I’ve learned not to schedule anything for the day of a long run, so that I can have the day to recover. Still have my feet propped up and am constantly hydrating.

A few weeks ago, I had a really whiny post http://jrichardsoriginals.blogspot.com/2011/06/just-do-it.html. My daughter read it and sent me a very encouraging e-mail about just doing it. She had to take a professional exam and was really stressing out about it. Her husband reminded her that she just needed to do her due diligence & then take the test. As long as she did her part, she would be successful. She did her due diligence, took the test, and passed. She is really wise and wonderful. My daughters encourage me so much, just by being themselves.

This summer is about due diligence. Picking them up & putting them down. I can’t afford to take time off, that marathon won’t run itself. So, I keep getting out there. Pushing my boundaries way past my limits. Testing to see how far my body will go before it shuts down. Testing my mental toughness.

Although I don’t really feel up to the task, I know myself well enough to know that I won’t quit. I’ll keep on keeping on, working through my training & trouble shooting the bad days. I’m a runner for life & in pursuing that, I have take the good with the bad.

Mind Games

Our minds are truly remarkable little critters.   They have such power.  They hold the key to our success and failures with mere words spoken silently.  My mind hasn’t been terribly helpful to me lately, and this week marks the beginning of the end of that.  I am taking control back from it.

I haven’t blogged in several weeks.  It has been a busy summer, it seems the harder I try to “slow down”, the faster and faster I spin.  And, not really in good ways. I haven’t been to yoga in six weeks. My training has been off, long runs have been beyond terrible, shorter runs not much better.  And, I really let it mess with me.  No more.

I love to read motivational quotes.  I am on several e-mail daily quote and devotional lists, one of which is from “Runners World.”  The quotes are always interesting, sometimes helpful, other times funny.  The ones I really love I usually print out and stick on my refrigerator.  Early in my marathon training this year, I got a quote that really spoke to me.  It was: “Marathoning. The triumph of desire over reason.”  How apropos.  My marathon will truly be a triumph over reason.  But, my reason keeps getting in my way.  A more recent quote that I love is “It is the illusion that we can go no faster that holds us back.” (Kenny Moore, athlete & journalist)   Substitute the word “farther” for faster and it’s still true.  In fact, you could substitute a lot of words for faster and that statement would still be true.  The statement means that the only things holding us back are the limitations we place on ourselves.  Our pesky minds.

On a recent trip, I had a conversation with a fellow runner about this very topic.  She is very new to the sport, and is hampered on runs by the feeling that she needs to hold back, reserve her energy for later.  Her mind keeps telling her legs, “Take it easy, guys.  We have a long way to go, don’t get carried away.”  So, she slows down.  I struggle with that, too.  Now, don’t misunderstand.  Walk breaks are fine.  My marathon training is Jeff Galloway’s run/walk program.  My problem is I let my mind talk my legs into taking it too easy.  So, I’m retraining my mind.  Beginning now.  This week’s long run is a 17 miler, and I am only going to allow positive thoughts about my running program to enter my mind.  Reminding myself that I CAN do this, I AM ready, the heat WILL NOT defeat me.  I intend to overcome the illusion that I can go no farther.

Over the last few weeks,  I have been immersed in all things “Harry Potter”.  I’m listening to the audiobooks (for the fifth or sixth time), and Gary and I are re-watching the movie series in anticipation of going to see the final installment at the theater.  It’s wonderfully entertaining, an epic battle of good against evil, and occasionally it is profound.  In Book 2 “The Chamber of Secrets,” Professor Dumbledore is counseling Harry about the differences between him and the evil Voldemort.  He says, “It is our choices that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”  One of my all time favorite book/movie quotes.  Because,  faced with the limitations of my ability, I’m afraid I would never get out of bed in the morning.  Choosing to push myself beyond my current ability is what will get me to mile 26.2.

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith. 1 John 5:4