Goals, guts and glorious – these three words appeared a lot in my world since last summer. I have been complacent and worse, I have “settled” for a while. To quote Belle from Beauty and the Beast, “I want more than this provincial life.”
I didn’t really know how or what meant a few months ago, but as life has unfolded I realized changes were coming and I have been following the world’s lead for a while.
The dichotomy of the first and second halves of 2017 was remarkable, minus an ill-timed sinus infection in October. July, I received some professional constructive criticism that was a catalyst for re-defining my sense of purpose. An epiphany caused a shift in perspective and made me realize that the bumps that 2017 presented was exactly what I needed. As a result of those bumps, I re-defined and re-examined personal and professional goals, went with my gut, and made changes. An opportunity presented itself that was the change I needed professionally (spoiler alert – I accepted a transfer to a different department!). Personally, the bumps forced me to re-examine my nutrition and fitness regimes. (Second spoiler –I have lost the 40 pounds I gained after surgery. Actually, as of February 26th, I am about three pounds below what my initial post-surgery goal weight. Woo hoo!)
My biggest goal since I was given the green-light to resume normal physical activity has been to be smart. I have, more than once, erred on the side of caution (except during that ill-timed sinus infection…) and took things easier than what is my normal. I realized I needed to treat my comeback like I was a beginner. I finally have (most of) the right habits in place to help reach my ultimate goal of eventually qualifying for the Boston Marathon (still need to work on the warm up and cool down). I cancelled my gym membership and started taking small group strength training offered through my physical therapist’s office. The trainer is aware of my limitations and we adjust. Work perk, I have access to a couple of gyms so I can supplement as necessary. I joined a yoga studio; that has been the
best decision! There is something magical about the heat and the stretching that works wonders on my neck. Even though I look like I have gone swimming, I feel refreshed after each practice.
Part of the being smart was signing up for the Shamrock Training team again.It was where it started and it helped get me to the finish line of my first half marathon. While I have written my last couple of training plans (with the assistance of certified running coach friends), I tend to be aggressive and I knew I needed to step back and build back to where I was stopped. Plus, I like being on a team (and the perks).
The launch party was early December. Condensing the night into a really short story, Ryan asked a simple question, “Where will your running shoes take you?” He asked to think about our goals and our fears. He wanted us to write the goals on the side of shoes, so we could have a reminder every time we laced up; he wanted us to write the fear on the bottom, so we could stomp it out. I was stumped. I didn’t have any fears – I mean after everything with 2017 pretty much nothing scares me. I have nothing to lose. Goals, um, run again? Running goals are separate from the fitness and nutrition goals, while they go hand in hand, they are not exclusive. My biggest goal at that moment was to regain what I had lost and improve. Since I wasn’t sure, I decided to think on it.
I am big believer in signs. I believe in fate and karma. I, also, believe surrounding yourself with (positive) like-minded will help the whole achieve their goals and dreams.
One of the people I met through the team is this amazing runner, Kris. She is friendly, supportive, driven and FAST. She has been trying to qualify for the Olympic Time Trials in the marathon for the short amount of time I have known her. The same day as the launch party, she raced the California International Marathon and QUALIFIED for 2020 time trials! You can read about it here. Pondering Ryan’s speech as I was reading her recap (best line ever – Life’s not fair. The marathon isn’t fair either.), it came to me. Have guts; go for glory. I have been conservative for a long time. With every marathon (the exceptions are Blue Ridge and Richmond), I have had realistic expectations and even though I gave it 100 %, I have always wondered what if I did…. More strength training… focused on nutrition… focused on sleep… and on on. Her words inspired me for to go for it.
When I toe the line this weekend, I know there is nothing else I could have done; I have already achieved my “A” goal. It is now up to the Marathon Gods. On one hand this training cycle has been the most inconsistent – missed runs due to icy roads and a stomach virus that took its time going away, or shortened, because I wasn’t feeling it. On the other it has been my strongest, my runs have felt consistent; like all of them have felt like quality miles. I can’t control the weather. Thankfully, the marathon is mental and my mental game is strong.
My time goal is lofty (C goal), but achievable. The best feeling this week is knowing that I don’t have a single “what if” this go around. (Slight lie – no idea how to dress yet, but will be confident in whatever I decide to wear Saturday evening).
Danette didn’t share the name of the person who said this, but this may become my life motto.
Happy Dr. Seuss’ birthday!