Tag Archives: determination

My 6-month run challenge (weeks 17 and 18): the mental (run) game

Running is such a mental game for me. 

And I know to some extent, running is a mental game just by nature of the beast. It just is.

Sometimes I just feel like it’s more of a mental game for me than it should be and something I should have kicked to the curb in the 18 weeks of this run-challenge of mine.

But then I realize that even the most seasoned runner still has days where the mind doesn’t quit and in enters the mental game. 

And I realize that even if I might have a more mentally challenging run than I’d like, it’s usually 1 out of every 5-6 runs and not every single one. For example, my run with my sister a couple of Fridays ago? The complete opposite of mental. It was utter perfection.  But at the other end of the spectrum? Enter today’s run.

Today’s run defined mental game. I was initially planning a rundate with my sister this afternoon but she’s trying to fight the ‘notsick’ vibes and opted not to run (good girl!!) and just come over for dinner (on tap, btw? THIS lentil recipe. Another lentil kick!!). In came the self-doubt. Running alone. Something I’ve lately had limited success with. I probably shot myself in the foot by even allowing myself to let that self-doubt creep in. The fear of not running well alone, since the last few times I’ve done solo runs outside have been meh. And just like a self-fulfilling prophecy, it was a meh run.

Started out great. Warmer than I thought (definitely wore a too-thick shirt!). Less windy than I thought (I have developed a fear of running in the wind of late, wtf is up with that?). Speedier than I thought. And then about a mile in, I stopped to take off aforementioned too-thick shirt and my calf started to bother me. And that pain never ceased. And my breathing was up and down, more labored than I thought. And then I had to stop again to stretch my stupid calf. And the run just felt like it went to hell in a handbasket (another wtf – why am I using that phrase lately?!) from there (yet the last mile or so I finally felt like I hit my stride).

So, yeah, I did it. I ran outside by myself. I forced myself onward. But I fought the mental game the entire time. I worried that if I am having a bad run now by myself outside, how am I going to do more of these? And is it because I am alone or because I am going through another streak of ‘meh’ runs? Or am I just jumping to conclusions? OR is it my new sneakers? (still debating that one. I got fitted for these and they feel great, yet, when I run in them, the soles of my feet start to hurt after awhile. Not normal? Must try running with my old pair and see if it still happens…).

Does this happen to anyone else or am I in the minority? I just get so frustrated when I have one of these runs because I want to progress and grow and continue to gain strength and speed and…confidence. I’m hoping it’s just one of those days. And I ran. And that’s all that matters. I can run. And I did.

Right?

Blank.

I have at least 4 posts half-written and ready to go but none of them scream at me to post today. Yet I feel like writing. Does that ever happen to anyone else? So I figure I’ll throw down a few thoughts and updates and if this is boring as hell, feel free to bypass, but here’s what’s going on in my brain right now. Blank, yet so full of…stuff.

My next work trip is on Sunday. I feel like I just got settled back into the routine I ❤ so much, and it’s back to it. But after this, nothing scheduled (yet), though I imagine another trip may be in the works for late-Feb/early March. I am feeling especially anxious about this trip since it is my company’s annual sales kickoff, which means we’re cooped up in a hotel for 3-4 days, no rental cars, nada. (in other words, completely entrenched in meetings, dinners etc. with colleagues from all over the world). This also means complete out of comfort zone experience (similar to last year) as I have to mingle with people I don’t see very often, or at all, and I am not the best ‘mingler’ (sort of akin to networking, IMHO, or approaching new people/making new friends – both of which I am bad at!). But I am trying to focus on the positive, knowing that this year, I am not the newbie, and I do have some friends at work now (go me!).

(we won’t even talk about trying to fit in some workouts…that will come later!)

It is so nice to experience the transitions both of my sisters are in right now, knowing that it will mean more time together, and for them. For Jen, she just moved to our hometown, which is about 35 mins away from where I live now (vs. more than an hour before) and in visiting her yesterday, and a few emails last night, I am so excited to be able to see her and my niece far more regularly and vow to make that a reality with my work schedule as well (lunches with niece and sis during the week? Yes, please! tea and cupcake night with the sisters? yes, yes!). I can barely wrap my head around the fact that she is so much closer now. As for Jess, many of you read her blog and know she just got a new job, a job that allows her to work from home with some travel and one in-office day. After a job that had her commuting 3+ hours a DAY most times, this is a life changer. I am excited that she gets to experience this work/life balance like I do, and it makes me remember how blessed I feel to have a job that allows for remote working!

M is in the final stages of his dissertation. He presented his thesis project to his review board and got approval to get collegial approval yesterday. He was incredibly nervous, but he passed, as I know he would. And I am, of course, very proud. On April 14, he will present his thesis and know whether or not he graduates in May (if for any reason he does not, he can walk in May and graduate in the fall).  And he will officially hold a PhD in nursing practice. How cool is that? (on top of being one of the first nurse practitioners in the area to be able to individually accept new patients…and I get to write the press release announcing it, I can’t wait!). Proud, proud, proud.

(there’s something about determination and drive that is so sexy).

Welp, I think I have blabbered on enough. Guess I had more cohesive things to say than I thought, huh? Happy Monday, friends.

Of rulers, challenges, blessings and transformations.

Let’s start with the goods…where else, right?

My final totals for the barre n9ne 60-day challenge?

12.5 inches lost!!!

Total between my sister and me? 23.5 inches lost!!!

Nothing short of In-CREDIBLE.

Tonight’s measure-in (and weigh-in, which neither of us looked at…it’s just a number and I’d rather keep it that way for now, thankyouverymuch. More on that later.) was exhilerating…it felt like a long time coming, yet, at the same time, like we just started yesterday.

But the biggest difference for me now?

I actually like my body <–wow, did I just say that?

Me. The one who confessed to feeling like a fraud, for mentally tearing myself apart, for struggling continuously with body image and comparing myself (ok, this still happens, but a LOT less) to others and myself.

Tonight, in what I equate to a half marathon-esque TRIPLE Jess and I took (because why not? go big or go home, right??), where the physical toll was really wearing on me and I didn’t think I could do another leg lift, thigh dance or plie, my body just went. It kept going. Mind over matter. Suddenly, when I was feeling near the end of my physical capacity, it popped into my brain. This is what will get me through that half marathon…the mental drive, focus and determination to get.it.done.

I feel as though I have come full circle with this challenge. Yet, at the same time, it’s not over. Not by a long shot.

This challenge will continue for us. We are going to keep going, to push further and accomplish more. Not because we aren’t satisfied with our results, but because this challenge is for life, in a way. This is my way of life. The eating, the barre n9ne workouts, the running.I have learned so much in the last 60 days, I can’t even put it into words right now. I will. In several upcoming posts (and a guest post on Tanya’s blog), but I will close with this…

I feel blessed. I feel inspired. I feel a huge door of opportunity opening for us. You meet everyone for a reason. And I met Tanya at an incredibly crucial point in my life. The sky truly is the limit. I am absolutely glowing with happiness, pride, and excitement.

Thank you Tanya, for everything you have offered us, inspired us with and pushed us to achieve. To the next 30 days and beyond. Let’s DO this.

To Jess, thank you for being my companion in tackling an amazing challenge and opportunity for us. I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone else. It has changed us in so many ways, and added a deeper level to our sisterhood. You are amazing, strong, and motivating. I am proud beyond belief.

I’ll end with one of my recent favorite quotes…couldn’t be more true.

Wow. We DID this.

I am determined.

If someone asked you what the one quality you most admire in yourself, what would you say?

For me? It’s determination.

(hence the title of my blog)

Determination is a quality that I think was a quiet attribute tucked away in the inner corner of my brain before I got divorced. I can honestly look back at my life and the ‘me’ I was then and say that I can’t really pinpoint too many times where I was really and truly challenged, or tested, or hurt. I was pretty lucky to have met my would-be husband at such a young age, not struggling like so many of my friends here and IRL to find love, to feel it, and know someone in this world loves you (as we all deserve to feel). Sure, we divorced, but I can honestly also say that we did have a loving relationship, the majority of our marriage, and I consider myself lucky to even say that. Looking at this statement – that I feel as though in my ‘past life’ I wasn’t really challenged or tested – is a huge a-ha moment for me…I just never looked at it that way or even realized it.

Fast forward to the pain of divorce. The picking yourself up, healing, moving on and up and forward process. It screams determination.

All that went with that process…the financial rock-bottom. The short sale on my house. The starting over. The new beginnings. The living on my own. The dating rollercoaster. The fits and starts with trying to find love. And…finding love.

It all screams determination.

I firmly believe I am at the point in my life where determination is second-nature to me. I seek it out. I am determined to continue growing, continue exploring and continue challenging myself. I never want to fall into complacency, or take what I have – my life – for granted.

For example?

I was determined to find a new job. It took me more than a year. But I found it, and it’s become one of the single most challenging transitions for me in my career. But I am loving every minute of every ‘out of comfort zone’ moment, because it is helping me grow. It’s cultivating greatness that I know is in there somewhere.

I am determined to get my running mojo back so I can run another half marathon. I am clawing my way back. This morning, I had one of my best runs, and the longest, in probably 8 months, with my sister. We ran 5 miles. I didn’t stop, I pushed through hills. She was there every step, coaching me along the way. It was exactly what I needed. I will get there. Because I am determined. I am staring down this challenge.

I am determined to undo this nasty body image I have.  With each passing day, and each passing Barre N9Ne class, I feel better and better. The minute I want to criticize, I slap it down. I am focused on changing that mindset, because it’s unhealthy. Embrace the positive, push out the negative.

I am also determined to really hunker down and start saving more money. I’ve started, I’m back on my feet, more than two years later, but I am finally feeling stable. But now is the time to save. I want to buy a house. I am determined to get there. Maybe even in the next year or so.

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here and pose the same question to you…If someone asked you what the one quality you most admire in yourself, what would you say?

(Thanks Tina and Jess for your posts which spurred mine. Loved every word of yours!)