I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Posts tagged ‘Fear’

What I learned from marathon training 

Negativity is bad. Like, really, really bad. 

Not the kind of bad that lets you know up front that it is bad, like tickets to a Browns game or a $25 sandwich at the airport terminal. It’s the insidious kind that pretends to be on your side, like shots of tequila giving you ‘courage’ before you end up falling on your face. 

Negativity would show up to my training sessions handsomely dressed as Realism or Caution. It wouldn’t say to me, “Joan, you can’t finish” or “Joan, why are you doing this.” It would say, “Be careful or you won’t hit your pace!” “Don’t expect a good training day because you haven’t been perfect with your diet!” I would find myself going faster than I needed to in the beginning of runs because of fear and inevitably end up tired in the middle, thus affirming my negative thoughts before I caught on to what was happening.

The only effective method I have for combating Negativity is to simply keep showing up. I will admit that there were times over the last 16 weeks where I allowed it to beat me, but overall, I believe I won. I will not be able to confirm my victory until tomorrow at about 1 PM EST, but for all the times I felt like giving up, fearing that I am unworthy of the starting line of a marathon, there were many more that I fought through and finished. 

Let’s hope that the 15 pounds I’ve gained are pure courage. 

Advertisements

Bad Mother On The (Long) Run

“Giving birth would be AWESOME.” 

How did I get there, you ask? It only took me 8 miles. 

You see, I woke up feeling quite nervous about today’s long run, the first of my 16 weeks of marathon training. Generally speaking, I tend to get worked up about my workouts, because I want them to go well, but especially about my long runs. Am I ready for today’s journey? Indeed, each time I feel I am embarking to an unknown destination, despite the fact that I have run this particular distance -and longer – several times in the past. And you know what? Let’s be real. Every long run is different because I am different. How was my sleep? Nutrition? Stress level? Fitness? Hah, we’re about to find out if whoever I am this week is sufficient. 

Hurricane Hermine not only extended my weekend but also provided some lovely weather for today’s journey. If I could write a weather system a thank you note, I would. I was surprised that I had to actually slow down to run the pace in my plan. “Maybe I don’t suck!” Said I, after mile 1. “Too early to tell,” I retorted. “We are tight,” my legs squealed. “Shut up, we’ll be done eventually,” I said with a grimace. “You need to lose weight,” squeaked my running skort. “Tomorrow,” I said, crossing my fingers. 

I am pleased to report that on this day, I was able to outrun my negative thoughts and complete my long run, feeling strong. As I approached my car, I looked at my reflection in the window. I was drenched in sweat. I giggled and took the obligatory selfie. It dawned on me that I never view myself as more beautiful than when I finish a long run. My accomplishment makes me both glisten and glow. No makeup, no jewelry – just one foot in front of the other until it’s done. Naturally, the longer the run, the more beautiful I’ll be, I figure. So how could I NOT think to myself –

“I bet I would look GORGEOUS after giving birth!” 

Put one in the ‘pro’ column for (biological) motherhood, y’all. 

Only 1:39 of labor.

Being Shown What’s Weak: Pre-Nuptial Report, Part I 

  
We are no longer counting months, weeks, or days. My name will be hyphenated in a matter of HOURS. I’ve already been chastened by each of my parents about ways they think I can be a better wife to Adonis. Yikes. 

Though I hate being reminded of places where I need work, I am thankful that I will never be too old for my parents to rebuke me. I am confident that I will be continually redirected on a path that will bring God glory. Moreover, it feels good to know that they support our union – Lord knows that if they did not, they would be telling me to run instead of helping me to do better. 

Over the past month, I have feared many things. Have I made the right decision? Will I lose myself? Am I good enough? These kinds of questions have haunted me in many contexts in the past but of course, never so intensely as it’s been. They are another marker of a consistent pattern of a lack of faith, both in God and in myself. I’ve expressed to Adonis that my greatest fear is being critical toward him the way I am critical toward myself. It frightens me that even though I can pinpoint the way in which I am most likely to chip away at our relationship, I find myself being critical in ways that he simply does not deserve. I am making the same mistake with Adonis that I’ve made with myself for so many years – not looking at him through God’s eyes. 

Tonight is the last night that I will put my single self to sleep. With her, I hope I can retire my tendency to focus on the wrong things. A lot of people are pretty bloody negative, especially about marriage and relationships. It is my fervent prayer that I will no longer be conformed to this world but be transformed by the continual renewing of my mind. May I not resist the prodding of the Holy Spirit. It is only through Him that I have any hope of being good to him. 😎

The Death of Summer 

Well, summer has once again come to an end. Every June, I have said to myself, “I know what I’m going to do! I am going to work a little each week of summer to ensure that I have the smoothest start of the school year possible.”  

 Yeah. Didn’t happen. 

I’m your classic procrastinator. Most times, I would rather not act simply because I’m fearful that the outcome will not be what I feel it should be. I generally will not act until the fear of the consequences of not acting is greater than my fear of failure. When it comes to the beginning of the school year, I end up scrambling to prepare because I fear being an ineffective teacher more than I fear being an imperfect one. 

I frustrate myself. When am I going to live more like the Christ follower I am? I am living a life of fear until I absolutely must be faithful…or else. It frightens me to think of how many blessings I must miss, especially given that a life of procrastination does not lend itself to real, peaceful rest. There are things you just don’t plan for, like 2 family deaths within 48 hours of each other, one happening the morning you return to work. 

Regarding work – it has to work out, heh. God has been both faithful and gracious and I will do my absolute best to be the music teacher my students deserve and give them a great year. Because this: 

“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭103:8‬ ‭NASB‬‬

I’ve squandered more time than I care to think about and received some stark reminders this week that there will come a time when there is no more time. This first world life of mine can be scarily deceptive. Every day is a fight to remember why I must continually submit my will to His. 

It may sound weird, but the two funerals I will attend in as many weeks make that fight easier. Death makes it very difficult to run from reality. I am hugging everyone around me more tightly and was able to take an important step today that I’ve been putting off for much too long. 

My relationships with the spawns of Adonis have been good, but one has made me more nervous than the other. The Big One is more like her father, who won’t tell you he needs things but when you offer, or just show up and do it, you know he needed it. Lil One, mercifully, requires a *tad* less intuition. I reached out to Big today and told her I would see her tomorrow at her godfather’s funeral, and she said something that helped me be brave, and I quote: 

“You’re da best Joan. Thanks for being a great future step-mom.”

If that doesn’t give me hope for a solid relationship with lots of room for growth, I don’t know what will. So I took a leap and told her I loved her and got the I love you return! Mind you, I had made the decision to love her as soon as I knew of her existence, and have liked her since I’ve met her, but I’ve been sitting on it because I didn’t want her to reject me, quite frankly, or see me as trying to replace her mom. I’ve simply deferred to less explicit ways of showing love by checking in with her, hugging, etc. I look forward to being there for Big One and telling her in person! 

The death of a loved one always sucks. You wonder if you told them the right things. Did the right things for them. Death, however, also brings rest for those who no longer must fight. I hope and pray that I continue to die to myself, that I conquer fears more quickly and live the life of faith that will enable me to experiences the Lord’s blessings to the fullest and help others on their journeys to do the same. 

RARR: Regular Ass Run Review

I ran today.

I was supposed to ride, but my hand is bothering me and my massage therapist said that gripping my handlebars could aggravate my hand.

Because I’m a cold-weather p***y, I waited until the afternoon to run. 4:45 PM. A bit later than I intended, but pressing start on my Garmin made me feel proud. Sometimes I surprise myself most simply by getting started. The goal: 4 miles. Twice. A familiar loop I typically enjoy. I often am concerned with whether I will punk out after one loop, as I have before, but I convinced myself that I was a winner for starting and would cross that bridge when I see my car. Heh.

I turned on Tchaikovsky’s 1st piano concerto on my phone and started my warm up walk. I’ve taken to walking 1/10 of a mile and running 9/10 to help break up my long runs mentally. I groaned at first – I hadn’t run more than 6 miles in several weeks and it sure felt like a lot. Then the exposition of the concerto began to come to a climax and I started to get TURNTUP. I think I remembered why I like running. I felt strong for a moment or two, especially on the downhills. Heh.

The first 4 miles were fairly uneventful. I passed my car and grabbed a gel and some water and got on my way again. Then I couldn’t remember if I had locked my car. I started to walk back and realized I had to use the bathroom. The car was SO close to the bathroom, but I knew I would be pissed if I didn’t allow myself to see that I was capable of running 8 miles. I continued, tired though I felt.

By mile 7 my legs were starting to feel very heavy. The words of a spin class instructor still ring in my head. “You can do more than you think.” “Uh. I think I can get back to my car without having to call my mother.” I pressed on.

Takeaways:

1. I feel like a punk for needing so much gel, but I need more than one. I am averaging about a 12 minute mile pace for my long runs but I need the goods every 30 minutes or I start to feel tired after an hour. I wish I didn’t feel like gel should be reserved for real athletes, whatever the hell that means.

2. I’m gonna keep going. #WhoKnows2015

2015/02/img_3945.jpg

Poser

Do you ever walk into a gym and think to yourself, “What am I doing here?” Not just that, but also, “What am I doing here?” I am plagued by these thoughts 245 days before the biggest race I will ever have attempted. Moreover, I’m surrounded by people who seem to just train and race like it’s no big deal. “This is what you do. Like breathing.” Well, everyone breathes. Not everyone signs up for a stupid Ironman.

1. I

Who am I, Lady J, to be signing up for a race like this? I’m just a human girl who likes to swim, bike, and run a bit. When I tell people that I’ve signed up for this, the reaction is often “omg you’re awesome, I could never do that!” I generally reply, “I’m so normal! If I can, anyone can.” But can I? I suppose anything is possible. I simply see everyone else around me also doing an Iron distance race and they seem so – superhuman. I saw how human I was for the 70.3 and quite frankly, I feel more human and thus fallible now. More is on my plate (tee hee Adonis) and I’m in the midst of learning how to manage. How do I know this wasn’t a bad decision?

2. Doing

Yes. Doing. This Ironman training involves a lot of doing. I feel that I don’t have room to be imperfect for so gigantic a race. I don’t feel like a complete p***y the way I did for St. Anthony’s, or even for Augusta, but I am putting in some long hours at work. I’ve learned quickly in these first 3 weeks of training that if anywhere has little room for error, it is my nutrition and sleep. If I don’t eat right or get the right amount, I can barely get through my workday, much less my training. I am proud that I’ve actually gotten on my bike this month, but I feel as though I’ve missed more days of training than I’ve made.

Maybe I am not a poser. #WhoKnows2015, right? The tricky bit is not beating myself up for not knowing better re: the sleep, nutrition, or even signing up for this mess. What’s done is done. The only thing I’m sure of is that I have room for improvement. I usually do get better at things once I calm the hell down.

Pray for me!

2015/01/img_3848-0.png

Lady J, You are (registered for) an Ironman!

266 days to figure out why the hell I signed up for this business. Probably should know before I get to the starting line. This list should grow often.

1. I’m not disciplined enough to stay healthy without a goal that doesn’t terrify me. Two years ago, the idea of losing 10 pounds and doing a 5k did the trick. Clearly I’ve had to up the meds.

2. I’m not promised anything in the future. I’ve got my health right now. May as well go big with it.

3. I’ve witnessed how it’s made other people around me stronger.

4. I get to grow with and toward some really amazing people.

5. Some annoying people will test me and that will help me become stronger as well.

6. I am curious to see how good of a swimmer, cyclist, and runner live in me. By following Coachie’s plan I will get to see all of those things.

7. I will have to ask for so much help. Anything that forces me to my knees is good for my proud ass.

8. I can eat a lot of food!

9. I am told I am stronger than I think.

10. It is highly likely that in 2016 my focus will change from becoming an Ironman to becoming an Ironmom. That’s pretty much the realest ish ever.

11. I am not usually a quitter.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ded/66011189/files/2015/01/img_3559.jpg

Tag Cloud