One week down, and only seventeen-ish to go!
Quick version— I was scared. I was nervous. I did it anyway. It wasn’t that bad.
I didn’t know what to expect this week after not having run consistently for a while. Would I be able to breathe? Would I be able to run for three days in a row? Already, before I’d even started, my monkey mind was chattering away and going after all of my insecurities. I told a friend, “I hope I didn’t bite off more than I can chew. I guess I can always step-back to an easier training plan if this one is too much. But it’s so hard to take a step back, even if needed, when we’re so used to moving forward.”
Running is a lot like sobriety. The hardest is at the beginning. Hell, coming to a decision to do it, is the hardest, then getting going is next.
My monkey mind in the first ten minutes of my first run: “You haven’t run in forever! This is too hard. You’re crazy. Remember how it made you sick last year? You’re so out of shape. You bit off more than you can chew. You don’t really want to do a Fall marathon, let’s do a Spring marathon instead. You should go lay on the couch and watch Game of Thrones again (oh my god, did you see that wedding?! I read the books and all I can say is, “you know nothing Jon Snow.”) Wouldn’t you rather walk? You know the only reason you run is to lose weight–admit it–and did it melt off last year? No! You’re still fat. You should fast instead. After you eat that package of Fudge Grahams and that Newman’s Pizza you have hidden in the freezer. What you didn’t think I remembered that pizza? I remember everything! You know you’re going to eat it anyway, just go eat it now. You can run tomorrow.”
Geez. Chatty little mother monkey, huh? It spoke similarly when I decided to quit drinking:
“This is hard. This hurts. Nobody cares anyway. You can quit next week, this week is too tough, it’s not a good time. You can just have one–go buy the good stuff and treat yourself before you quit. You don’t have to really quit, you’re not an alcoholic, you’re just stressed. You can always quit tomorrow.”
Yeah, sorry to tell you folks in early sobriety, that voice never really goes away for good. But you do get better at ignoring it and at countering it with facts. Your feelings are not facts. That monkey voice is just white noise–there, but not there–you can tune it out, you can choose to listen to something else instead, you can call it a liar and tell it to F-off.
And that’s what I did. I heard those voices, but I did it anyway. And after running for a little while, it got easier, I started to feel good. I focused on this week’s plan alone and broke it down into bite-sized goals. (How do you eat an elephant? … One bite at a time.)
Could I run 26.2 miles today? Probably not. But did I last year? Hell yeah I did, with practice and training, I got stronger each week. And I can do the same thing now. I can focus on one week, one run, one chapter of the math book at a time (my mom always told me not to jump ahead in my books–”you’ll be smarter then, don’t worry!”), and pretty soon I’ll be running 26.2 miles again.
That’s the key to running a marathon, to getting sober, to accomplishing anything that seems too big to fathom. You take it one run, one step, one day at a time. You ignore the monkey mind. You put one foot in front of the other. And most importantly, you don’t give up, and you don’t quit.
And while you have to do it on your own–no one else can do it for you–by opening yourself up to others, you don’t have to do it all alone. Your friends will cheer you on and support you, and some of them may even join you.
A huge thank-you to those of you joining me! Many of you have opted to join in with fitness goals of your own, and one of you has even signed up for your first marathon in October! I’m excited and proud for each one of you. It’s not too late, you can always jump in for a week or two, any activity is better than no activity, right? Thanks also to those who will be cheering us on and doing a bit of dancing along the way; I’ll have some dance music each week especially for you.
Thirteenpointoneandone has signed up for her first marathon!
CarrieOnSober is getting back into half-marathon fitness!
Gus is undergoing PT for plantar fascitis, but is going to work through it and get back to 10-k runs by fall!
ByeByeBeer is going to run along and push herself for a fall 10-k goal!
OctoberONine is going to start running!
Char is hoping to strengthen her core and wonky hip (love the word “wonky”!), and will be dancing along with us (as long as no one is watching)!
Paul, and Mariner2Mother, and Lisa will be cheering and dancing along!
Madame Weebles says she sticks with fast walking. I told her that her power-walking friends need to stop passing me! I’m tripping the next one who tries to pass me. Fair warning. (Ooh, they should have shirts that say this on the back.)
Guap will be cheering and undergoing a rigorous and strict work-out of shoulder-lifts and bicep curls as he joins us in Master-Level-Chip-Eating. And hopefully acting as occasional DJ for us too!
And Josie, my inspiration for going public with my training, is on a steady fitness and cardio regime and has committed to daily activity and check-ins–she is currently batting 100. Way to go Wonder Woman!
PLAN AND GOAL:
Last week’s goal was 5 runs for a total of 24 miles, and yep, I met my goal!
This week’s plan calls for another 5 runs: Tuesday (3), Wednesday (5), Thursday (3), Saturday (5), Sunday (9). Just like last week, except one more mile on Sunday.
How was your week? Did you meet your goals? Do you have a plan for this week? Feel free to jump in anytime, even if just for a week! Do you have a monkey-mind too? If so, how do you get it to shut up?
Thank goodness for music on my runs this week! Here are a few that helped me tune out my monkey chatter, with some special dance songs. Feel free to add your music suggestions in the comments, and I’ll add them to the recap next week. Or if you’d like to e-mail me some songs, I’ll share them anonymously for you. If you’re interested in playing DJ for a week and coming up with a varied 10 song playlist (with at least one dancing song), comment or e-mail me!
Don’t forget I keep a page solely for running music featured on my blog. Find it HERE.
Lust for Life by Girls NSFW-language (love the lyrics though- “Oh, I wish I had a suntan, I wish I had a pizza and a bottle of wine, I wish I had a beach house, Then we could make a big fire every night, Instead I’m just crazy, I’m totally mad, Yeah I’m just crazy, and f’d in the head)
Today Was a Good Day by Ice Cube (NSFW-language)
Vegas by Sara Bareilles
Hey Ya by OutKast
— ever hear the stripped cover version of this song by Obadiah Parker?
Bright Lights by Gary Clark Jr.
I Love to Boogie by T Rex
Shake a Tail Feather by Ray Charles and the Blues Brothers
Suggestions from Gus last week:
“I Ran (So Far Away)” by Flock of Seagulls
“Ankle Injuries” by Fujiya & Miyagi
“You Dropped a Bomb on Me” by the Gap Band
“Grind” by Tangerine Dream
“Elephant” by Tame Impala
Laura Palmer by Bastille
The Pan Within by The Waterboys
If you’d like to listen to all songs on a loop, I set up a playlist on youtube HERE: