October 11, 2012

My Road to Half Greatness

It’s been a big week.

I achieved something this week that I never thought possible – I ran a half marathon.

I know for some this can seem like winning an olympic medal and for others it’s something they could do this afternoon if their work schedule allowed it.  But for me, it was a big deal, or at least it seemed like one a few months ago.  Allow me to explain.

First off, I was NEVER a runner.  That part must be stated.  I remember goading myself on the treadmill to just run for five minutes straight so I could be rewarded with a five minute walk.  Eventually I made it outdoors and was able to pull off a whole 20 minutes.  This, in itself, was a huge accomplishment.

But I never truly enjoyed running.  I never reached that state of running Nirvana or runner’s high that so many runners speak of (isn’t that something they speak of?).  Two years ago something took over.  I helped my husband train for a half marathon he ran with his friends.  Motivated to help him eat the best runner’s diet possible, we researched holistic energy gels (and eventually made our own) and homemade recovery drinks.  It was a great ride for us and an even better run  for him.  When I saw him cross the finish line, I decided on that day I too would run a half marathon.

My day finally came this past Sunday.  I trained so hard.  For so long.  Ate and did all the right things.  Nursed myself back from an injury and feared if I would be able to pull it off when the morning came.

Well, I did it.  I did it in style (thanks to my incredible sponsors NUX USA and MPG Mondetta Sportswear).  And then it was over.  And I went, now what?

I should have been swinging from the proverbial runner’s rooftop Sunday when I finished my race.  Yes, it felt great but it also felt like no big deal.

What seemed to be the equivalent of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro only a couple months earlier, is now something I can do with ease.

I owe my running success to setting goals.  I finally realize something that I have been trying so hard to share with and articulate to clients and potential clients for years – that when you break something down into small actionable goals or steps not only does it become totally if not easily achievable, but feels like a small accomplishment once completed.

You have to take time to appreciate the small achievements along the way.  You can’t wait for the big day, the “when I get there” moment; you have to celebrate every little victory as they come.  Because running for seven minutes when you could only run five before IS a huge victory.  Because running in Nicaragua for nine miles after a yoga class and quite a bit of rum the night before IS something to say hell yes I did that!

If you don’t stop to celebrate the small victories and just rely on the one great payoff it won’t feel the way it could and should.

I often start my coaching sessions with the question, “What’s new and good?”  Why?  Because it forces us to be positive and to celebrate any small, new accomplishment or happening.  Advice I could have taken myself over the last few months of training.

So the coach is coaching herself (and hopefully some of you guys, my readers!) right now.

Stop and celebrate all the small victories along the way and don’t wait for the big pay off.

As they say, life IS all about the journey and not the destination and I think I finally, finally get that.

Happy running.


P.S.  A special shout out and major thank you again to the companies that outfitted me for the race.  NUX and my favorite seamless tank tops you can find here and MPG and the sportsbra and best workout pants in the world you can find here.

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