I cannot remember a time in my entire blogging career (12 years ago this month) that I’ve been so quiet about a training cycle. In the past, I have been the queen of oversharing, of shouting my training and racing intentions from the rooftops. I have written, in detail, endless words about training runs, races, goals, successes, and more than my fair share of failures (including events I didn’t even make it to the start of). I’ve put it all out there, for friends and strangers alike to consume, and use however they needed to. Inspiration? Fuel for gossip? Didn’t matter to me, it simply became second nature for me to share, and share everything.
Until now, apparently.
To be fully transparent, back in October I was in a very bad place, physically and emotionally. A low that I could give a million lame excuses and very valid reasons for, but none of them really matter in the context of this post. One day, after a particularly bad night, I woke up and realized that I had to get my shit together. I couldn’t keep living in that physical and mental state any longer. It was destroying me, and likely hurting those around me as well.
So I went for a run.
Despite being an old friend that has been such a huge component of my adult life, running was something I had turned my back on for months. Again, I could give a million excuses and reasons why, but they don’t matter right now.
While I was out there, struggling through a few miles of something that used to feel so familiar, but now felt so foreign, a thought came to the front of my mind so fast and so strong, I could almost hear my own voice shouting inside of my head:
“What would you be capable of if you finally started believing yourself?”
I rolled the thought around in my head, over and over, for the next mile and a half, but unsure of what to do with it. I hadn’t believed in myself, for a really long time. Imposter syndrome, anxiety, depression, uncertainty, they all weighed heavy on my shoulders and led me to believe that I wasn’t capable.
But what if I chose to ignore those things? It wouldn’t be easy, of course. But what if I chose to fight for me, instead of succumb to the endless negativity that had become a regular part of my life?
When I got home, I logged into Facebook, and saw that my friend (race director) Matt Hammersmith had announced a new race. And registration was only 20 bucks for that day only, regardless of what distance you chose. I mentioned it to Geoff, and we quickly decided to jump on that registration price, even if we decided not to go.
Geoff broke out his credit card, filled out our information, and hit submit. It felt weird, registering for a race again. After the crash and burn I experienced in 2019 (you can read about that here…and that was just the beginning) I gave up on running, and gave up on myself. I was mad. Bitter even. And withdrew from almost anything I could that involved running. I wanted to quit coaching. I wanted to delete my blog. I was done. But the dopamine rush that comes with hitting the “submit” button on a race registration returned, and I suddenly knew the timing wasn’t a coincidence.
While I’m sure there was some conversation about it at the time, I still cannot recall why Geoff signed himself up for the 24 hours race…
…but signed me up for the 48 hour.
But just like that, I had my goal. I know that wasn’t his plan. I’m almost certain he just signed me up for that distance so I could have fun, and maybe pace friends and clients, with no specific time limit. He certainly didn’t anticipate I’d actually want to run for 48 hours. But his plan now backfired, because now I had something to believe in.
And that something was me.
So I set a big, scary goal, and I’ve spent the last 5 months believing in myself. And it’s working. I’ve been training, probably more consistently than ever before, but while simultaneously giving myself a lot more grace than ever before. I’ve been working on my nutrition, and while that is an ever ebbing and flowing challenge for me, it’s slowly moving in the right direction (thanks for your patience, Coach Will). I’ve been seeing a chiropractor who has helped me with my insane, horrible posture & neck pain, through traction, exercise, and adjustments, and it’s made a world of difference in my quality of life. I’ve been standing up for me, and more vocal about what I need for my own well being.
And while it’s certainly not been an easy road, lately, I feel really good most of the time.
Choosing to, for the most part, not share my training specifics wasn’t a conscious decision, but is how this training cycle turned out. I suppose when you truly want to do something for yourself, it doesn’t matter if anyone else – never mind the whole world – knows about it.
And it’s probably no coincidence that I’ve felt virtually zero stress regarding this training cycle. Sometimes accountability is a good thing. Sometimes it creates unnecessary pressure.
But here we are, 26 days from this race, from the start of what will be the furthest I’ve ever run in my life (if all goes according to plan) and the hardest physical task I’ve undertaken, and now I’m ready to talk about it.
Perhaps putting it into the universe is the accountability I need right now.
I’ve reached the peak month (and peak week – this upcoming week) point where I’m starting to feel SO OVER training. I’m over planning my days and weekends around runs. I’m over the mindless loops I do around my neighborhood. Hell, I’m even over the playlist I listen to while running endless, mindless loops around my neighborhood.
But, I know this is a normal part of the training process. When you start to feel “over it”, it means your almost there. So I keep pushing forward. Because I know I can.
Brace yourselves, for the onslaught of training posts in the next 26 days…I’m getting excited.