Sorry for the unintended blog break there! When you are in the health or fitness industry, January is a busy, busy month. In a major “be careful what you wish for” kinda way, I decided to up-level my business and was literally slammed with new inquiries! Hey, I’m not complaining!
Now I am settled in with a new crop of wonderful clients who, with my support and guidance, are well on the way to fulfilling their dreams and desires, yay! And I can get back to a more regular writing schedule.
So I am 5 weeks out from the Tel Aviv Half Marathon of 2013. What I want to write about today, is my struggle to increase my speed, set a personal record finish time, and the monkeys that are getting in my way. If you remember, I had decided that since I have already run this distance several times, I would work on my speed to keep things interesting. Turns out it’s much harder than I thought it would be!
This is a re-cap of my racing “career” for perspective:
2005: Westchester County Half Marathon ~ This was my first attempt at a long distance race and my goal was just to finish it no matter what. Finish time: 2:23:56
2006: Yonkers Half Marathon ~ I came into this race under-prepared and over-confident. The race itself was a nightmare of pain for me. Finish time: 2:35:39
2011: Tel Aviv Half Marathon ~A return to long distance running after several years off as I adjusted to life in a new country. My goal was just to finish. Finish time: 2:36:11
2012: Tel Aviv Full Marathon ~ Decided to double my distance and go for 42.2 kms in honor of my 45th birthday. My goal was to finish before the 6 hour cut off. Finish time: 5:44
2013: Tel Aviv Half Marathon Goal Finish Time 2:15.
The difference between my last two finish times in 2011 and 2006 and my goal for this year is about 21 minutes. Spread that 21 minutes out over 21 kms of running and it’s basically running one minute faster per kilometer.
THAT SOUNDS SO EASY!!!
What’s one minute faster? When I was in the planning stages I felt that was totally doable. Here in the trenches, I can tell you it feels like the fight of a lifetime for me!! When I am out there running and trying to maintain my desired race pace, I feel like I am pushing against a 40lb sled! And really, this is still a pretty slow pace for most people. The average half marathon pace for women is 2:12. That is a demoralizing thought.
There are very real issues that impact speed such as age and weight (both have increased over the years!) but truly I think I am up against a mental block. The bottom line is that it plain hurts to run faster! And it is scary. I feel like I could trip and sprawl more easily. I feel like my heart might explode or that I won’t be able to go the distance. And the biggie, behind almost every fear: What if I fail?
So that brings me back to the beginning of the post and the January influx of new people excited to start on a new path to health and fitness. At first, it’s exciting! It seems doable. We are pumped up to get started!
Then a few days pass, or weeks or months, and we get tired of watching our calories, planning and journaling our food. Surely we can skip the workout, just today. We look over a month of “work” and see that we have lost a tiny fraction of the weight we need to lose. It starts to feel impossible. And hard. And scary. Besides, our friends are giving us flack for not being able to eat out with them, and drink, and stay up late. They’re right, who wants to live such a strictly disciplined life anyway?
The fact is, we DO want to achieve something here! If we listen to all the monkey chatter about “I can’t”, “It’s too hard”, “It’s not that important anyway” we will never get what we want.
The reason working with a health coach is so valuable, is because you have someone reminding you of this and calling you back when you start to party with the monkeys.
In lieu of personal health coaching, I give you Bruno Mars and some muppets to say what I would say to you. And what I say to myself every. single. day: