Monday, March 8

1/2 Marathon Monday, Part 3: Mind Games

"Everywhere you encounter people who are inwardly afraid, who shrink from life, who suffer from a deep sense of inadequacy and insecurity, who doubt their own powers. Deep within themselves they mistrust their ability to meet responsibilities or to grasp opportunities...They do not believe that they have it in them to be what they want to be, and so they make themselves content with something less than that of which they are capable."  (Norman Vincent Peale, "The Power of Positive Thinking")

Did you read the above quote?

Did you really read it or did you just skim it?

Read it!

I don't know about you, but I feel like the majority of the challenges in my life have a HUGE mental and emotional component. Even just our response to our everyday lives, it's all about attitude. And mine, quite frankly, stinks sometimes. 

I'd like to say I'm a glass half full kind of gal...but the truth of the matter is, if you ask those who are closest to me, my hubby for example, they would say that while I come across as very bubbly and quite happy to outsiders, that I'm a glass half empty gal more often than is healthy. 

In many of my major life roles I have had a tendency to become easily frustrated...when I was working in publishing in Boston I was easily frustrated by a challenging boss, while I was working in fund raising in a private school in a wealthy suburb outside of Boston I was easily frustrated by some issues that I saw as disorganization and confusion of roles, when I was teaching high school English I was frustrated by my job because it often felt like more than I could handle or should have had to handle, as a mom...well, we won't go get that picture from reading my other posts! 

Even in on our moving back to Buffalo this past summer...I was frustrated by life in Massachusetts, mostly the expense and the lack of family around. 

You want to know what I've realized from all of these situations? That while at the time I thought the grass was greener on the other side of the fence, when I jumped from job to job every year and a half before having my girls because I thought there was something better, when I become impatient and restless about being a stay at home mother, the truth is that while there will always be frustrations inherent to any situation, a lot of your reaction to them is about YOUR attitude!! 

In retrospect, I wish I had put my head down and stayed in the publishing industry might have led to some good freelancing gigs now. My job as a teacher was pretty normal, especially the first two years of being a teacher. I really miss New England, Boston, and my friends in Massachusetts! I'm so appreciative to have family around, but it hasn't fully filled the hole of dissatisfaction that I was trying to fill...that is all about my attitude!

Or, how about my desires to write and my attitude about moving forward or finding success in that area of my life. Despite the fact that I have a B.A. in English Education, an M.A. in print journalism and have  a handful of published newspaper and local magazine articles from the last several years, I still think that I'm not trendy enough, edgy enough, smart enough, current enough, or original enough to ever write for a well known publication. I've sent queries to national magazines and have heard nothing. Finding time to write and setting goals feels incredibly hard while I'm home with the girls...and sometimes I feel like I should just throw in the towel all together....

Now THAT's thinking that's going to get me somewhere, huh?! 

Alright, I know this is supposed to be about running and I am getting there....

Running this race is as much about strengthening my mental abilities and reactions to life as it is about trying to get into shape and build my physical stamina. Here are some tips that I can offer that have come out of my training this week that seem to help me to start thinking in a more forward way: 

1. Talk Nicely to Yourself. I'm trying to play a whole new record in my head when I'm out there running these sounds like this, "Lisa, you are strong! Stronger than you think. Great job getting yourself to the gym today. This run is for all the times you have started something and haven't finished WILL finish this. You have what it takes!" 

2. Expect it to be Uncomfortable. Do you ever fall prey to expecting life to go smoothly all the time? Why do we do this?!! It's not realistic. My new conversation when I'm running is, "It is uncomfortable right now, but it is supposed to be. Running and training is not supposed to feel good all of the time! There are good days and there are bad days and they are ALL part of the total journey towards your goal. Keep going. You're doing a great job. By the way, if you can endure labor for 9 hours you can endure this run for another 20 minutes!" 

3. Be Your Own Coach. Lately, for me, this means imagining Jillian Michaels standing on top of my treadmill screaming at me. It sounds something like this. "LISA, DON'T YOU EVEN THINK FOR ONE SECOND THAT YOU ARE GOING TO STOP RIGHT NOW. DON'T EVEN F*&^&*& (bleep, bleep) THINK ABOUT STOPPING. YOU ARE STRONG. YOU HAVE THIS. THIS IS FOR ALL OF THE DAYS WHEN YOU DID QUIT!! ARE YOU A QUITTER? IF YOU STOP NOW YOU ARE GIVING INTO THE OLD YOU! KEEP GOING!!!!

4. Tap into the Bigger Potential.  "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me." Yes, this verse went through my head many times this week. And, even more than this verse was the idea that God is ALL strength, power and endurance. He created marathon runners and olympians and athletes who excel in all that they do. He has put part of that in me and in you. We have SO much more endurance, ability and strength than we THINK we's just a matter of pushing beyond the fact that we think we don't. 

All in all it was a good week. Here is my training in a nutshell:

Sun: 3.5 miles on the treadmill
Mon: 3 miles on the treadmill
Tue: off
Wed: 4 miles on the treadmill
Thur: 2 miles outside pushing the double jogger (yuck!)
Fri: off
Sat: An 8k race! (4.98 miles), which I finished in 43:01 and am very happy about! 

I hope you all have a good week and whether you are running, mothering, working or just moving through the day to day, try to be nice to yourself and work on your makes all the difference...



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