Thursday, September 29, 2011

Taper time: It's all about me.

I totally should be wearing this shirt. I am a ball of nerves. If it's this bad before my second half marathon, I can only imagine what I'll be like when I decide to tackle a full (a feat I've not committed to yet!).

I ran my last 4 miles of training today, slow and easy. I decided to listen to a podcast while I ran and since I'm impatiently waiting for the next Another Mother Runner podcast (love their blog and love the radio show even more!), I tried out a Jillian Michaels Show podcast. Um, she made me cry.

It could be related to the aforementioned taper crazies, but as she was talking to this woman who had lost 100+ lbs but couldn't figure out what she was sliding into old habits, I got teary. Jillian discovered this woman was still dealing with and rebeling against the disapproval she received from her Phys Ed. teacher father while growing up overweight. He's been dead for years now but his legacy, unfortunately, lives on in her head. Everybody loves a good "all I want is my father's love" story, believe me I had my own, but it was more than that. 

Jillian told this woman that this journey, this weight loss, or whatever else you're doing has to be about you. It can't be about your father, mother, sister, or the dog down the road. It has to be about you for it to last, for real, lasting change to happen.

My journey to health and fitness has been a rollercoaster for most of my life. I've had an unhealthy relationship with food for most of my life. I've gained weight, and I've lost it. Any successes I had were simply not about me. They were about fitting in my cheerleading uniform or getting my belly-button pierced. They were about my wedding dress. They were about losing baby weight or fitting in clothes. Whatever it was, they weren't about me. I'm not saying I didn't have successes, learn things and get stronger and healthier. I did, but I always backslid.

Running is different. Running is about me. Yes, weight has come off, and continues to come off, slow and steady. As of today, I've lost 40lbs since January 1, 2010. But the weight loss has truly been a byproduct of running opposed to the other way around. 
Running is not about my depression. It's not about the scale. Sure, it might have started as a way to lose some weight and deal with depression, but it is so much more than that. It's not about my kids.  It's not about my clothes. It's not about society or the media. It's about me.

That's why I run. For the past 12 weeks, I've been selfish, in a really good way. I've taken time to run 173 miles. I've taken time to stretch, listen to my body, learn how to fuel it, and take care of it. In the past 12 weeks, I've wandered through the woods and pounded down the road, with no one but myself covering mile after mile. I've gotten to know myself, my thoughts and my breathing. I've learned that I love to sweat; it makes me feel good. I've learned that some days I don't want to run and that's ok because this is about me. I've learned that when I take my stress out on the treadmill I can bang out miles faster than I thought I was capable. I've watched my body change, muscles being carved out of the legs I once knew. I've learned to push myself meeting goals outside of my comfort zone because I want to.

Source: via Jamie on Pinterest

I know it takes its toll on my family, and I appreciate their endless support. Whose husband yells at her for not buying both running shirts for an upcoming race when she couldn't decide between them? Whose mom plays 15 games of Guess Who so she can squeeze in a training run? Who deals with my ups and downs, emotionally and physically even the days after my long runs where I get physically ill because I haven't figured out my magic refueling formula? Yea, that was even on my vacation. That's my husband and my family. I know why they cringe when I talk about taking on 26.2 someday. This is a team effort. Having the support of that team for something that is completely and entirely about me is incredible and I am filled with gratitude.

Occasionally, I start to feel selfish, not in a good way. I see how hard it is to fit in my runs, to buy my gear, and to have my head focused intently somewhere else. But then I remember how much running gives me and instead of feeling selfish, I focus on that gratitude to the people who make it possible.
With that, I'm one day closer to the OCNJ Half Marathon where I'm determined to leave it all on the course and do what I've prepared to do for me.

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