Another Bite of the Elephant

Just over a month ago, I decided to sign up for my first 70.3 since completing Beach to Battleship Ironman in 2013. Registering was a big deal for me, not because of the money, not because I haven’t trained in a while, but because when I signed up I also committed to training the way I did for Ironman. I committed to train to do my absolute best.

I have run plenty of races that I did not care about over the years. But having trained for Beach to Battleship with the thought of not just finishing but doing the absolute best I could, I learned so much about myself. After struggling for two years with my personal depression and Meg’s battle as well, that kind of commitment. The commitment to get every workout in. The commitment to focus on one workout at a time. The commitment to eat that elephant one bite at a time. The commitment to take one more bite of that elephant. That commitment, that commitment was scary.

But I did it and I called Coach Jeff right away to tell him I wanted to not just run the race but PR there. Hats off to Jeff in this situation. He didn’t hesitate. He didn’t ask if I was sure. He simply said, “Okay then, let’s do it.”

That day I got my first workout in. A run. The next day I biked and then I swam. Each day with the exception of taking 5 days off due to a crappy chest cold, I have gotten my planned workouts in and I feel great. I feel strong. I feel so different from the woman who stood at this computer afraid to hit the “register” button. I feel ready to tackle an endurance event again.

It is a crazy feeling. Feeling myself move from scared to confident. Finding myself feeling like an athlete again. But the craziest part is not just the mental side but the physical. I haven’t just become stronger mentally. I have become faster and stronger physically through the mental toughness. In just a month, I have cut 1:45 off my mile pace, not because I have worked hard enough for that to happen but because I told myself I was faster and my body responded. I have lifted more, I have run harder and farther than I have done in a long time. All of it because I reminded myself that I could.

I know that as the creator of a blog about the mental side of running this should not surprise me but it does. I am thrilled to see what I have accomplished in a month but I am simply amazed that so much of it came from a change in attitude.

I signed up for my race early so I could build a base. I signed up early so I could become an athlete again. I have over five months to meet the goal of PRing at the Patriot 70.3 and today I am not scared. Today I am excited. I have no doubt I can get there. I have no doubt I am strong enough to get myself there and across that finish line. I know I can. I believe I can. And that’s the biggest hurdle jumped.