Tomorrow, I start training for my first half marathon. This is a goal that I set for my self over a year ago and I was training last spring for what was supposed to be my first race. Then pregnancy (and life in general) got the better of me, I missed too many runs, and ultimately had to defer until this year.
Why would I want to run a half marathon anyway? I’m “not a runner” you see and running in general for me is HARD. So much harder then it “should” be considering my overall level of fitness. I’m a triathlete first and I’ve been avoiding the elephant in the room. If I ever want to meet my overall triathlon goals, I’m going to have to step up my running game. I have to become a better runner. The only way to do that is to get out there and RUN.
So today, I decided to run a little to test where I am at the beginning of this journey. It didn’t go well. It was an absolutely brutal 3 miles. Brutal. The good thing (or maybe the bad thing) about this workout was that I discovered my inner mean girl. She’s always been there, but subconscious rather than in my face. Today I heard here loud and clear: “omg why do you even try?” “Look at your pace, you are pathetic” “This is pointless, you are never going to improve” “Why are you wasting your time slowpoke. You have other things you should be doing right now. You don’t deserve to waste time trying to do something you’ll never be good at” “oh, yeay you did ONE F&#%ING mile! At this rate you’ll run 13 in 4 hours. Idiot.” “If so-and-so could see you right now they would laugh at you.” “No one is impressed with this bullshit effort. Don’t tell anyone how bad you suck, cause you will lose friends and their respect.”
So why do I say this is a good thing? I felt awful during and after my run. My mean girl actually made me cry. She actually convinced me to stop 2 miles in. But you see, this is the first time that I realized the voice in my head was just a mean girl. NOT me and NOT who I am. I was able to overcome that voice and get back on the treadmill for my last mile (after some core work). The first step in being able to defeat your inner mean girl is to realize she is there.
So here I am, starting my half marathon training tomorrow. Recognizing that I have a long way to go. Preparing to overrule the inner mean girl for the next 12 weeks. Preparing to re-write my inner dialogue. I am grateful for what my body can do. I will work hard so that it can do more. Moving forward at any pace is still moving forward. I am worthy of the time spent on achieving a goal for the sake of achieving it. My reasons are good enough, this race is hard enough, and I don’t need to compete with anyone but myself here.
My inner mean girl can suck it.