And by beast I mean she can say to herself “I can do this!” in reference to literally anything and she gets it done. My mom was always active whereas I, like my father, preferred sedentary activities. Sure I played tennis but never competitively. I rode my bike but only to the pool or to a friends house less than a mile away. I tried to be a cheerleader but I never made the team. I tried to join the track team but I quickly discovered that I had a biological resistance to running. By this I mean that once my body starts to move quicker than a brisk walking speed, my lungs… no… my entire chest starts to shut down in its own little protest. My brain starts to get all muddled and my mouth goes dry and my motivation goes from 100% to 0% and I just stop. I should mention that, in addition to being an asthmatic I am always a serious self-naysayer.
I ran *coughwalkedcough* my second Warrior Dash this past April and “I can’t” was my mantra. I finished but it wasn’t satisfying at all. Funnily enough I thoroughly enjoy the obstacles. If it was a 5K of straight obstacles instead of running with some obstacles thrown in there I think I would cut half an hour off my time. So really, my inability to enjoy the race isn’t about physical activity… it’s solely about running.
Insert my mother who, in her mid-50s, decided to run her first half-marathon. She had already participated in some shorter races with her friends and she seemed to always be running or biking to train for something. At the time, it was just another race. I hadn’t even participated in a 5K so I didn’t fully understand what 13.1 miles entailed. Then I ran a 5K and someone said… just imagine doing that 3 more times and then some. Well I couldn’t imagine it. I immediately had a huge appreciation for what my mom had accomplished. Did she break any records? No. But she finished and she finished with a darn good time.
Earlier this year she participated in her third half and she did it just over a month before she had to have surgery for a gnarly bone spur. My mom ran 13.1 miles on a foot that had decided to make her feel like she was perpetually stepping on the corner of a lego.
Insert my 24 year old self with no desire to work out or do anything to better myself physically. If there was any shred of motivation to work out it was to look good in a bikini. However, as a size 4 (a very lumpy size 4 but a size 4) I could get away with stretching out on a towel and letting gravity give me an instant tummy tuck. Body image was not going to motivate me. I cared… but not enough to do anything about it.
Then I learned about the Disney Princess Half-Marathon and I was instantly in love. I MUST DO IT! And so I set myself a goal. I shall make the most awesome costume and run the heck out of that race and I shall take pictures and I shall be happy and I’ll be the added bonus of a hot body while I’m at it. If my mom can do it at twice my age with a medical condition that would normally prevent a person from walking, let alone running, I could do it!
Then I saw the price. Cue the jaw drop.
I can’t spend that kind of money on a race like that, coupled with the expense of driving to Orlando, getting a hotel for two nights, and getting a park pass for at least two days, without knowing if I could even finish.
I put in a call to my mom who promised to hook me up with her relatively easy training program and we signed up for Rock n’Roll Savannah. My mom has ran this race twice. This one costs less than half of what the Disney Princess race costs AND it’s in my home town, a mere 4 hours away from Atlanta where I currently reside.
After signing up I googled “half-marathon training programs” and blogs detailing half-marathon firsts and I bought a couple of groupons for fitness classes (because cross training was officially added to my lexicon) and I started dreaming about pulling out my jeans from 2006 and actually fitting my whole leg in them…
Here I am on August 20th and I have ran a grand total of 4 times since signing up. I shouldn’t even be able to say I have a lack of motivation. I have a black hole sucking up any shred of motivation I might have had. I love food, I love video games, I love beer. I hate running. I have 81 days until the half-marathon. I keep telling myself that this will be the last week I can slack off but then next week comes and I’m back on the couch with a bad of salt & vinegar kettle cooked chips, a bud and a new game or a new tv show.
I spent my night last night avoiding worthless homework assignments and googling “running a half-marathon with next to no training.” I came up with two posts that have perked up my motivation level ever so slightly.
Those blogs along with the knowledge that if I don’t start at least TRYING to meet my weekly goals I’ll end up holding my mom back (who has recently developed another medical condition that would typically put the average person out of commission) and that would be downright embarrassing.
Don’t get me wrong. My mom is super woman and I’m not saying that I should be able to run faster than her… wait… yes I am. I SHOULD be able to run faster AND longer because I am over half her age younger and my only medical excuse is asthma which is so under control that I shouldn’t even mention it. (But I do because I’m a baby.) I just feel like I should be able to get on her level because I have age on my side and yet she can still run circles around me… in a cast.
Notice how I’m not really even worrying about health side effects. Deep down I am but, as with most things that terrify me, I choose not to think about them. I need to.
AND FINALLY! My boyfriend. The Clifton. I love him, but he is also a naysayer. He wasn’t in the beginning, but after 4 years of seeing me start up some random hobby or goal and failing miserably at following through… well… lets say he would love to see me succeed but he isn’t holding his breath. I want to prove that SOB wrong. He works out all the time and, even though he doesn’t much like running either, he does it. He’s a champ. He pushes through the pain and has a very powerful “yes I can” attitude. I’ve been waiting patiently for it to rub off on me but it hasn’t yet.
So here is why I am writing:
1. To put this wish out into the cosmos: I want to finish a half-marathon and I don’t want to die trying.
2. Because I like writing! If I can somehow combine my love of writing with my hatred of running maybe a blog post every day/week will motivate me. No blogging unless I earn it with a run.
3. Because I know I’m not the only one out there with the desire to achieve this kind of goal.
4. Because I know I’m not the only one who commits to the even but can’t commit to the training.
5. Because I want to be smexy.
How will I do this?
2. Jog if I literally can’t run anymore.
3. Walk when all else fails.
4. Stop making excuses.
5. Start today.