A few years ago, if I signed up for a race, I trained like it was my job. I would leave my real job early so that I could run! The training would be enough to get my mindset in the right place. I would eat well in the months and weeks leading up to the race and I would be in fighting condition. The night before the big race, I’d fret to my boyfriend about not breaking my PR or not being able to finish, to which he’d roll his eyes, knowing that I would do fine and that it was just me being me.
The day of the race, I’d do well for myself. I’d never stop running, I’d pass the bathrooms like a pro, drinking water if necessary and personal victory was mine. It felt like it was never going to change.
Fast forward a few years to March, 2014. I have a three year old, a lot of extra weight on me and a boyfriend who has turned into a husband. And I also have 10,000 other excuses to put in here, but really, I’ve lost my edge. We sign up for the race and I feel so motivated. “This is going to be great! It’ll help keep us running through the colder months!” “I’m going to lose like 50 pounds training for this thing.” “I’ll run at 4:30 EVERY MORNING! NO EXCUSES.”
But I didn’t live up to any of those promises, opting instead to spend my time hosting holidays and enjoying watching football (and snacks) on the couch every Sunday when it was prime running time. I’d go for the occasional run, but that was about it. The day before the run, instead of a “You’ve got this” that I normally got from my husband about my fears, I got a “You can always stop if you need to”. We did the run and I finished, but I look back on those pictures, you know the annoying ones they take while you are running the race, and I look….scary. Like a lion trying to chance a gazelle, but the lion has been living in a zoo, you know? Like he hasn’t had to chase prey in a long, long time.
So, I try to break the cycle again by signing up with Emily for the Bronx 10 miler. Again I convinced myself that it was going to be great, keep me training for the whole summer! And I’ll lose the 60 pounds I need to lose while doing it! But those thoughts faded to the background. It is less than a week away, and I’m not ready. I am literally going to search the course map in case I need to make a quick escape. My husband said he would come and wait at the finish line, and I was hesitant. “Just make sure you have your cell phone, in case I need you to pick me up in the Bronx somewhere!”
Signing up is the easy part; doing the work is the hard. It’s time to start putting in that work (I use phrases I’ve learned from my students occasionally as though I am a high school senior). I’ll survive this race…hopefully…and then, I can figure out a plan that is realistic and can work, for me. Or ghost me if I don’t survive the race.