Run Your Own Race

Run Your Own Race

Every time my son Kenny would come visit, he would get on my case about not training properly for the marathon.

He knew little about my training habits, yet still felt the need to pick on me.

Kenny criticized my eating habits, saying I wasn’t eating enough and that athletes who expect to finish their marathons should not be practicing vegetarians.

One day, during one of his rants, Kenny challenged me by saying, “Mom, I don’t even run as much as you do and I could beat your butt in a race, I could out jog you any day.”

Given that my son is twice my size, two decades younger and male, I’m sure he could.

He went on to say that I would get beat in the marathon and probably wouldn’t even finish.

I told Kenny that I was not running to compete, I was running because it was a goal of mine and that in life, you don’t need to compete, you can just run your own race – the one you signed up for, at your pace, the way you want to.

Never allow someone else’s pace to dictate how fast or how slow you’re going to go.

It’s all about finishing and achieving your goal – NOT someone else’s!

Kenny and I get along really well and I have never used reverse psychology on him, but for some reason, he felt the need to use it on me…and it worked!

He kept at me, challenging me, telling me I wasn’t prepared because if I was, I’d put my running shoes on right then and prove him wrong.

So I did!

What I wanted to show him was that I had been running regularly and that I could do it.

I have to admit, even though I had just finished telling him it wasn’t about competing, I could feel the desire to win swelling inside me.

But I had to take my own advice, and besides, who was I kidding? My son is an athlete!

I ran my own race, but I’ll let you imagine who the winner was.

How to Achieve Endurance Through Adversity

Endurance

Some days it’s just about endurance.

I held on tight to that word, endurance, to keep me going to the end.

As I started down my path, I repeated it over and over to myself until it finally became the antidote to my ever increasing boredom with the daily mundane of inescapable routine.

The running was becoming a burden; I found myself fighting with the pace, preoccupied with shaving a few minutes off of my time.

My goals were there, but the joy had evaporated.

To keep going, I had to find a new means to keep myself motivated.

Whenever I caught myself wanting to surrender, I would simply smile and remind myself that it’s not about time and pace; a race is really about endurance.

It was about doing what was best for my body, mind and spirit. And that was no doubt worth enduring.

Whenever you find yourself getting a bit bored or a little discouraged, do this:

Take a minute, smile, breathe and remind yourself of the goal you are working so hard to achieve.
Remind yourself of the reason you are pouring in all the effort, and take pride at the endurance you have developed.

Adversity

It has been said that adversity makes you stronger. I believe it.

One day I found myself training on an unusually windy day.

I hate running in the wind; like everyone else, I prefer blue sky and perfect conditions.

But let’s face facts: the sky isn’t always blue, life isn’t always perfect and conditions are rarely ideal.

You must learn to condition yourself to work with the situation as it exists, not as you would like it to be.

Though this particular day was especially windy, I was mentally prepared and knew I would have to work a little harder than usual.

This strategy worked for a while, but as I was getting to the end of my run, I was feeling the fatigue and my patience was dipping toward empty since the wind had been pushing hard against me for far too long!

There I was, running uphill and honestly, the wind was so strong, I felt like a leaf being blown in all directions.

It was hard, and I kept thinking of the clock and how off I would be when I finally got home.

Admittedly, this is not an empowering thought, but it is what I was thinking.

This adverse wind frustrated me so much that when I finally planted my feet at the top of the hill, I swore out loud.

Simply beside myself, I kept running, telling myself again and again to just keep moving one foot in front of the other a stride at a time.

Every step you take moves you that much closer to home.

nd with every step I ran that day, I felt more empowered.

That’s what you must do when you’re up against hardship, empower yourself with the needed reminder that you already have the strength inside you to push through.

When I finally made it home, I dreaded looking at the clock. Much to my surprise, I had chopped 10 minutes from my time.

I couldn’t believe it!

With the wind pushing against me, I guess I ran harder than I’d realized.

When faced with adversity, never surrender.

Simply work harder, empower yourself, keep moving and remind yourself that with every step you take, you are that much closer to achieving your goal.

You Can Let Them Peek, But Never Show Them Everything Behind the Curtain

It’s great to tell people your goals, but you should never tell them everything.

What I mean by that is, if you know it’s something they’ll attack, don’t give them the opportunity.

Just keep it to yourself.

I recently trained for a marathon in Hawaii and have to confess – I really wasn’t training at 100%. We were knee deep in a remodel and I didn’t have a kitchen for almost 4 months.

Don’t worry, I didn’t starve. But I wasn’t eating on a regular schedule and my days were all messed up.

I didn’t do those long runs you’re supposed to before you’re actually stretching in front of the starting line on the day of the big race.

It wasn’t that I took the 26.2 miles for granted. But I knew my desire, determination and fierce commitment would be enough to drive me all the way to the finish line.

I don’t know what big goals are resting unde

During this training period, every runner I spoke with, including my brother, always asked what was the most I had ever run so far.

I danced around the answer.

I knew they would tell me I couldn’t finish, even though everything inside me knew it wasn’t true.

The pain of not finishing the race would be unbearable for me, and that would be enough to keep me piling on the miles all the way to the end.

I couldn’t even entertain the thought, I had to keep the self talk positive and picture my foot past the finish line!!

Train your mind, get your heart to agree, and there’s nothing you can’t do.

A Setback

I landed in Hawaii almost a month before the race. I said it was because I wanted to get acclimated, but who are we kidding?

It was Hawaii, my favorite place on Earth.

The couple of organized races I did run in were great, but then I hurt myself. Badly. I called a coach I met at one of the races.

“Can you help me?” I asked.

“What’s the furthest you’ve run?”

Of course he’d ask the one question I didn’t want to answer, especially considering this guy was a master marathoner.

At that point I should’ve been running at least 18 to 20, not the dozen or so I actually had.

“Quite a bit,” I said. “Keeping up and getting close.”

I’m a smart enough girl to know that had I told him the truth, he’d bounce back with some expert advice that I’d probably have to listen to.

But, as always, my will was strong and determination stronger.

I knew I could do it.

Race Day

Sure enough, race day came and there was nothing to do other than put on my shoes and run alongside 20,000 other people.

I was ready, and with my husband and daughter waiting at the finish line, I was also fully supported.

There were moments during the long run when I knew I had to cling tight to the words of encouragement I’d gathered along the way.

I had to shake the creeping doubt and fear, and treat it like just another training.

I remembered other runners talking about The Wall.

“Wait till you hit the wall around the 17th mile,” they said, so I mentally prepared to pass the milestone and absorb its energy.

I had to create my own reality because the real one wasn’t working. I encourage you to do the same.

Take what others see as limitations, then rephrase, reshape and reframe it to bust out and breakthrough beyond what you previously thought possible.

When I arrived at mile 17, I couldn’t believe I was there. It felt as though I could’ve kept running and running!
The final mile was the hardest.

I wondered where I would possibly pull the rest of my energy from. I was running on vapor, ready to collapse. But even running on empty, I had to finish.

As I approached the finish line, I could hear the crowd screaming and clapping and encouraging me to keep going.

With barely the molecules in my body that I needed to breathe, I pushed myself harder, remembering that first day when I was just steps away from the top of the hill, just inches from my one chance to make it right.

Giving up was not an option.

The end was near and I could do it.

Just a few more steps…

Just keep running.

And finally, there I was at the finish line.

My hard work and focus had delivered a new truth unto me. I had achieved my goal and ran 26.2 miles to cross the finish line.

Whatever your goal might be, you can make it happen.

Just keep building your perfect play on your private stage.

You don’t have to show anyone else what’s behind the curtain before opening night.