Saturday, September 24, 2011


WARNING: Long rant of pre-race nerves follows, this is your last chance to turn back!

Today is the day of my very first race, ever! And I am TERRIFIED! I wonder why I thought it was a good idea to sign up for in the first place?

I've been driving myself crazy worrying about this race for the past week. What if I get lost and run the wrong way? I'm quite sure that can happen as I'll probably be the very last one in the whole race. What if I find out running on asphalt is A LOT harder than running on a treadmill? Why didn't it occur to me to try running on asphalt at least ONCE before the race? What if I trip and fall and embarrass myself? Or finish way behind everyone else and embarrass myself that way? The list of bad things that could happen just goes on and on.

Then, today, I looked at some pictures from earlier races, and a whole new set of worries surfaced. There were so many people! I hadn't thought about all the people who would see me run and finish way later than everyone else. All the ones who would no doubt think me stupid to have signed up for a race when I clearly can't run. And there are cobbled stones! I never even considered that, and I'm scared my frail ankles will be hurt.

Tonight I had a nightmare where I started the race and ran for a while, only to find out that I had forgotten the timer chip (is that what it is called?), and I had to find someone in charge and convince him to give me another. Of course, by the time I got back to the start line to start over again, everyone else had left.

So, as you can probably tell, I'm just a wee bit scared!

I know that someday, I'll probably laugh thinking about how scared I am now. But I'm not laughing now... And I am sure it will feel wonderful to cross that finish line having faced my fears. But right now I don't feel like facing anything.

To be honest, all I want to do is curl up in my bed and forget I ever signed up for this. The only thing keeping me from doing that, is that I know I will feel more like a failure if I don't even give it a go. I don't want to disappoint myself like that. The regret of not daring lingers a lot longer than feeling like a loser for finishing last does. Quitting would feed my inner critic, and I'm trying to silence her once and for all. So I am going to do this, no matter how scared I am, and no matter how much I don't want to right now.

Enough ranting, now I'm going to let go of my fears and focus on my goals. I am going to sit down and envision crossing the finish line with a new personal record. I can do this, and that's what I'll keep my focus on from here on out. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

One more goal accomplished!

This weekend I officially completed C25K! :) The last couple of weeks I haven't been able to run much, due to something that felt scarily like tendinitis in my right foot. This means that I've only been able to run once a week. Not the best way to prepare for my first ever race, but it is what it is. I would much rather play it safe, take it slow and run slower in the race, than risk injuring myself!

The last two weeks aside, I have run three times a week and followed the C25K plan to the dot. Before I started out, I wasn't entirely convinced that I would be able to make it. But I've been able to do each and ever run, and often times I did a session of shred afterwards, too.

It feels GOOD to have accomplished a new goal. It is strange to think that, only a couple of months back, I was only able to run a minute, and now I can do half an hour! I could probably run further if I wanted to - while I'm tired when I'm done, I'm not totally beat. In fact, usually I speed up the last minute, from my snail pace of 6 km/h to a whopping 7-7.5 km/h.

Last night, I was in a hurry to get home, and had to run parts of the way. I marveled at how easy it was, and how much further I could run without getting winded. This probably sounds obvious, of course you'll be able to run faster and further when you've been improving your running for a couple of months. However, there was something magical in seeing my hard work from the tread mill seep into my 'real life'. I can actually feel the effects outside of the basement (where the tread mill resides), too, and that makes it all the better. :)

I have never been able to run this long before - ever! Not even as a teenager, I've always hated running up until now. I wish someone had told me about the C25K back then, I wonder if it would have made a difference? If perhaps I would have made the effort, and if it would have changed me into a more athletic person. And if it could have kept me from gaining all the excess weight in the first place. I'm not sure, though. I just don't think I was ready back then. But I was ready now, and that's what counts at this point.

Speaking of goals, and running: I've decided to change my goals for the 3K race. I'm tossing out the goal to not finish last, replacing it with being able to keep a pace of at least 6 km/h on average. I've thought about it long and hard, and I know that a good goal needs to be something I can control, not something that depends on others. Even if I did my best run ever, I can't control how fast the other participants run. And I can't control who signs up. Maybe all the slower runners decide to stay home? Should I fail my goal just because of that? No!

Also, I want to be at peace with finishing last. There is no shame in being the slowest, someone has to be. I thought that a good first step to not be scared of 'losing' would be to not include it in my goals. I'm probably going to keep it in the back of my head, I REALLY don't want to finish last. (I have a very unrealistic, but yet very terrifying image of everyone else finishing way ahead of me, waiting at the finish line and laughing at me, thinking how stupid I was to sign up for the race when I obviously can't run).

But I don't want to give into those fears, so I'll try my best to focus on more positive goals. Besides, there is more positive energy in trying to reach a goal, rather than trying to avoid an experience I don't want to have. To quote one of my favorite book series (the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning) - Hope strengthens, fear kills.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Today I officially went from "obese" to "overweight" on the BMI scale! I don't actually think BMI is a very good way to measure these things - my goal is a healthy fat percentage, not necessarily to be normal on the BMI scale. In fact, I want a lot of muscle, which might still make me overweight on the BMI ratings.

However, even though I'm not a huge fan of the BMI scale, it is always fun to see progress. And it is important to celebrate every little success where you find it! :) Even though you might not have crossed a threshold today, why not try to find something to celebrate today? In fact, you could celebrate just the fact that you are you! I'm a firm believer that if you treat yourself right, the weight loss (or whatever you might be working towards) will come easier. And I'm quite sure a celebration (no food if you're on a weight loss journey - there are plenty of other ways to celebrate!) is a good way to treat yourself right. Make today something special!

Happy celebrations everyone! :)

Image by Bill Longshaw /