I’m blogging early today because I just finished my first run of marathon training at the gym! I woke up this morning and just felt like this was the day to get back to the gym and do the damn thing. And boy was it hard. I remember 2 years ago when I was running 6 miles easily about five times a week, and I had to keep reminding myself to push through for another few minutes, just for another quarter of a mile, but I am really proud of myself for doing it!
I knew it wasn’t going to be easy because it’s been quite a while since I’ve seriously committed to running, and weight lifting makes me strong but doesn’t condition me cardio-wise the same way running does. So I focused on my breathing, and kept promising myself the next mile would be easier. And it got through 4 miles with a little cool-down afterwards! My goal was to get at least 3 miles in, and I hoped for 5 but today I am extremely grateful for my 4 miles. I kept a pretty good pace for myself as well and although now I’m suffering from SEVERE red face (how could I have forgotten that existed??) I am also excited about having set a goal for myself that will help keep me accountable for training.
As if I needed any other reasons to feel awesome this morning, one of my lovely friends who I saw the regional auditions with, started asking me about running and we’ve decided to sign up for a 10k in April together! Although I’ve always been a solitary runner, since I really enjoy the time to think and sweat and jive to really good music, I’m looking forward to having a partner in crime to for this race! It’ll be great timing since I’ll be whole-hog into my marathon training and the 10k will remind me what it feels like to be in a race situation.
I also wanted to touch on another thing that came up for me, being at the gym for the first time in a while. I notice myself doing this and it totally bugs me!! I see other girls at the gym and start to compare myself to them- what they look like, what they’re doing at the gym, and it totally leads me to feel negative about my own accomplishments. I know as women we’re constantly bombarded by what “beauty” is in the media, and now how we should be “fit” not “skinny” thanks to the elite athletes who have 5% body fat, and although I applaud those women who compete at such incredible levels of fitness, that is simply not realistic for the rest of us. Not should it define whether we are strong or beautiful or accomplished.
I feel pushed to compare myself to others because for some reason, that’s the way I’m supposed to know how to feel about myself. How stupid is that?! I want to feel proud of my body and all that it can do, WITHOUT these qualifiers, like; I’m strong but I don’t have a six-pack, I’m beautiful but my thighs do touch, I’m smart but I’m not getting special awards for it. Why can’t we just accept our flaws and decide that we are not beautiful and incredible despite them, but BECAUSE of them?
I know that I feel my best when I don’t allow that external negativity get to me, and instead try to think of all the ways I’m grateful to have a healthy body that CAN run 4 miles! That CAN get through a super tough power yoga class! That CAN sing really beautiful and legato phrases! That CAN finish reading a 500-page book in a matter of days! That CAN express my love for my friends and family on a daily basis! These may sound silly, but those are the important things, that we need to remember to hold onto when the negativity can seem overwhelming.
So today, I am proud of my awesomely sweaty and tough 4-miler and I know that in a couple weeks I’ll look back and WISH that was the longest run I had planned for the week! I choose to focus on the positives and I know that is what continues to make me a happy and healthy gal. 🙂
Spread the love, what are you proud of yourself for doing today or recently??
Happiness Starts Here