Tuesday, February 9, 2016

How I am Able


"It's my soul that keeps me running." 

I was asked this weekend during a 20 mile run, how are you able to do this over and over and stay healthy and happy? I wrote the answer out to Team TOA Elite and thought, hmm, that is legit and needs to be published...

This is strictly personal experience, personal research and education, and what works for me. We are all so different and what works for one might not work for another. But what you can do is take pieces and advice from multiple sources and figure out what works best for YOU!

I was overweight. I had IT band issues that put me out for 12 weeks +. My first marathon turned into a half marathon. I had back issues that put me out for several weeks. I had rheumatic fever that nearly killed me and I live with inflammation and joint pain every day. I have food issues. I have body image issues. I struggle with the girl in the mirror too. It does get hard. It does hurt.
And I do it all anyway.

I am positive. I CHOOSE to be positive. Even if I'm not "feeling it", I do it anyway. It is in the toughest conditions (weather, mental or otherwise) that we become the strongest. I use self-talk and imagery. I envision that finish line and me crossing it. I tell myself I can do this. I will do this. I am amazing. I am a bad ass. It's not cocky ~ it's confidence in my ability and in my training. 
Attitude is a choice.

I remember that this is a hobby, not a job (although it is a bit of a job for me too ;). 
I remember the fight is with me, not with anyone else. I compete with myself. And that's funny because I always wanted to be faster and faster too. I wanted those PRs and trophies too... And one day it just clicked ~ who cares!? What am I fighting for!? And from that moment on everything became easier. MY pace. MY race! Speed and strength will come; just run. Run comfortable, run uncomfortable, push yourself, challenge yourself, run happy, run sad, run mad... but do it for YOU. Do it IN you. And now not only is it enjoyable, but I can still PR and win trophies. I absolutely love running. Even when I hate it or when it's hard, I love it! I don't have to be fast and I'm not concerned with speed. I don't mind walking every mile when everyone else is running; doesn't bother me one bit. It's MY race. It's MY fight.

I sleep.
I eat healthy. And sometimes I eat unhealthy. Balance.
I limit drinking.
I strength train (and bike and swim).
I stretch. I roll. I get adjustments and massages. I take CARE of my body.
I set goals. High but realistic goals.

This isn't a means to an end for me, this is my lifestyle. I do all that daily; all the time, not just in preparation for a race. And it feels good, so it makes me want to keep doing it. I don't relish on hurt or hard or negativity. I rarely even talk about it; so guess what? I don't even think about it anymore! What you THINK you will BECOME.

And finally, I practice how I'll perform. "Practice makes perfect." FALSE! 
Perfect practice makes perfect performance.

Thanks for asking and listening Team!!

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