CELEBRATE THE SMALL VICTORIES
Because sometimes just getting up, getting out of bed, and out the door to the pavement/gym is a victory in and of itself. Or, just simply being physically able to run...when you know that their are other runners out their who can't train due to injury, illness, life, etc. That is one thing that often runs through my mind when I find myself complaining about getting up at the crack of dawn to run. When I run times that I deem aren't as fast as they should be. Or when I just plain don't feel like running at all (which does happen from time to time).
Then I remember that I don't have to run. I didn't have to take on the challenge that is the half-marathon. I chose to do so. And six days a week at 4:15 a.m. I get to wake up and run. I get to have the opportunity to dedicate this upcoming summer to half-marathon training. And, so far at least, I get to do all of this relatively injury free. I haven't deal with shin splints since the summer after my junior year of high school when I trained for my first seasons of cross country. Thankfully, my hips have not given me any trouble since the beginning of March.
As per usual, my hardest and most victorious run during last week (week 5) was my weekly 6 mile long run on Sunday. It was a complete and utter shit show. I mean, as bad as a long run on a treadmill can get without involving any falling or accidentally hitting the stop button half way through. Somewhere between miles 2 and 3 I got the worst side stitch on my left side that eventually moved into my lower abdomen. It legitimately felt like someone was stabbing me over and over again. And all I could think was...I'm not even halfway there, how in the world am I going to make it to 6 miles?!
To make matters worse, at the same time as this stabbing pain was going down, I was being blinded by sweat and felt like I was running through the freaking Sahara desert. I think it's because they still have the fudging heat cranked in the dungeon...which I mean hello it's April, you can turn that shit off!! Anyhow, I just so happened to be wearing a dry fit t-shirt...and it was like glued to my body with sweat. And if I had a little more coordination/grace when it comes to running, that shirt would have been off at that point.
The gym is always empty on Sunday mornings, and frankly I was so hot and miserable that I didn't give any fucks about someone walking in and seeing me running in my sports bra. I tried rolling my the bottom of my shirt and tucking it into my bra...but that did not work at all. I wasn't exactly running at lightening speed...so I probably should have just tried to take it off while running, I mean what's the worst thing that could have happened? BUT I MADE IT THE WHOLE 6 MILES...AND THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS!
Another huge victory that sin't running related: finally being able to look in the mirror and physically see my body getting leaner/more jacked. Which, for someone who has struggled for what feels like forever with body image issues, is a HUGE VICTORY. I have not stepped on a scale since December of 2017...something I am extremely proud of. Of course there have been days where I have wanted to/been curious about my weight...but the scale I have in my dorm room needs a new battery... so I haven't really had much of a choice.
And for someone who previously tied their entire self-worth to the number on the scale, this was such a mental break through. I literally now have no desire to step on a scale, not because I'm afraid of the number or anything, but simply because it doesn't matter what the number is. It's not going to make me drastically alter my workout routine or my approach to nutrition. I enjoy my gym time, and I most definitely enjoy being flexible with what I eat (and having the occasional alcoholic beverage or 7).
The point I'm trying to get across, is that no matter what your goals are (whether they are fitness related or not) you have to be able to enjoy the process along the way to crushing those goals. Set smaller goals that will serve as stepping stones to your ultimate goal. And don't be afraid of failure/setbacks along the way...because they're going to happen. What matters, is how you comeback from them. Don't look at far you have to go, look at how far you've come! Be proud. :)