Doing Things My Way

Thursday, August 22, 2013
I did something slightly crazy yesterday.  After reading Robyn’s blog post, I offered to run next year’s Edmonton Half Marathon with her.  At first, I was excited.  Then, yesterday evening, while at the volunteer orientation for this year’s marathon, I told my mother.  As soon as the words were out of my mouth, it dawned on me that I had just pledged to run a half marathon.  Not walk it; not crawl, bike or drive… R.U.N.


A small wave of panic gripped me for the rest of the evening, and again when I woke up this morning and realized what I had committed myself to.  Yikes.  Egads.  Save me.  But a few hours later, my fabulous coworker (the half ironman-er) and I had yet another of those wonderful conversations.  You know the ones – after talking with someone all seems right with the world, you feel like you can do anything, and they reaffirm that you’re doing everything right.  Ahhhhh. 

Of course, during that conversation, I shared my news and she was so happy.  Without thinking though, I had mentioned it while another co-worker was standing at my desk.  Dang.  Now people know about it.  Anyways, the running co-worker, let’s call her Pat to make things easy, thought it was a great idea.  “It’s a goal” she said.  Suddenly, my perspective changed and it became something to work towards.  I like goals.  It’s still a year away so I have plenty of time to train, work up to being able to run five or ten minutes without stopping and then increase my distance (very) slowly.  I can do it.  I won’t set any records but I can do it if I stay on track and I still find the joy in my running – so far so good!  Problem solved.

Prepare yourself Robyn; you’ve unleashed the beast (more like a mewling kitten but whatever).  The problem now (cause you know I can find the negative in anything) is:  It’s a year away.  Confused?  Let me explain.

Back in 2006, I convinced Mom and my Aunt B to take part in the half marathon with me.  Mom and I would walk, Betty would run.  There’d be a BBQ at Big Brother’s house when all was said and done, and medals would be proudly displayed. Yeah, that didn’t happen.  Well, all of it happened except for the part where I finished and got to proudly declare I had completed a half marathon.  Long story short – read about it here.  I had planned for this a year in advance (much like I am starting right now) and put a great deal of pressure on myself.  It wasn’t so much that I was physically incapable of finishing that first time; it was that I had let myself and, I felt, everyone involved.  I don’t want to have to experience that again.  I don’t remember ever feeling that badly about myself. 

Fortunately, I have a couple of things in my favour this time around.  First, only a few people know I’ve been running and many of those will likely forget within an hour of hearing it.  I will not be telling Big Brother and other members of the family until I register for the race.  Finally, I seem to be at a better, more accepting place in my life at the moment.  From the early days of this blog, I realized that if I’m not having fun or at least enjoying the steps, sweat and stretching, there’s no point.  I will not succeed and I will not continue.  I feel very lucky that Robyn and I stumbled across each other’s blogs and that Pat is there for me to confide in when I need someone to talk to face to face.

Running in general is also going well.  My last few runs have been very successful and the transition to 2:1s is on track.  I’m going to give them a go this weekend (when exactly, I have no idea) and spend next week’s three runs doing that.  If all goes well after my Sunday run on Labour Day weekend, I’ll move up to 3:2s.  The schedule for most running clinics and learn to run/training programs moves too fast for me.  Spending three or four weeks running for two minutes is working for me.  Starting with two minute walking breaks, then alternating the two minute breaks with one minute breaks before finishing with just one minute walking breaks has been instrumental in getting me from one level to the next.  You have no idea how overjoyed I will be when I finally reach that 5:1 level … and conquer it.  That’s my big goal right now.  If I never move beyond that sort of time, I’m content (at least for now).

As if on cue, while writing this, Frank Sinatra shuffles his way onto CBC radio belting out “My Way”.  To be honest, my favourite version is from Elvis’ Aloha from Hawaii album (1973) probably because he sang it two days after I was born but this’ll do.  It seemed oddly appropriate and couldn’t have come at a better time.

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

Yes, Frank, let the record show, I took the blows and did it….my way.


justmeandmo said...

Congratulations on setting your big goal! Tiffany - from my fierce Friday spotlight, ran her first hal marathon this year. Here is the kicker. She went from couch to 21.1km. She is like us, extra curvy and not all that fit ( to start) but now she has run a half marathon! I didn't start running until January 2013. 8 months later, I am running a half marathon! We all have a starting point. We all need goals and we all need friends to cry to and lean on. WE WILL DO THIS! Consider Sunday your last sideline race. I do recommend entering into other races before the half next a 5k, then a 10k. You will be glad you did and have a better idea if this racing thing is for you. Thanks for the big and lovely shout out sista friend!

Karen said...

I'm excited but nervous. My brain is throwing the usual excuses for what could go wrong around - my arthritis, my knees, etc. I really WANT to do this and will do it regardless of whether I end up walking for half of it or running the whole thing. I have to put the goal itself to the side, mentally, for the next few months though. Last time, I told everyone, made huge plans, and let it consume me. This time, I'm focusing on those small goals to get me to where I need to be.

Here's to doing things outside of our comfort zone and being way out there crazy.

FYI, Tiffany sounds awesome...just like us :) said...

so glad your running is going well!

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