Monday, August 2, 2010

What the Problem Really Is

I almost quit Sunday night. I had all of my excuses and justifications ready and organized, and I was already planning a dramatic final blog entry detailing my tragic, heroic exit from the fitness world!

There was no way that I could continue training because:
--The weather is too hot and humid!!
--By the time it cools down, its too late to run very far and what would I do when I get up to the longer distances in the plan?
--I've been running and exercising for 4 months now and haven't lost weight yet.
--I don't have a hydration belt and can't go for miles and miles without water.
--If I join a gym and run on a treadmill then that won't be effective enough training for an outdoor race.
--I don't feel comfortable going more than a few miles from my house, what am I supposed to do when I have to go on a 10 mile run? What if I get abducted and raped?
--I'm just too overweight to be able to go very fast and who wants to be the last one crossing the finish line??
--I read lots of other running blogs and nobody else seems to struggle as much as I do, so I must just not be meant to be a runner!!

These are only a fraction of the excuses that have been formulating in my head and getting louder over the past few weeks. Running seemed to be nothing more than a convenient time to think of more reasons to quit. Sunday was supposed to be my long run of 3 miles- I walked most of it, telling myself that I had finally HAD IT, I was tired of always feeling bad about myself, that I just lost the ability to run somehow, and I wasn't going to torture myself anymore.

But deep down, during all of this mental back and forth ass beating I was giving myself, I knew all along what the problem was. I Don't Believe In Myself. I don't believe that I can finish the race, I don't believe that I can lose weight, and I don't even believe I can complete the entire training period! I've never undertaken a goal of this magnitude before, and I'm frightened.

There is something very comforting about taking responsibility for your own thoughts and actions. The universe isn't conspiring against me to make sure I never reach my goals. My head is the problem, and everything else can be overcome! Once I allowed this to digest for a little while, I mustered the courage to go for my scheduled 2 miles today. I ran it, and I ran it pretty darn well...I didn't stop, and I didn't let myself think a bunch of negative thoughts. I really enjoyed myself for the first time in the past 3 weeks.

This journey has a lot more ups and downs than I ever imagined it would. THIS IS HARD. I guess I keep imagining that the obstacles will all go away soon and everything will just get easy. But I know that's not going to happen. And you know what? It's okay that this isn't totally smooth sailing. I think I'm going to keep hitting many highs and lows as I continue on. At least I'm getting a lot of practice at persevering!! What's that quote? 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration? Well, its taking a hell of a lot of perspiring, but I seem to be plodding through the hard parts and maybe eventually I can run that race.

So I guess you guys are going to have to wait a little bit longer for my big dramatic exit from the blogosphere. I am over my latest hump, and ready to take on the world again (until my next meltdown, anyway.)


  1. Jennifer..... we are having the same conversation that I am sure a multitude of people are having. But isn`t it so amazing when you can just cut the crap and get straight with yourself! I had an amazing day today after being totally freaked out about W4D1... I keep a video blog of my journey... I hope you will stop byu and see what the outcome of my fears were today! Keep going Jennifer... I cant wait to see the picture of you crossing the finish line! YOU CAN DO IT!

    Susan Davis

  2. Meltdowns are part of the process. This journey is a large part of believing in yourself and keeping up the positive self-talk. The head tells the body what to do and what it's capable of. I'm so proud of didn't figured out what the obstacle was and gave yourself a good talking to!!

    You are inspiring so many people out there! Me included!

  3. You can't give up, Jennifer. I too am slow, overweight and can't run very far yet. Running is a struggle but I see such an improvement in just 3 months. I'm sure you have as well!

    By the way, your blog has really inspired me so I nominated you for an award on my blog:

    Look forward to reading more from you!

  4. pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone is really difficult for so many. You not only recognized that you were doing it, but you gave your self doubt a big ole finger and said "up yours!"
    Good for you! Trust me, EVERY runner out there has had these same thoughts. You are not the only one struggling. You are INSPIRING so many people ~ myself included. Keep running, one step at a time!!

  5. I think you are amazing. And so inspiring.
    I am SO proud of you!!

    AND... I just gave you an award on my blog!!

    Go get it!

  6. This blog is great. What a lot of people don't understand about crossing the finish line, is that it is so much more than being proud of your athletic capabilities. For me, when I crossed the finish at my first half in June, I cried. Not because my muscles and bones were burning (they were) but because I had these exact same thoughts so many times and I powered through it. I proved to myself that I can do this.. and frankly, I can do anything. You WILL finish that race. You WILL lose weight eventually and you have to remember.. deep down, that is not why you have to do this. You have to prove that you are not all talk and that you can and will follow through. I have so much faith in you so if nothing else, don't let me down. Remember, if you ever feel like this.. shoot me an email or something. I promise you are not having a harder time than anyone else just starting out. You are just more honest about it.
    p.s. It is perfectly okay to walk sometimes and reflect. It's okay to have bad running days, that is part of the journey. And another thing.. during my half, I was amazed at how many runners take short walking breaks. Don't feel pressure to run the entire time.. just most of the time. Everyone on the course is paying attention to only themselves.. not you! :)

  7. Hey Jen, I sure am glad you man'ed up and didn't give up. I sure would hate to have nothing to look forward to on marathon day! I am super proud of you, and I have said it before and I will say it again. Just because you are not reading others struggles does not mean they are not having them it just means they are not typing them! Keep going and remember if I can drag my ass to the gym after two brain surgeries you can drag your ass to the track after anything! We are kindred spirits you and I, tough dames, and nothing can hold us back! So don't let you biotch!