Lessons from the Race Track

Lessons from the Race Track

Ok, I have to share my discoveries and lessons on the road.  Today, I just completed one of my big goals for 2014 – to run a half-marathon.  A half-marathon technically is 21.0975 kilometres (13.1094 mi) of road racing of some kind. YAY, I finished.  I did it.  I ran a half-marathon.

The back story – I fully trained for and ran a half marathon back in May of 2003, completing it in just over 2 hours.  My biggest take home was that it was a BIG commitment of my time to fully train.  All I wanted to do is break my goal time.  OUCH!  I will never forget the moment I was turning the corner to run the final stretch and heard someone call out, “THIRTY SECONDS TO TWO HOURS”  I felt SO defeated for I was yet to arrive at the finish and my goal time was fleeting.  I could have quit, and instead I picked up the pace and finished 2:01.29.  AND, it was my first ever half marathon – what a win!  I was in great shape and I look back on that time and the key was the training.  I did the work, I put in the time.  What an accomplishment that was for me.  Yet up until recently as was true for so much of my life, I remembered only missing the goal of the 2 hour finish time.

Two years ago, I chose to train for a Tough Mudder.  Perhaps you have heard of the Tough Mudder or you are already part of the Mudder Nation.  If you visit their website you will find it described as:  Tough Mudder is a series of hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle race – mud run events designed by British Special Forces to challenge the toughest of the tough.”  I made the commitment to train for it by training like I was going to run a half marathon and train with my early morning Boot Camp exercise group.  I went into that event feeling relatively prepared.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I did every challenge and our group finished strong and in a respectable time.  What came after was the real learning.  I was very banged up and sore from the Mudder.  My knees and legs looked I had been in my own war zone – which I guess you could say was a fair representation.  It took me months to recover from that one event – I learned my aging body gets to be cared for in an even more intentional, self-honoring way.  I went into that event feeling “relatively prepared”.  I started to realize that I was at a crossroads.  Do I continue to train and do these crazy events or do I choose to pamper my body and succumb to my age.  I resigned to just keep exercising and figure it out as I go.

Last spring/summer I trained and raced a Sprint Triathlon.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, a Sprint Triathlon includes:   750-meter (0.47-mile) swim, 20-kilometer (12-mile) bike,  and 5-kilometer (3.1-mile).  It was another goal off my “live list”.  There were great lessons in that process as I was having trouble swimming in open water.  Through the process of personal development and some experiences that I went through with Klemmer & Associates, I was able to let the fear go of swimming in the open water feeling relaxed and capable.  As I raced my overall time was in the back of my mind, yet it wasn’t the “win” for me.  I conquered the fear of swimming in open water.  YAY!  I hope to do other triathlons someday.  I have had an elbow injury which has kept me out of the pool this year. So, I kept running and biking this season to keep in forward motion toward the goal of doing another triathlon.  Then, I set a goal to run the half-marathon to get me to start training for longer runs.   Are you getting the pattern?  If I want to accomplish something, I get to set a goal to get me moving.

For today, I had a goal of finishing the race in 2 hours and 15 minutes.  I trained for this race with about an average amount of determination.  I made a decision after my first experience that my time was too valuable to train so many hours in a week for such a race.  I chose to run a few shorter runs during the week and shoot for a longer run on the weekends.  I was slowly working my way up to the longer runs.  Three weeks ago I did over 18 km.  I have been tapering ever since – resting and running shorter runs to bring up my speed.

The first part of my race was amazing.  I had a faster average time than normal, yet I felt good.  As I neared the 9 km mark, my right foot started feeling an incredibly tight, hot pressure.  This is the foot that I had surgery on 3 1/2 years ago and it tends to act up some on my longer runs, yet not so much so early.  I ran a lot of pavement time during that first 9 km.  I realized that if I was ever to make it to the end, I was going to benefit from finding dirt, grass and shoulders beside the road to run on.  As we came into the park around the 10 km mark, I fought SO hard the feeling of wanting to quit and give into the pain and honor my body.  Part of what kept me going was thinking of my friend Lynn Petry, who ran a full marathon last year pushing our friend Richard Batiste in a wheelchair.  I kept telling myself, “If Lynn can go twice as far pushing Richard in a wheelchair, I can run a half marathon with some foot pain.”  I kept looking up (to where my help comes from), accessing the resource side of my brain, breathing, and remember the goal that I had set early this yearI am thrilled to have completed the BMO Half-Marathon on Oct 12, 2014.   Would I be able to live with myself by letting myself down, quitting at the 10 km mark?  NO!

Lessons from the Road are set goals, plan, do all the work to accomplish those set goals, eat healthy, hydrate properly, never give up, ever, follow through on the goal to completion, and afterwards reflect on what you can do differently next time.

My take? I will keep training for that NEXT event.  I am worth “training full out”.  Having that goal out in front of me at all times keeps me in forward motion and supports me accomplishing the other big goals in my life.  What are you training for?  If not, what are you waiting for?

Lessons from the Race Track of Life

Coach Trudy

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Living By Choice

Living By ChoiceSo this picture caught my eye recently, and I realized that I would want to write about what it means to me.

I mentioned in a recent blog post that I had a pivotal moment of deciding to stop living as a victim to my circumstances and live responsibly. This post will be short, because I cover it in depth in my coaching sessions.

Look back on your life right now. Make a note of the times when you felt you had “no choice” and had to succumb to the circumstances around you. Go ahead, do it. Take a moment and truly reflect. Maybe it was a loss of a job, loss of a relationship, loss of a promotion. Whatever it is, you know the one I am talking about. Did you resign yourself to the circumstance? Did you resist it? Did you passively let others make choices for you?

If you truly get this, you will start to live in choice. If you don’t get it, you know how to reach me.

Living By Choice,

Coach Trudy

This is Love

Okay, before you think this is a mushy romantic post, wait and read on. I used to be so lost that I thought I needed to win, be better at everything, look like I have it all together to impress others. Have you ever done that? I did this for a long time, and I married someone with similar values. What I have found over the years, it just drives a wedge between you and the people you want to get closer to. At some point, I looked around and said “this sucks”. Sadly, it took me several years from that point to start getting it all sorted out in my own life. Happily, both my husband and I are on a journey of being the change we want to see in our world.

I heard a song by Natalie Grant that inspired me to share this thought today. We live in a world full of hatred, weakness, despair, darkness, bondage, poverty, welfare. It’s all around us, it’s hard to miss it – unless you are so focused on your own stuff that you miss it, like I used to do. I professed that I loved others and I did good things. I look back in reflection and realize how I did things for the wrong motives. I was letting my light shine yet sometimes my motives were compromised.

Simply said from Matthew 5:14-16: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. “

I used to get hung up on the “good deeds” thing. I did it for people to see what a great person I was. Sure, I did lip service to my Creator, yet my underlying motive was messed up.

Being a woman of faith for nearly all my life, one might wonder how I could be that messed up. My transformation came a very short time ago. The gaps between the pivotal moments included living without much intention other than getting through that next day as a wife, mom, daughter, sister, employee, friend. I lived a life as the victim of the circumstances around me. I woke up one day and made a choice not to be a victim anymore. That pivotal moment changed my life immensely and forever.

What am I saying? Do something today to help others from the motive of just loving them. Take responsibility for your choices. Be a lighthouse. Be a safe house. Let your life be living proof of what love truly is. Genuinely love others by being your authentic self for no other reason than to love them where they are at. Get over your “schtuff” and shift into the life of authentic love.

Natalie Grant’s song, “This is Love”

This is Love

Coach Trudy