Goalgetter

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford

You can say what you want about Michael Phelps being born to swim, but he wouldn’t be breaking records if he wasn’t aiming for the gold. Do you know that when he was a kid his teachers told him that he would never be able to focus on anything? It sounds crazy considering that he’s the only athlete to win 8 gold medals in his sport and that he’s set 5 world records. One of the secrets to his amazing achievements is that he keeps a list of all the races he wants to enter, with goal times, on his nightstand. He sees it every night before he goes to bed and every morning when he wakes up. He’s set his sights on his target and to say that he isn’t focused is crazy. You don’t get to be a world champion without goals.

Think about it, have you ever heard of a marathon that didn’t have a finish line? Me neither. How would you know who won without that marker at the end? What about sports? Baseball has 9 innings and ice hockey has 3 periods. Without those the teams can play forever trying to one up each other. Stores have business hours indicating when they’re open and when they’re closed. And businesses have profit targets that they aim for, otherwise they would never know if they should stay in business or not. The same goes for things that you want. How would you know that you’ve achieved success without some sort of definitive mark telling you that you’ve arrived?

One of the biggest reasons that people don’t succeed is because they never define what success means to them in the first place. How can you know if you’re successful if don’t have a plan? One of the
scariest things to overcome when deciding to make a change in your life is the fear of setting goals. Many of my clients get stuck in this process because of fear. Fear of setting the goal and then the possibility of not reaching it. People interpret that as failure and no one wants to feel like a failure, so it’s easier to just not set the goal in the first place, right? Wrong! Without setting the goal you’re just like a hamster in a wheel. Always spinning to nowhere. If you have nothing to measure your success than there’s never anything to tell you when you’re done. And if you never know when you’re done than everything begins to feel like such a chore and you’re forever beating yourself up for not having gotten the body that you want or the life you want to live.

But there’s one more reason why goals are so important. Knowing that there is an end point makes the struggle to get there so much more manageable.

Goals shouldn’t be feared they should be embraced, because by setting them you actually make your life easier by having something to aim for. If you just keep your eyes on the finish line then no amount of struggling will equal failure, because you’ll keep at it until you get there. There isn’t one successful person out there that doesn’t have goals. Do you think Oprah is getting her own cable network because she just dabbled a little bit here and a little bit there? No way! She definitely had a clear path that she was going down in order to become the megastar that she is. I promise that this is where your success begins.

A good goal is one that is definable and realistic, such as “I want to be able to run a 5k by June”. I’ve stated what I want to do (run), I’ve stated a distance to aim for (5k), I’ve given myself and end date (June), and I’ve made it a realistic goal by giving myself 6 months. By defining the terms I know exactly what I need to do in order to achieve it, and by giving myself 6 months to get there I make it attainable and not too pressure filled. Along the way I may set mini goals (baby steps) in order to help me get there, such as starting with walk/run intervals for the first month and working my way up to running consistently for a full 5k. That way everything becomes way more manageable and I hit mini successes along the way to my larger success. It’s contagious.

Try it. Set a goal for today, something that you’ve been putting off, and see how great you feel once you do it.

Heart Shape

Dear Dani,

I’m a 36-year-old guy and have recently taken up running. I’ve always been active and in shape, but this is something new for me. I’ve heard a lot about resting heart rate, but am unsure what it is, why it’s important, or even what mine should be. Can you help me out?

Thanks, New Runner

Dear New Runner,

It’s awesome that you’ve started running. It’s always good to change up your routine to avoid plateaus and boredom, and running is the perfect way to strengthen your heart (and tone, tighten, and strengthen your legs and core). Your heart is the most important muscle in your body and it needs to be worked out just like your chest and arms do. Not to mention your lungs as well. The stronger your lungs the more oxygen you can take in and the stronger your heart the more oxygen rich blood is pumped through your body, resulting in more efficient workouts. So, that’s where your resting heart rate comes in…

Your resting heart rate (RHR) is the number of times your heart beats per minute while at complete rest. It is an important indicator of health and fitness. The lower the number the more fit you are (unless you are suffering from an illness, which sometimes can cause your heart rate to dip). What that indicates is that your body can preserve itself, but still maintain proper function while using the least amount of energy. In other words, the lower the number, the more efficient your body is. For instance, Lance Armstrong has a RHR of 32-34 beats per minute (bpm), which is insanely low! He can cycle up what would be a pretty tough hill for us and not really be affected all that much, because his heart can pump oxygen rich blood through his body with the least amount of effort. Rates vary from person to person and are different between men and women.

How To Measure Your RHR:
- Measurements should be taken first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. Do not take it right after waking up though. Wait about 10-15 minutes and then start your measurement, so that you’re calm and relaxed.
- You can measure from your Radial pulse (by placing your index and middle fingertips on the thumb side of your wrist) or your Carotid pulse (by placing your index and middle fingertips along the windpipe of your throat).
- Make sure to hold gently, because pressing on the pulse can affect the rate.
- Count the beats for 10 seconds and then multiply by 6. That is your RHR.
- Make sure to take an average of your RHR by measuring for 3 days, because various things can affect the rate, such as stress, lack of sleep, overtraining, illness, alcohol, etc.

Like I said, RHR can vary from person to person based on sex, age, fitness, etc. With that being said here’s a simplified look at what your RHR should be for your age group:
Men ages 36-45 = Excellent: 57-62; Good: 63-66; Above Average: 67-70; Average: 71-75; Below Average: 76-82; Poor: 83+ (**Athletes: 50-56**)
Women ages 36-45 = Excellent: 60-64; Good: 65-69; Above Average: 70-73; Average: 74-78; Below Average: 79-84; Poor: 85+ (**Athletes: 54-59**)

Exercising will help improve your resting heart rate, so keep on running. Just make sure not to overtrain as that will actually increase your RHR.

If you need any running tips let me know!

** Have a question that needs answering? Send ‘em in! Every Thursday I’ll be answering a new question, and it might just be yours!

Peppermint Rub Down

Give me 10 more!

During your next workout try slathering yourself in peppermint oil or lotion. The scent will invigorate your muscles and will help make your workout seem easier and less frustrating. You’ll also feel like you’re performing better, so even if you’re not a mega athlete, you will definitely feel like one!

Some brands to try:
Burt’s Bees
The Body Shop
C.O. Bigelow
Bath & Body Works

Have a question that needs answering? Send ‘em in! Every Thursday I’ll be answering a new question, and it might just be yours!

Get Back Up

Ok, I know I said I was only going to post once a week from now on, but I just had to share this video with you.

On your journey to losing weight there are going to be times where you just want to throw it all away and give up. It’s going to get tough and you’re going to get frustrated. You’re going to feel like there’s no end in sight and that you might never get there. You might feel that it’s all pointless. There will be times that you succeed and feel on top of the world and then there will be times, maybe after a slip-up, that you feel like a complete and total failure. These feelings are normal and everyone has them. Anyone who has ever fought and struggled for something has these moments. It’s ok. Don’t give up though, because if you give up then you surely won’t ever succeed. It may not come overnight and it might not come in 6 months, but if you keep on fighting I promise you that you will get there. Just keep on fighting!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MslbhDZoniY

2 Hours and 20 Minutes!

Exhilarating. One word doesn’t do yesterday justice, but if I had to pick one to sum up my first ever race experience that would be it. After 3 months and 184.5 miles of rigorous training, building up strength, endurance, and mental stamina the day was finally here. On only 3 hours of sleep I ran from start to finish and ran all 13.1 miles in what was my best run yet. It must have been the adrenaline, because I didn’t feel tired or out of breath once, not even up the steep hills in Central Park, which is surprising, because for 4 weeks I’ve had agonizing pains searing through my legs. And if you remember from my earlier post I had a horrible run this past Monday which left me really nervous and upset because I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish the race. I did finish though and I finished strong! Plus, I’m not nearly as sore as I have been in the past after my long runs. Well, that’s aside from the 2 massive bloody blisters that popped all over my sneakers (but I didn’t even notice that pain either until I got home and even that’s not getting me down). Amazing!

Adrenaline is a crazy thing. Since picking up my bib number this past Thursday I’ve been as excited as a little kid counting down the days till Disney World. The anticipation just kept building and building and I couldn’t wait. But when I woke up yesterday morning at 5am an interesting thing happened and if I didn’t know better I would say that I was certifiably crazy. One second I was shaking out of nervousness and the next I was buzzing with happiness. I was literally kookoo. Adrenaline is like a drug and it takes over your body forcing it to do things that you’re not telling it to do. My heart was racing, my emotions were erratic and I was happy, nervous, and a bit sad all at the same time. Why sad? Because I didn’t want this experience to end. It was a major milestone for me to run my first race and once it was over I could never have it back. Of course this moment was going to come though and once I was at the start line all my pent-up nervousness disappeared and excitement rushed through my body. Have you ever heard a song that starts off slow and then climaxes? Something about the rhythm propels you into motion and your heart skips a beat and you feel inspired? That’s exactly what I felt at that moment, but there was no music. I knew that I would finish and I knew that it was going to be an amazing run.

Being part of the racing community feels incredible. Racers filled the 6 train on their way uptown and it was so cool to feel connected to a bunch of strangers on a NYC subway. Normally you ride the train and are completely anonymous to everyone else, but yesterday we all were linked together by one thing that we all had in common. All of us, wearing our bib numbers on our shirts and orange tags on our sneakers, carrying the same clear plastic bags for our valuables, fueling up for the run, and on our way to 97th St. were joined for this moment. There were so many of us, that if you were standing on 95th street when we exited the station you would think that it looked like a bunch of ants coming out of a hole.

I must tell you though, I never want to eat another freaking jelly bean again! If you’re not a runner (yet :) ) I’ll explain… There are food products specifically designed for endurance sports. They contain simple sugars and electrolytes that break down easily, so that you can quickly refuel your muscles when you’re exercising for long periods of time. They come in various forms, such as gummies, gels, drinks, and jelly beans. I prefer the beans, but after 4 packs of them yesterday I never want to even see or smell anything that looks remotely like a jelly bean. Even saying the word is nauseating me now. You would think that being given permission to eat candy would be a great thing, but not after 4 packs of the damn things.

You know what was mind-blowing? Running through the streets in the middle of Time’s Square being cheered on by the people watching on the side. It’s awesome to think that normally cars pile up bumper to bumper with horns honking, but yesterday the streets were closed so that I could run through them! There is no other time that you ever get to see Time’s Square like that. And yesterday I got to do it!

I think that was somewhere around mile 9 or so. There are mile markers telling you how far you’ve run and how much further you have to go and each time I passed one it wasn’t agonizing thinking about how many more I had to go. Actually, it was almost sad to think that every mile meant that it was that much closer to being over. It was exciting too though thinking about crossing the finish line and seeing Roman and my mom’s face. This was my victory run and I really couldn’t believe that I was doing it. At the last 1/4 of a mile stretch I literally sprinted through the finish line and had to hold back my tears. 10 years ago I was on my way to living a life of desperation and torment, and possibly early death, because all that was important to me was being skinny, but here I was now changing what I once thought was going to be my future and creating my own destiny.

I’ve worked harder than I have ever worked at anything to overcome negative thoughts, emotions, and beliefs, and I am so happy to say that today I am close to conquering myself. This training has taught me more about myself than any therapy has. No matter what difficulties I’m faced with I know that I can overcome it. No one really talks about how exercise can be so empowering, but it’s so much more than building physical strength, it builds strength of mind too. If you want to know the formula for building confidence, conviction, determination, and pride, push yourself to your physical limit. Push yourself until you think that you have nothing left in you and then just push a little further. You’ll see that you’re made up of much more than you think. I beg you to do that for yourself, because until you’ve tried it it’s hard to believe, and your life will be forever changed.

It’s one day after the race and I feel confused. I’ve been on a 12 week journey and now that it’s over I don’t know what to do with myself. There’s no running to prepare for and nothing to expect, so I’m feeling a bit out of it today. But you know what, this 12 week journey was only the beginning of a new life for me. I just signed up for the Brooklyn 1/2 marathon in May and I’m seriously contemplating joining a charity for the real deal NYC Marathon in November. If you’re ready to conquer yourself and experience something life-changing I dare you to join me. I promise that you won’t regret it and I will be there with you every step of the way.

P.S. I just want to thank you, Roman for sticking by me. Had we not started doing our Sunday “family runs” in the park with the dogs I would most likely never had entered this race and I wouldn’t have had one of the most amazing experiences of my life. You always have my back and you made my goal your goal too by acting just as excited as I was about this. It’s a special thing to be able to share your life with someone and I wouldn’t be who I am today without you. As I told you yesterday, I feel like I’m living a fairy tale.

P.P.S. Shilpa – I really couldn’t have done this without you either. We had a little role reversal there – you, my client, forced me, your trainer into running. I definitely would not have entered this race without you and I have to seriously thank you for encouraging me through my hard runs and sticking by my side. I still can’t believe that we met only a year and a half ago. I’ve seen how far you’ve come and I am so so so proud of you. This was a victory run for you too and I teared up a little as we were sprinting to the finish not only thinking about myself, but about you too. You deserve only the best in life and you have proven to yourself that you are capable of anything. Good friends are hard to come by and in all sincerity you are a fabulous friend.

** I just want you all to know that as I reread this post I realize that it doesn’t even come close to what I am feeling or what I experienced yesterday. It’s the best I can do to recreate it though…
*** So sorry that there are no pictures, but I can’t find the cord for the camera. These blisters are forcing me to wear only flips flops, so as soon as it stops pouring I’ll go down to Radio Shack and get a replacement :)

181 Miles Down, Only 4 More To Go!

I cannot believe that this is the last week before my race! It’s been 12 weeks since I started running and it’s amazing to look back and see how far I’ve come. Yes, I’ve been active and fit for the last 10+ years, but whenever you start something new it’s a shock. And new it really was, because although I’ve worked out for a long time I’ve never really taken to running. I preferred other things like Spinning or boot camp to keep my heart rate up, thinking that I’m just not a runner. I categorized myself as “not a runner”. Today though, 181 miles later I can say that I’m definitely a runner and my life is forever changed.

That being said though, I’ll be honest, today was HARD! I mean H-A-R-D! And it was only 2 miles! I’ve run 10 with no problem, so why am I complaining? I can’t be 100% sure what it was exactly, but I do know that my legs are killing me. And they were killing me for the entire 18 minutes it took me to run the damn thing. I couldn’t quite control my joints. It was weird. It was like they were just flopping around and I couldn’t get them to stay in place. As groups of cyclists pedaled by me I was almost embarrassed to look at them. For weeks I’ve felt like a real part of an athletic community, but now I felt ridiculous. Oh, and my left shin felt like it was warning me that if I didn’t let up it would explode. Seriously, I had that image in my head of my leg just exploding all over the place on the pavement. And because my legs weren’t cooperating I had to breath harder to power up the hill, which only made me feel like I wanted to vomit.

That also being said though, I DID NOT QUIT ONCE! I kept telling myself that it’s only 2 miles, it will eventually end, and I’ve run way further than that. I just repeated that in my head like a mantra. Still, I have to be responsible and follow the advice that I’d give to any of my clients and take it a bit easier this week. My body is obviously trying to tell me something and although it’s in my nature to not quit out of some insane need to prove something to myself, I’m going to listen this time and ease up for the last few days before my race. This is very hard for me, because I do not like to feel defeated, but I need to give myself permission to lighten the load. If I don’t then I will only be setting myself up for an injury.

Just because I’m a trainer doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle like the rest of you. I still remember what it was like starting from scratch so many years ago and what I had to do to convince myself that I COULD lose weight, be sane, and learn to eat normally, but it’s also pretty distant. This training has really reminded me of what that feeling is like to start from nothing and to really struggle through the ups and downs of pain, defeat, and fatigue. I feel stronger than I ever have though and it’s only convinced me more that you can really do ANYTHING that you want. I know I can get through anything, but I’m getting a little nervous now that it’s so close to the race. I want to be able to finish strong and know that I gave it my all. So, I’m reaching out to you all and asking you to give me permission to relax a little bit.

And please, if you haven’t already done so, please show your love and support for me by donating to The Fresh Air Fund (they are sponsoring my run). Every little bit counts and every little bit will power me through when I feel like my legs just won’t carry me anymore. I am running as a personal goal, but I will also be running for all of you who are struggling to find your way on your road to success.

Beginner Fitness

Starting something from nothing can be really daunting, and beginning to work out years after your love affair with the couch began is no different. I’ve put together a few things that you can do to make the transition as easy as possible.

Ready:
Of course, you’ve heard that you should ask your doctor before starting any exercise program, so make sure you do that first. Then set your goal. This will help keep you on track and motivated when you really don’t want to put on your sneakers and sweats. For instance, do you want to lose 20 pounds, be able to do 10 push-ups, or simply walk up the subway stairs without feeling winded? Write it down and make sure to make your goal clear, concise, and realistic. Losing 20 pounds in 1 month is ridiculous, but losing it in 5 months is completely doable. Likewise, “losing weight” isn’t a clear and concise goal, but specifying 20 pounds is. Most importantly, make sure that your goal “speaks” to you. Write down why you want this goal, what it will mean to you when you reach it, how you will feel, etc. Write it in a way that you really mean and feel it, so that when you look at it later you’ll be inspired.

Here’s an example: “I’m so sick and tired of feeling out of control. I don’t know where these 35 pounds came from, but I want to get rid of them. I hate how my clothes fit and how I feel when I have to get dressed up. I hate buying clothes and having to look at myself in the dressing room. I hate feeling self-conscious. I know that I need to do something about my eating and that if I exercised it would help, but it’s so hard. If I don’t so something about it though this weight will double to 70 pounds fast. I really don’t want that and just want to feel good in my own skin again. I’m promising to myself that I will lose these 35 pounds that have weighed me down for the past 5 years within 7 months. By the summer I will be wearing that blue dress that’s been hanging in my closet all these years and I will feel confident and beautiful again. I’m going to do it no matter what and nothing is going to stop me.”

Remember to start slowly. Many people have the mistake of starting out too aggressively either because they’re excited and ramped up or because they think that that’s what will give them the quickest results. You can’t sustain this level of activity for long if you’re not conditioned for it and most likely you’ll just end up sore, tired, bored, and injured. The important thing is to develop some new habits that you can stick with over the long haul.

Also, it’s ok if you don’t belong to a gym. There are plenty of ways to get moving without any equipment, so the important thing to remember is to JUST MOVE! Should you prefer the more structured route though, it’s easy to set up a home gym. All you really need is a stability ball (one of those large colorful balls) and a mat, but having some resistance bands and a jump rope will give even more variety to your workout. And when you’re ready you can buy some weights to really take things to the next level.

Set:
Set yourself up for success. Plan your week ahead of time by deciding which days you’re going to work out. Then, the night before a work out day, decide what time you’re going to work out. Mark it in your calendar if you have to. By planning out the day ahead of time you’ll be less likely to make excuses for not working out, because you’ve already decided to do it. When you’re faced with the option to watch Oprah or work out it’ll be easier to make the right choice. If you find yourself wavering from your plan the next day however and need a carrot to dangle in front of your face, just take a look at your goal to give you a swift reminder of why you need this.

Maybe you’re the more social type, so why not kill two birds with one stone and work out with a buddy. Not only will the time fly, but you’ll be held accountable to each other when you really would rather be brunching than crunching. Plus, a little friendly competition could really mix things up and force you to work a little harder.

Go:
Now that you’ve set everything up get you’re butt out there and move! Something is more than nothing and every bit counts, so even if you don’t have a lot of time to spare one day, just make sure to do as much as you can. And get creative – play catch with your kid (anyone who’s ever played catch with a kid knows that there’s plenty of running and bending for that ball), take only the stairs one day, walk to work instead of driving if that’s an option, or even play a game with yourself that you will do 10 push-ups, squats, dips, or crunches every 30 minutes that you’re at work. (Hmm, I think I might try that one tomorrow.) Working out doesn’t have to be boring and monotonous and as long as it’s fun you’ll want to stick with it.

And remember: Slow and steady wins the race, so the important thing is to start slow and be CONSISTENT. Give it a try for 4 weeks and let me know how you feel…

166.5 Miles Down, 17.5 More To Go!

I love trying the impossible. I love proving myself wrong of all my doubts. I love pushing myself to the limit and overcoming fear. I just ran 12 miles yesterday and feel like a complete rock star! Wait, not to sound too perfect, I’ll tell you the truth.

10 miles felt like a good distance (I know, that sounds crazy enough!), but those last 2 miles were really pushing it and my legs felt like I was carrying 12 tons of lead up a mammoth-sized hill like my life depended on it. Armed with my arsenal of water, Sports Beans and Cliff Shot Blocks I did it though and felt like nothing could stop me. I felt like a superhero must feel when he discovers his superpowers for the first time. My running partner, Shilpa was like, “we have to keep moving or else I’m going to throw-up”, and I thought to myself, “that was awesome, I can’t believe how great I feel”.

On the way back home is when it all came crashing down. I knew that my legs were moving, but I couldn’t get there quick enough. Every step felt like an accomplishment. But finally after an agonizing 5 long blocks I made it through the front door. Roman, Billiam, and Ozzie enthusiastically greeted me and the second I bent down to pet the dogs is when my bubble really burst. I could barely stand back up, and when Roman asked me how I felt I could barely muster a pathetic “like a rock star”. I definitely didn’t sound like rock star or look like a rock star at that moment, but I still felt like one. Then the nausea and chills settled in and I know I should have eaten something, but I just couldn’t bring myself to swallow anything. I sat at my dining room table looking like a beaten dumpster diving raccoon.

Walking down the stairs to the living room I was more like a feeble grandma with a walker than an athlete. I could only walk down sideways, holding on to the banister, one leg at a time. A throbbing pain shot through my left shin and another throb shot trough my right hip. I just ran 12 miles and now I needed one of those Hover Rounds and the chair that brings you up and down the stairs. I will tell you this though, About an hour later I finally ate something. And I didn’t just eat anything. I ate something that I would never in a million years eat. I could have had a salad or a healthy wrap or something, but I just burned 1200 calories (a full day of calories!), so I had a mama jama sized peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a 1/4 of an apple cinnamon muffin. For many of you this is no big deal, but you should know that for me, this is a huge accomplishment and turn of events. After 12 miles, some major nausea and chills, a yummy pb & j sandwich, and some muffin Roman and I took the dogs for a mile and a half walk.

So, rock star, you betcha! I’m such a freaking rock star that I even got dolled up and put on heels to go hang out with our friends later that night and didn’t come home until 1:30am. Ain’t nothin’ gonna stop me! And, I’m on day 7 of my 100 calorie or less night-time snack and going strong.

Here’s my secret: It all comes down to sheer mental will. None of this would have been possible had I not BELIEVED I was going to do it. Once I committed to it there was no going back and I wasn’t going to give up, because that would mean that I let myself down. So, I invite you to RISE UP and commit to yourself to do something that you’ve always wanted to do, but have put off. Anything that will make you feel accomplished and successful.

Throughout my recovery I honestly think that this journey I’ve been on for the past 10 weeks has been one of the most pivotal moments for me, and I have proven to myself how strong I am. I will never be that broken girl I once was and nothing will ever stop me again. Rise up.

I'm A Failure

Oh my gosh, I thought I was going to die! 11 miles today and each every single damn one made me want to scream. It’s pretty slushy out in the park, my usual training ground, so instead I went to the Y to run on a treadmill like a hamster. Whenever I look at a packed gym, with people running to nowhere, I always get the image that they’re just powering the air conditioning. Not a bad idea actually…

From the moment I started running my knee hurt and it didn’t go away the entire time. I tried watching TV, which worked until I checked how many miles I’d run so far. I thought I was 6 miles in, but I was only 2.5! That seriously messed with my mind. I had to quiet it down again by trying to focus on my breathing. I had read in one of my personal training magazines that the lungs are just like any other muscle, and if we don’t fully use them they will atrophy, just like your biceps or any other muscle in your body will with inactivity. Plus, it helps put you “in the zone”. I tried breathing in for 2, holding for 2, and then out for 2, which helped for a bit, but soon after my mind began wandering again and I wanted to kill someone.

I had to keep thinking that I could technically stop at any time, but I knew that if I did I would be mad at myself for not just sticking it out. I knew it was all in my head. Last week I had an amazing run and it was only 1 mile less than this week, so I could psych myself up to finish this week too. Eventually it has to end, right?

Then I tried the TV again, and that worked for about 10 minutes until I couldn’t handle even having headphones in my ears. Everything was irritating me. Someone got on the treadmill next to me and they smelled like those old apartment buildings that smell like 4 different types of bad cooking. Great, now I have knee pain, I’m irritated, I’m sweating like it’s going out of style, and this woman who smells like old meatballs and fish is running next to me.

Ok, only 2 more miles to go. The longest 2 miles ever and I so wanted to quit. My running partner had already finished by this time and I sped the treadmill up even faster to finish too. I couldn’t tell if it was my mind or my muscles that were failing me, but I wasn’t going to let either of them get me. It took everything out of me to finish. I ran and I ran and I ran and I ran and I ran for what seemed like forever, but finally the treadmill slowed down, signaling to me that I finished.

Sweat soaked my entire shirt and I couldn’t tell you what my name was at that moment. I could barely even step off the treadmill my hips were so tight. And my head was swimming, drunk on endorphins. At that moment, If I found out I won the lottery I don’t think I would have made the effort to do anything about it. I hobbled home, looking like a wounded animal. All wanted to do was just lie down and curl into a ball.

Now I’m home and I don’t think I’m going to move from this chair the entire night if I can help it. I’m completely spent, but I feel like a rock star.

There’s good failure and bad failure. Bad failure is when you hope to succeed and don’t because you didn’t try, good failure is when you don’t stop until you fail. I can honestly say that today I feel like the best failure.

I’m A Failure

Oh my gosh, I thought I was going to die! 11 miles today and each every single damn one made me want to scream. It’s pretty slushy out in the park, my usual training ground, so instead I went to the Y to run on a treadmill like a hamster. Whenever I look at a packed gym, with people running to nowhere, I always get the image that they’re just powering the air conditioning. Not a bad idea actually…

From the moment I started running my knee hurt and it didn’t go away the entire time. I tried watching TV, which worked until I checked how many miles I’d run so far. I thought I was 6 miles in, but I was only 2.5! That seriously messed with my mind. I had to quiet it down again by trying to focus on my breathing. I had read in one of my personal training magazines that the lungs are just like any other muscle, and if we don’t fully use them they will atrophy, just like your biceps or any other muscle in your body will with inactivity. Plus, it helps put you “in the zone”. I tried breathing in for 2, holding for 2, and then out for 2, which helped for a bit, but soon after my mind began wandering again and I wanted to kill someone.

I had to keep thinking that I could technically stop at any time, but I knew that if I did I would be mad at myself for not just sticking it out. I knew it was all in my head. Last week I had an amazing run and it was only 1 mile less than this week, so I could psych myself up to finish this week too. Eventually it has to end, right?

Then I tried the TV again, and that worked for about 10 minutes until I couldn’t handle even having headphones in my ears. Everything was irritating me. Someone got on the treadmill next to me and they smelled like those old apartment buildings that smell like 4 different types of bad cooking. Great, now I have knee pain, I’m irritated, I’m sweating like it’s going out of style, and this woman who smells like old meatballs and fish is running next to me.

Ok, only 2 more miles to go. The longest 2 miles ever and I so wanted to quit. My running partner had already finished by this time and I sped the treadmill up even faster to finish too. I couldn’t tell if it was my mind or my muscles that were failing me, but I wasn’t going to let either of them get me. It took everything out of me to finish. I ran and I ran and I ran and I ran and I ran for what seemed like forever, but finally the treadmill slowed down, signaling to me that I finished.

Sweat soaked my entire shirt and I couldn’t tell you what my name was at that moment. I could barely even step off the treadmill my hips were so tight. And my head was swimming, drunk on endorphins. At that moment, If I found out I won the lottery I don’t think I would have made the effort to do anything about it. I hobbled home, looking like a wounded animal. All wanted to do was just lie down and curl into a ball.

Now I’m home and I don’t think I’m going to move from this chair the entire night if I can help it. I’m completely spent, but I feel like a rock star.

There’s good failure and bad failure. Bad failure is when you hope to succeed and don’t because you didn’t try, good failure is when you don’t stop until you fail. I can honestly say that today I feel like the best failure.