I’m really excited…to get to work

Marathon training is underway, and I’ve never been so excited.

Because this time my goal doesn’t scare me. I’m focusing more than ever on the process, what I’m doing each day.

My long run on Sunday doesn’t matter today. What matters today is the six-mile fartlek I have planned. What matters Thursday is the easy four miles and a 2,000-meter swim. And so on.

If I think about my goal, I get nervous. That’s a good thing because my goal should be tough to achieve, but having anxiety about achieving it will make the daily training a chore. Just another thing I’m going to fail at. I have failed at running more than I have failed at anything.

How to counteract that feeling? Joy.

I’m all about embracing joy these days. In my 28 years, I’ve lived too many from shame, scarcity and anxiety. It really doesn’t work.

[Here’s my lengthy blog post on the subject]

Some of these marathon workouts, and quite probably mine tonight, are going to suck. Guys, it’s hot out there. Then I’m going to be fatigued and perpetually rungry. That’s OK. I like taking on difficult tasks. But I’m taking them on with lightness and joy because I don’t need to make them any harder than they already are.

I’m writing this because I think it’s easy to forget in our big goals LIFE IS FUN! I know I have. This shit is awesome. The journey is awe-inspiring and anything but mundane.

Just today, a colleague said he had never been able to get into running because it’s boring, that he needs something to happen. Which I totally understand and am not knocking.

Running can seem mundane. Something else to check off our list.

Yet, the other night I was running and suddenly saw the red body of a white-tailed deer in front of me. I stopped. She stopped. We stared at one another for a while, and then she gathered her fawn (that I couldn’t see from where I was standing) and trotted away into a cluster of trees. This is in the middle of suburbia and mcmansions, you guys. Where nothing exciting happens. Ever. Just ask the miserable looking teenagers who hang out by Wendy’s.

As I’ve dealt with my job, laundry, cleaning my kitchen sink and vacuuming, getting in the miles for a marathon has often been another chore before I can collapse on the couch with an episode of whatever TV show I’m binging.

No longer. Running has been one of the greatest adventures of my life, and 99 percent of it is not running in one of the largest marathons in the world, or running along Lake Superior or somewhere similarly fabulous. It’s in getting out there every day. Seeing the golden sunlight on cornfields with screeching red-wing blackbirds. Smelling rain on pine trees. Feeling the frosty nip of winter wind. Trudging through a snowstorm when everyone else is watching the Super Bowl.

Running is pushing yourself when no one is looking. It’s asking something of yourself when no one else gives a shit. I mean, really, no one else cares as much as I do about how I do; the good folks in my life just want to see me happy.

Isn’t all of that awesome? The stuff I get to do is so cool!

In that spirit, I’m not sharing my goal for the Marine Corps Marathon. I will share, however, the process and the joy of getting there.



4 thoughts on “I’m really excited…to get to work

  1. Love that line, “I have failed at running more than I have failed at anything.” I had never thought of it that way before but it is so true. And despite the failures we keep lacing up and heading out the door.
    For me I have been really trying to embrace the joyous moments on a run. At the moment I am letting go of time expectations. Sometimes having those expectations make me excited and happy, but currently they feel more like a weight on my shoulders, a weight I just don’t feel like bearing. Right now what seems to make me happy is trying something new, even if it means coming in last. This weekend I’m going to do my longest trail race and to be honest I’m not prepared. I will very likely come last in this small race but I’m excited anyways and that makes me happy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! A weight on our shoulders! I was thinking how I was making my life harder by adding an unnecessary, 20-pound weight vest to it. And like you, I got so sick of it. Enough. We can go lightly and achieve our goals. We don’t have to be martyrs.
      Best wishes to you, and enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love what you say about the daily grind. The supposed “Un-exciting” runs that you elude to can often be the most thrilling. Something about the simplicity of it all.

    I am currently training for my first marathon, which comes over 5 years since college, when I last ran competitively. I can’t wait to get back to enjoying those moments – with the smell of the trees and the sun to the fields being all that I need to get me out the door. Right now I’m stuck on the shallow end of running (I.e. “This sucks” or “that really hurt”), so I thank you for making me think about it a little deeper tonight. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. That’s one of the loveliest comments anyone has left on this blog; I’m so grateful you got something good out of it!

      I was so stuck in that place, too. For years. It was so heavy. But I’ve started to change my thinking. Every morning, I set an intention. Some days it is simply “joy.” And I go back to it throughout the day in whatever I am doing, especially the most mundane, routine things. Before this, I would wake up and think about how I didn’t get enough sleep. I didn’t realize I was putting myself into a deficit from the first moment I woke up. Now I wake up thinking about what I am going to do in such a fun way. Maybe my intention is to go softly, or dance, or be here now. Or ladyswagger. I wrote that down one day. This worked for me and maybe it can help you, too. For a long time, I’ve know our perception shapes and becomes our reality. So I’m making mine the most joyful one I can.

      Enjoy your journey to the marathon! It’s the most exciting adventure!


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