Thursday, May 20, 2010

I think I can, I think I can...

I used to think that when I would FINALLY get to be thin, my world would be happier - just like in the movies: birds would chirp all around me, the love of my life would awaken me with a deep sleep with a kiss, my boss would finally realize my value (and give me a big raise), and I would never have to deal with bad drivers again.

As it turns out, that's not true. After losing almost 55 pounds (again), the one thing I can tell you FOR SURE is that when you're shrinking in size, your problems don't go away. Stress still happens, people still let you down, and you still have to work. Sometimes you have to work for a complete jerk-face, like I do.

So, I run.

Most days I run to stay in good health or to just get out and clear my mind. But every now and again, I run because I get SO stressed with what is going on at work that I need something to dissipate the stress.

The thing is, while I was making some great improvement in my pace during the first 7 months of my running, I kind of hit a plateau. It seemed that I could never get under the pace of 10'45" a mile. My goal has been to run a 10'00" mile and just stay there. But, I figured my extra weight was slowing me down, so I just dealt with it, figuring that I'd be stuck there for the rest of my life I'd get to my pace goal eventually.

Last week, after working 13 hour days, I went to our workout room at the building where we live. It was snowing outside (hello, Colorado weather!) but I knew that I just needed to burn off the extra stress.

So, I climbed on the treadmill and I put the pace on 5.7 mph as I usually do to start out. After a minute or two, it felt like it wasn't fast enough. I can't explain it any other way other than to say that I just wanted to GET AWAY from everything - from all my stresses. I didn't want to think about anything. I just wanted to feel mad, to push myself, and (if this makes sense) to just concentrate on my breathing and not worry about the piles of stuff I still had left to do at work. So, I bumped it up to 6.0 mph and kept it there for the duration of my run. I got off the treadmill, sweating as I haven't in a long time, and was proud of myself - I had run the last 2 miles at 10'00" a mile.

Monday, in the middle of another stressful day, I opted to run at lunch. It was in the 70s that day and I set off to run for 30 minutes. I didn't know where I would run to, but I figured I'd run until I hit the halfway point (which Nike+ will announce) and then turn around and go back.

When I completed my run, I saw that I had run 3 miles in under 30 minutes.

While I'm proud of my recent boost in running pace (very, VERY proud), I feel like it's just another representation of something that I actually CAN do, but didn't really think I could do.

I thought that I would be capped at 10'45"/mile for a long time. Maybe forever.

As it turns out, all I had to do was put forth my energy - all of my energy at the time - towards my goal. I was capable all along.

And that gets me thinking about all of the things I've told myself throughout the years that I can't do, when really, I probably can do them. What else am I not accomplishing just because my mind is getting in the way?

Wearing tank tops with confidence tops the list at the moment, but I'm working on that one.

Getting under 200 pounds is another one, but I'm slowly chipping away at that too.

So, I'm asking you...

If you knew you couldn't fail, what would you try to do?


Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

Go, You! Those running times are impressive!

What would I do if I knew I couldn't fail? Start my own business, run marathons, and really put myself out there.

As I type this, it makes me wonder, why aren't I doing these things anyway?

You're sneaky, Ms Smaller Fun Pants! Your trick worked on me!

Lesia said...

I get the same relief when I put on the Zune and sit on my exercise bike and PEDAL PEDAL and PEDAL! It makes all my stresses seem so small. It takes me to my happy place! I really miss that I can't exercise right now (foot injury) but I know I will soon some day.

What would I do if I knew I couldn't fail or (FALL)? RUN! just being able to run any distance would be awesome for me. There have been SO many things that the DR's have said that I will never be able to do. I am not prepared to let them WIN! I want more than ANY thing to be able to run. Having MS has really controlled my life but not my spirit or will power!

Kellie said...

I so admire you for being a runner! That is something I wish I could do! :)

And you are right... even at smaller weights we still deal with stress.

Exercise is my stress-buster. It looks like it is yours too!! :)


Laura said...

I would lose 80 pounds and I would keep it off.

I would put way more energy into learning how to play the guitar.

I would pursue a career as a singer.

meleemistress said...

I'd do everything in this video:

And I know exactly what you mean. There are days when I run away from my life as fast as I can.

Thanks for your wonderful comment on my blog! :)

Seth said...

I love what we can do despite our limited imaginations.

POD said...

I would run the Iron Man Triathlon.

Lindsay said...

Way to go! You are doing awesome! If there is something I feel like I can't do it makes me want to do it even that much more.

Traci said...

OOoh so inspiring. I'm working on some of the same goals! My fastest mile so far is 10 minutes 10 seconds. I would love to push myself to get under 10. How I long to see a 9 in the front. You are doing so awesome!!!! Great job!! I'm also trying to get below 200. So close. Just 14 to go. We can do it together. :)

Lynda with a Y said...

That's fantastic. Good for you. As for your question, I'm going to spend some time thinking about that one...