So Why Run a Half-Marathon? Good question!

So Why Run a Half-Marathon? Good question!

So here is the deal.  The only race I have run so far is a 5K, which is 3.1 miles.  I’ll be writing more about that experience in a later post.  So why the Half Marathon?  Well, my Half Marathon journey is less about the 13.1 miles itself.  It’s about BELIEVING.  Believing I can finish it.  Believing I can accomplish a physical goal like this.  My Belief Picture of My New Self is a Runner.  It really is that simple.  And at the same time, I’ve come to understand it’s also pretty complex.  Believing is hard!  But essential.  Let’s explore it.

So a little bit more about me, as it relates to believing.   I’ve always been someone who easily accomplishes.  I’m not patting myself on the back when I write that, just trying to explain.  School was easy for me.  I have a great memory.  If things make sense to me, I remember them.  “click”  I get it.   I’m a logical thinker.  I can figure things out.  I’m a problem solver.  I don’t hesitate, I make decisions, and move forward.

So why has managing my weight proven to be such a difficult task all my life?   [Screeching HALT]  crickets….crickets….

See?  It’s complicated.

I’ve been on a weight loss journey all my life.  But this last one is THE one and has been just over 1 and 1/2 years now.   I have great motivation and drive.  It’s helped a great deal in losing those 68 pounds.  What’s interesting is that I lost about 50 of those pounds in 12 months.  And it’s taken me 10 more months to lose the next 18.  Urrgh.  Frustrating.  Yeah, I lost a few, then gained them back.  Lost.  Gained.  Gained a few more.  Ran them off.  Ended up where I started.  This frustrating cycle started around Halloween 2010.  What I sarcastically refer to as the beginning of “The Eating Season”.    You know what I mean.  Start eating candy in October,  {memories of my beloved Butterfingers}, move on to Turkey, stuffing, biscuits with butter, and pie pie pie in November, then do it again in December with cookies, cookies, cheese cake and sausage bread layered on top.  Yup — The Eating Season (TES).

So I went through TES 2010 working my motivation and willpower as hard as I could.  Avoid the food, avoid the food.  I succeeded some, and I failed some.  And I ended up weighing the same thing in January 2011 as I did in October 2010.  In fact this trend went on until the first spring crocus and daffodils popped up in March 2011.  Oh and perhaps I should mention, I was running 3 times a week by this time — almost 10 miles a week.  ALL FOR NOTHING.  Ok, it wasn’t for nothing, but anybody who is “watching and weighting” every week  the way I was will totally understand what I mean……to end up at the same weight?  Grrrr.   Someone was sabotaging me!!  And that someone was ME.

So, back to the Half Marathon question.  It’s about changing my focus, and doing this year differently, and hoping for a different outcome.  This year I’ve decided not to go into TES with an avoidance attitude (avoid the food, avoid the food).  Instead, I want to tap into that incredibly strong mental power and fortitude that I have seen myself able to wield like a mighty sword at work —– and use it for myself.  I mean, that IS the core of the real problem,  isn’t it?? Somehow, for some baffling reason, I’m not using my best abilities FOR MYSELF.  So this year,  I’m going to work on my Brain, and believe my body will just follow.

So what have I figured out so far?   Here’s one Big thing.  Motivation and Believing go together!  Like a hand and glove relationship.   You need both, neither works on its own.   Motivation is the fuel that will take you to your destination.  Believing is when you DECIDE where you are going.  If you rev up the motivation, without choosing to Believe in yourself, you’re going to race off in a random direction…..find some success along the way…but likely end up lost, stuck or right back where you started.  Same trap with Believing.  If all you have is Belief, well… are a dreamer.  Not an achiever.  I’m sorry if that hurts a little bit.  So, you need both to really get somewhere.  You have to spend some time, imagining what you want.  Visualizing what you want for yourself.  Paint that picture.  Color it in.  Memorize it.  Frame it.  Laminate it.  BELIEVE IT.  Once you have that, you can turn that motivation back on, and push the pedal down.  You are Off and Running and (for once), you know where you are going.  That belief picture IS GOING to rescue you from eating that pie.  Oh yes it will!!  Because if you invest in that Belief Picture of your New Self, it WILL become more important than pie.  [Read that again.  Now Read it again.  Yeah, crazy at first, but powerful, right?]  And that Belief Picture can change.  In fact, I’m sure it must change.  Because we’re figuring this out as we go, so….directions change along with your physical changes.  That’s kind of exciting, isn’t it?  Yeah, I think so too.

So — I’m running the Rutgers Half Marathon on April 22nd because I BELIEVE I CAN.  And it’s my Direction.  It’s my goal.  Because I am a runner.  AND because it gives me something constructive to work on during The Eating Season, besides obsessing over what I’m not eating!!  LOL.  Yes, I’m going to train, I’m not completely crazy!!

My Half Marathon Training Plan is a 16 week plan, so I start the official training on Jan 3rd 2012.  Until then I am focussed on building my strength and losing weight.  Heck, the less weight I have to carry down those 13.1 miles the better, right?  I am running 3 times a week, biking once a week to/from my Saturday meeting, and tracking like a good Weight Watcher.  Come late December, my blog will move into a discussion of my training plan — but until then — I’m going to keep myself busy telling my back story of how I got to where I am today.  Sharing some of the million baby steps!

Ciao for now….Diane

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