Learning Lessons and Achieving Goals

I’m pretty sure I have stated here somewhere that I didn’t have any expectations about this training process I undertook about two months ago.  The only goal was to be strong enough and have enough endurance to at least attempt the Tough Mudder.  Once I paid for the event, I was locked in and was not about to give up training because it was too hard or I was sore or I couldn’t do a single push up, which I couldn’t.  I also couldn’t do jumping jacks for longer than 30 seconds or jump rope – weren’t those activities actually fun as a kid?

Today, I have seen so much progress I’m almost overwhelmed by it.  I have hesitated to put any actual numbers on the blog because I’ve been comparing myself to other people; people who have trained longer and harder and actually deserve the numbers they have.  I have the numbers I do because they reflect the amount of time and effort I have put into them.  Over the last two months, my numbers have been steadily increasing (or decreasing if you’re referring to running time).  As much as I beat myself up for not being able to do something and feeling like a worthless pig half the time, I also tell myself to just do what I can and increase it a little bit every time.  I have consistently done that and I can now do jumping jacks for the full two minutes I’m supposed to; I can jump rope 30 times without stopping and can make it the full two minutes with minimal stoppage; I can do actual push ups, I think I’m still only up to maybe 10 real ones in one minute, but when I first started I could do maybe 2 and they were ugly!

Quick side story… My first week of training, I read someone’s blog (I’m not naming names!) where she posted her numbers for the week.  The running time was amazing but the thing that stood out was the fact that she did 50 push ups.  I actually got super depressed and ended up telling my boyfriend about it.  His response was understanding and loving and he told me I just needed to keep training and I would get there; but he also said, “hmmmm, I wonder how many I can do?”  It sounds dumb, but it made me mad.  Here I was, looking for sympathy for what I wimp I was (am) and he decides to “show me up” and do push-ups.  I was an ass and had to apologize later (I really am sorry) because he wasn’t showing me up or trying to undermine me, he was really just curious.  Fast forward two months and he decided to come exercise with me a few nights ago.  When I did my push ups he said,  “look at you go. You’re doing them and they look great!”  It was so good thing to hear positive feedback, to have someone else notice the progress I am making.  So thanks, baby!

Back to the regularly scheduled post…

When I started running the first part of May, I couldn’t make it a full mile and a half without stopping and my time was SLOW.  My first three mile run of the year was back in January and my average pace was 14:06 per mile.  I barely ran at all for the next three months and on May 24th I clocked my second three mile run of the year at 13:36 per mile.  I improved, but I was still not able to make it the whole distance running.  Circuit training has really helped with my endurance and speed but consistency has also really helped.  I run three times a week every week, now, whereas before I was running sporadically here and there.  I told my sister last week that my goal was to get my average pace under 12 minutes per mile.  I am happy to report that I did that last night, I ran 2.6 miles and my average pace was 11:59 per mile.  I was so excited, I almost cried!

It might seem small and insignificant and I KNOW it is slow to all the avid runners out there, but for me, it is pretty amazing.

Me and my sister are scheduled to run a 5K on July 12th and I am looking forward to it more than I can say.  I really want to cross the finish line with her, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.  Her time has been improving too and she has been WAY more consistent than I’ve been over the last few years, so her pace is almost a full minute faster than mine.  (I am actually clocking the times she had when we first started this process, so I’m feeling really good overall, even if I can’t seem to catch up)

The whole point of this post isn’t to toot my own horn.  It’s really just to point out a few things I’ve learned along the way:

  • Stay consistent and do a little bit more each day and that thing you thought you couldn’t do becomes a possibility.
  • Having one big goal is good, but achieving small goals along the way is exciting and pushes you to do more.
  • Having a support system is amazing – posting my workout every day to our group page on Facebook is fun and it helps me feel like we are doing this together, even though we can’t actually do the workouts together.  Also, a huge shout-out to my boyfriend who has supported and loved me through this process (which sounds simple enough unless you’ve been in a situation where the support wasn’t there).
  • Seeing what other people are doing can inspire you to work harder and do better, i.e. Martha’s 50 push ups or my sisters 11 minute per mile pace.  It should NOT be used to beat yourself up or tell yourself you aren’t good enough.

I’m sure I will continue to learn lessons and achieve goals along the way, but the best part is how much fun I’m having.  Who knew that working out every day could be this rewarding and this much fun? (Actually, a lot of people did, I’m just showing up late to this particular party!)


3 thoughts on “Learning Lessons and Achieving Goals

  1. Pingback: Running is Awesome! | This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time

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