For the last two weeks, I’ve gotten really good about going to the gym. Amazing considering I was a slacker for the last 6 months or so (well, I did marathons, but I didn’t exercise at all besides those)! My new routine is to set my alarm for 6:15, snooze till 6:30, and be dressed and downstairs at the gym by 6:45. I’ve figured out how to get my favorite TV shows to play on my Droid, so I watch 30 minutes of whatever show I’m trying to catch up on (I am so behind!) while on the elliptical or Gazelle. It gives me a totally great start to the day, and I’m so happy I’m now in this routine! Now I just need to figure out how to watch my shows while I lift weights (or start lifting weights late night when I get home) and I’ll have a nice well-rounded regimen. And of course, pray I don’t get moved to a travel project where my routine will be all messed up.
Today’s show was the second to last episode of this season’s Biggest Loser (yes, I am way behind! No spoilers, please). This was a really cool episode and very relevant to me: the final four contestants run a full marathon! I especially loved seeing Daris come in 4:02, which was my San Francisco Marathon time and a PR for a very long time until I finally broke it in Alaska. So impressive! I definitely had dreams about writing to him and asking him to let me pace him sometime for a sub-4 hour finish. If anyone has any connections, let me know!
I thought it was really neat to hear the sentiments the contestants expressed as they did their first marathon – they were very similar to how I feel after doing 54. Namely what Koli kept saying over and over: If I can do it, anyone can do it. Honestly, that is one of my biggest mantras in life, and I’ve gone so far to stick a famous Walt Disney quote all over my computer desktop. “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Now of course I think that applies within reason, but I think my 50 states marathon quest is a very good example of something that was virtually impossible when I dreamed it up… but then I made it happen.
I still don’t really consider myself a sporty person – marathoning is something that I set my mind to doing, but I don’t think I’m naturally athletic or anything like that. I believe I got through this quest on sheer determination and stubborn Type A personality. You have to be very disciplined about your training, at first, sure; but honestly, no amount of training gets you past mile 20 or so. From there to the end, it’s really all mental. I often tell that to my pace groups to hopefully pull them through! At mile 20, everyone’s legs are hurting and they’re tired (yes, even my crazy marathoning legs can get sore!), but it’s how badly you want it that will determine whether you finish and in what time. My best advice for anyone looking to get through a marathon is to have a really clear understanding of what your goals for the race are and why you’re doing it – otherwise, it’s just too easy to give up, take it easy, and end up disappointed with the results. Believe me, I’ve done that more times than I can count.
Now I just need to remember that the same applies for me dragging myself out of bed to go to the gym. I have to remind myself just how much I don’t want to regain the Consulting 15! :)