Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Just call me Starlite

I was training for the Columbus Marathon the first time it happened. I had 8 miles on the schedule and the only way I could see getting it done was to get up early. Really early by my standards, and I forced myself to set the alarm for 5 a.m.

After I finished logging those miles, I thought I deserved a prize. A medal. A parade.

I went to work and told anyone who listened about how tired I was. I would tell them how I had gotten up at 5 a.m. to run, how I had gone 8 miles that morning as I was in the thick of marathon training. I would take pride in the fact that I had finished my workout before they had gotten out of bed.

Those early runs were intermittent but more frequent than I preferred, and my ego grew with each one - as did my conversations. After all, I was the specialist of the special for getting up that early to log the miles. It was OK to brag even if it annoyed everyone around me.

The more I talked about it, became aware of those early morning hours ... the more I read the posts from the Mother Runners and mother runners, however, the more I realized that I wasn't so special. There are lots of people who get up early to run, and there are a good number who are gong farther, harder and taking on bigger events. My measly easy 5 miles seemed like nothing compared to them and not-so-noteworthy.

So I stopped with the incessant bragging. I stopped letting myself feel like the magical unicorn I had built myself up to be.

This morning was another 5 a.m. alarm, another not-so-special run. It was hot - 77 degrees - and muggy - 80 percent humidity. I was tired. My legs were fatigued from teaching Piloxing and BODYPUMP last night. Everything about the day screamed stop yet I pushed on because I didn't want to give up on my first official run of my Veterans Marathon training. Each time I thought about cutting it short, shuffling workouts, I told myself to suck it up. I made myself think of some of the women, including you, who never cease to inspire me. I told myself that I needed to get it done and to stop feeling like I was making such a sacrifice to be out there.

And that's when I realized something. By telling myself I wasn't doing something amazing, that I was doing something ordinary, I was not giving myself credit for doing things that were hard, even if only for that day. I was forcing myself not to take pride in my accomplishments.

Stupid, eh?

While this morning's run might not have been a write-home-to-mom scenario for some or many, it was a victory for me. I over came my own stupid head. I didn't give in when the going got tough and there wasn't a dry piece of fabric to wipe my brow. I focused on how the unfavorable conditions would make me stronger in order to accomplish a goal for this day.

I might not deserve a medal but I do deserve to be kind to myself.


  1. Love this post!! You are awesome!

  2. I've thought about this, too - how my getting up and running or how me running as a mom is not that special, really. But how it's also actually really special and different. It's a balance, for me, of feeling proud of myself but not feeling like I'm therefore somehow better than others.

  3. You DO deserve a medal, and the right to sing out loud your accomplishments any time you feel like it! We all do! Because we're doing the best we can to be our best, as athletes, moms, employees, etc, etc. There are no small victories, only YOUR victories, whether it be getting up at 5am to run 8 miles or getting up at 6am to do your second run ever with the jogging stroller and make it a whole 32 minutes without dying (AHEM, like I did this morning, whoop whoop!) I love hearing other people "brag" about their accomplishments, personally. We could probably inspire each other a lot more if everyone just stopped being so competitive!

  4. From my perspective, you deserve a medal. And you are special, for various reasons BUT. Peeling your rear out of bed when you should be asleep to work your way towards a goal? Pretty darn special.

  5. I think we should always give ourselves credit for what we do. And whether it's a run at 4 am or 10 pm or 1 pm (people quit hating on SAHMs)... or whether it's some other skill you have.

    But yeah. I know a few bloggers who brag about how early they get up to work out, and I am... not impressed. LOL. One even went so far as to say "while you were all sleeping" and most commenters called them out on it.

    Related to in person conversations, most people already don't like to hear about others working out, and to emphasize how early it is makes it seem inaccessible. IMHO. Just thinking out loud, as I think about exercise adherence and all that jazz. When I talk about exercise (honestly, rarely to people who don't - they don't give a sh*t) I talk about how fun and rewarding it is, and how great it makes me feel.

  6. You are right, it's NOT ordinary and you made very vaild points. Way to go...keep up the awesome early morning work!!

  7. honestly - this post has been seriously considering a 5am run! and you are absolutely right - you are doing something totally awesome and deserve the credit and then some. but then again, you've always rocked it big time.