Monday, May 24, 2010

Looking out the windshield

May 24, 2010: Exactly one month after Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

May 24, 2010: Day one of Chicago Marathon training.

I have about 20 weeks, or exactly 138 days to get ready to kill Chicago.

Chicago is extremely important for me. Not because I'm going to try to qualify for Boston. I'm still a few years away from that goal. But it's because mentally and physically, I want to prove to myself I can become a better runner and live up to my full potential. I want to erase the yuck of Oklahoma City from my mind completely.

Don't get me wrong, the disappointment from OKC is getting better. Last Friday, I actually opened the email from OKC with my finisher's certificate. And for the first time, looking at my results, I wasn't mortified. I finished smack in the middle of my age group, 72/155. And out of all females, 405/1060. I'm ok with that.

Someone dear to my heart told me, "You need to stop looking out the rear view mirror and out the windshield. Eyes on the prize."

Boy, I'm really good at that. Replaying everything over and over again in my head. What if? What if? What if?

But at some point you just get flat out tired of flogging yourself. I reached that point.

Yeah, I know I said that I was moving on in my last blog. But really, this time I am. I'm focusing on the plan. I'm not going to be racing through my training like I did last time. I'm doing things smarter, with a lot of help from my coach and my friends.

I'm done looking through the rear view mirror worrying about a wreck. I'm looking out the windshield and enjoying the view along the way.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Declaring my pitty party over

As much as I didn't want to write my marathon blog, deep down I knew I had to. I wanted to thank a lot of people. And it was a big deal in my life, I should document it. But deep down, subconsciously, there was a another reason I didn't realize until this morning. It's about healing, forgiving yourself and moving on.

It started yesterday morning, I emailed a link to a half marathon to a gal in my office who has been interested in running. I said, here's a great race, flat, mostly women. I think you'll enjoy it. She emailed me back and said, "Suann, you don't even know what an inspiration you all to so many women here." Me? Really? Did she mean to send that email to me?

I've never really thought of myself as an inspiration. But it brought a smile to my face to hear that I make a difference in someone's life.

Yesterday at lunch, I went to the gym at work to do weights and abs. One of the gals who has been working very hard to lose about 100 pounds asked me about how to start getting ready for a 5K. It dawned on me that I have these conversations quite often. Some seek my advice on how to do their first 5K, others about a 1/2 marathon. It was only yesterday that I realized that they value my opinion and maybe I am their inspiration. We're all in the same boat. We work in a male-dominated industry, 24x7 365. It's a challenging job and most of us have kids we are raising too.

This morning, I woke up to a note from a new Daily Mile friend, she said, "However difficult it is, I must choose not to allow those moments to get the best of me...because then, my disappointment in myself has won. I won't allow that." She's absolutely right. I'm not going to let disappointment win. Hell no.

I want to be someone's inspiration. And I can't be an inspiration if I'm constantly flogging myself.

Therefore, today, I declare my pitty party over. I want to thank you all for coming. But it's time to move on. I'm a marathoner and I'm proud. Take that 4:35:03. I'll see you in Chicago.