Preparing for the Shamrock 8K

Part of me isn’t ready to run the Shamrock Run this weekend. I’m not ready for an 8K just yet. I’ve been back running a few weeks, but all my training has been on a treadmill. While my foot is back 99 percent, my fitness isn’t quite back that high and my easy runs have been at slower paces than I was running pre-plantar fasciitis.

The last weather forecast indicated temperatures in the 40s, but a soaking rain.

And historically, I have never had a very good Shamrock run from an emotional standpoint. It’s always been pissed on by one of the guys in my life. The actions of a few should not ruin my day. Yet, in the past, I have let not only ruin my day but define my day and, to a certain extent, myself.

So to review: I’m feeling bad about my run pace, the weather’s gonna be miserable and I tend to let myself get caught up in race-day drama.

No wonder I’m not turning cartwheels.

But the good news is, I can turn it around. OK, I can’t do anything about the weather, but starting there, I can laugh at it. Because any other attitude is a waste of energy. (Not that I don’t engage in my fair share of weather fretting and weather bashing.)

As for my pace and the drama, well, perhaps I’ll practice the exercise of intention.

What is my intention for the race?

What is the outcome I’m looking for here? How do I want to feel? This isn’t about a time goal, because of the many talents I possess, one I lack is the ability to control time. But I can control my effort and my attitude. What do I want to put into this race? What do I want to get out of it? What is my focus?

While the specifics will become clearer after spending time with those questions, one thing is for sure — I’m running the race because I have the opportunity to do so. I could wait for everything to be perfect, ┬ábut doing that, life passes by. I know. I’ve been there. And I want to be living my life. To quote a line from one of my favorite televisions shows The Gilmore Girls: “I want to be able to read an in-depth biography about myself in later years and not puke.”

That means getting to the starting line. That means letting go of what others might think when they troll the results looking for my name.

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Sarah Oliphant. The 15-year old from California became the youngest member of the Marathon Grand Slam Club, running a marathon on every continent and the North Pole. She and her father completed Antarctica this past December, making her the youngest person to accomplish the feat. Sarah said:

I love hard things and I like to show people that I can do them. My motto is to defy expectations. You are the only person who can really hold yourself back.

Quite the wisdom for a teenager. Quite a life’s journey at only 15.

I’m not running a marathon in white-out conditions this weekend, but her words ring true regardless of the goal at hand.

I am really the only person who can hold myself back. Time to stop hesitating and start participating.

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