Well…the other day, I shared my blog publicly on Facebook. It’s been linked on my Info page since I started it, but I actually posted the link in a status update and invited everyone to come and share in my newest journey. It was terrifying. I was REALLY nervous about a lot of things…such as:
- What if I tell everyone I’m going to run a marathon, and they laugh at me??
- What if they’re all awesome runners, and they see me crowing about how I can run a measly three miles, and they laugh at me??
- What if I tell everyone I’m going to run a marathon, and then something happens and I wash out?? Then they’ll DEFINITELY laugh at me!!
Those fears, I now know, were irrational.
Based upon the total response I got from announcing my blog containing my Cherished and Very Important Goal, my fear should have been:
- WHAT IF ABSOLUTELY NO ONE EVEN NOTICES MY ANNOUNCEMENT??
(I actually have to thank Jenn Partridge…the only person who actually did respond who didn’t already know about my blog and/or my goal. She gave me a “like.” Thanks, Jenn. You might have made the difference between me simply feeling like an ass, and me going and huddling in the corner and blubbering for three days about finding I’m Mr. Cellophane.)
I say this all in good-natured humor, of course. What a perfect example of how worked up we can get over our self-conscious navel-gazing, only to find out that, as stupid/nervous/exposed/vulnerable we may feel in a given moment…no one is even watching. This was essentially the equivalent of running naked through a crowded bookstore full of people who all had their noses buried in books. I may as well have been in a snowsuit and a goosedown parka.
And it’s also a good reminder of why I’ve chosen to take on this goal. I’m doing this for me. If that is truly my motivation, it shouldn’t matter at all whether anyone responded. It’s nice to have some cheerleaders…and truth be told, I’d already told nearly everyone whose opinion matters to me and on whose support I can truly depend…but in the end, it’s going to require my own dedication to get through this training…just as it will require my own grit and stubbornness to run every last inch of those 26.2 miles on race day, be the crowd roaring or silent.
Sure made me feel silly, though…to have gotten so worked up over what people will think of me and this absurdly monumental thing I’ve taken on, and to find that almost no one even noticed.
Anyway. In other news, we’ve had record high temperatures the last few days. I missed my Saturday run. It was just too stinkin’ hot. I’d run every other day for about a week and a half prior (I think)…and instead of making up for yesterday’s run today, when it was still mother-hot, I decided to just take a weekend off, blame the heat advisory, and try to pick up again Monday morning. Tomorrow I’ll have to get up and repeat the 3-miler…maybe even see if I can go a little bit farther. Jeff told me to focus on distance and time now rather than pace…do my other Running Gurus concur with that advice? (I hope so, as Jeff is my pastor as well as a Running Guru, which lends quite a bit of heft to his advice, what with the direct line to God and all…I would hate to have to doubt anything coming from someone with such heavy authoritative qualifications. Not sure even my cousin, the notable superhero known as Boston Jim could outweigh all that.)
(And, yeah. Boston as in Boston Marathon. He’s got a cape to match his finisher’s medal. He’s badass.)
On encountering negativity:
I told a friend of a friend yesterday about my goal. She told me there’s no way I’ll stick to the program. She said she couldn’t do it, so. There it is. I mean, you’re ridiculous to be shooting for a marathon when you just recently started running. You should’ve started with a half. I’ve done a couple halfs, but man, those marathon training programs are hard. You have to be really dedicated. Clearly, you’re dreaming. You’ll never do it.
I was so tempted to deadpan her and say, “Ohhhh…! You said it’ll be hard?? OH. You’re probably right. I better quit now. I’m so glad you saved me from certain humiliation when I fail to do this. ‘Cause, I mean, if you couldn’t do it….”
Then I was tempted to push her in the pool.
I didn’t need to hear that. I mean, I’m terrified I’ll wash out of this and end up eating crow. If I get injured, I won’t feel bad. But anything short of a broken leg? And I don’t do this? It’s going to be humiliating. But that’s the point of telling everyone. I don’t do well with the prospect of humiliation, especially if it comes as the result of a lack of determination and gut-level grit on my part. The more people I tell, the higher the cost of quitting. And if I see quitting as too pricey to bear...too shameful to even consider…then I know won’t give in to it. I’ll stick to this thing just to avoid the shame of quitting. Everyone who reads this holds me accountable. I’ve managed to tie my integrity to this thing. I’m GONNA DO IT!!
(In her defense, she didn’t know that the first day I took up hiking, I hiked across the Pyrenees Mountains on Day One of a 31-day, 500-mile backpacking trip. So obviously, she didn’t know who she was dealing with here.)
So I just smiled calmly at her…took a deep breath…and simply said,