She said, I think I’m going to Boston, I think I’ll start a new life

When I first started running – and even when I first started running marathons – I told myself that running Boston wasn’t something I was interested in. I wasn’t that kind of runner.

I was protecting myself. From disappointment, hard work and unachievable dreams.

Now, six years and six marathons later, fuck that.

I want Boston.

It’s going to be really hard. And it’s going to be a lot of work. But the only thing standing in my way is me.

I’m going to re-assess my fitness plans. Prioritize running. Find a high mileage program. Make a plan.

And  – most importantly – do the work.

I’ll be 35 for Boston 2020.

And I plan to be there.

Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes

So the first 3.5 months of 2017 have been a roller coaster, training wise. I do not feel as if I am in race shape and my ambitious time goals for the first half of the year feel out of reach.

I’m trying to shift my perspective.

Instead of seeing this as a failure, I’m shifting to a big single goal for 2017: a sub 3:45 marathon at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 22, 2017. We’ll be six months out from this in a few weeks. So now, instead of getting faster and viewing Mississauga as my goal race, I’m seeing this time as a base-building opportunity so I can hit the ground running in June when my 16-week marathon training program starts.

This feels a bit like a failure. But I’m trying to see it as a learning opportunity.

I can’t commit to a difficult work season and a difficult training season and hope the weather is on my side.

I can’t burn myself out in the first six months of the year.

I’ve made a lot of progress in my running, but I need to set achievable goals with do-able action plans.

I need to prioritize my training over other leisure activities and other fitness. I once had a basketball coach that said my priorities should be “Family. School. Basketball. Everything else.” Today, it should be “Family. Work. Running. Everything else.” if I want to achieve my goals. And if those priorities don’t work for me, well then I should change my goals.

Right now, I’m thinking about what my life would look like if I truly prioritized things that way. I think I’m into it, but it seems like a lot.

But is that fear of failure talking?

Maybe we should just go home

March is my most bananas month at work. Lots of work on the weekend, overtime, and general busy-ness. I love it, but it means work/life balance is thrown out the window.

I used to beat myself up over this. For missing workouts because I had to stay late or came home totally spent. For eating crappy food instead of making a salad because it was easy and I needed to find comfort in something simple and straightforward. For taking the extra 30 minutes to sleep in instead of running or going to a class.

I’ve started to give myself a pass on all this. We only have a set amount of time and energy. And when my workload is normal, the pie is better evenly divided. But when work gets bonkers, I can’t expect the pie to get bigger. I just need to accept that work is going to take a way bigger slice of pie than normal and cut myself some slack elsewhere.

Now it’s the beginning of April and I’m a little heavier and a little less fit than I was at the beginning of March. I’m disappointed and frustrated with this setback, sure, but I’m working on accepting it. My balance in work/life/fitness is returning and, with that, time and energy for workouts, prepping healthy food and getting up early will return – as long as I prioritize it accordingly. I’ll get my body back, my fitness back, my life back. I just ned to decide what I want my life to look like now, understand how much of the pie each aspect of my life requires and make it so.

We all have stuff we value. And we all have responsibilities. It’s about making the balance work for you to get through whatever moment you are in, it’s not about living an Instagram-worthy life.

I say this to myself and I still don’t believe it, but I’m getting there.