Friday, October 30, 2015

NYC Marathon 2015 Getting Mentally Ready

It's two days before NYC Marathon Sunday. After years of dreaming of taking a bite out of the big apple the day is nearly here. 

At the expo

I am excited and joyous. 

Earlier this week I was nervous, freaking out and scared to death. I was seriously second guessing myself and doubt in my ability was everywhere. Every negative thing that ever happened to me during a race including this incident at the Hollywood Half and this not-so-fun time during my first marathon at the San Diego Rock N Roll flooded my brain. I was becoming a complete wreck. 

This week almost was one filled with dread and fear but I got my mind on right. 

With a little help. 

A friend Noah sent me well wishes for the race. I expressed my panic and he simply said "don't ruin this week with worry or you're gonna miss this great moment in your life."  He was 100% right. All these years of dreaming. How could I let fear steal this joy from me?

So I did something a little unconventional. I decided to see a hypnotherapist. The idea kind of came to me because I knew I needed a mental adjustment and it was an emergency, I'm not sure why I never thought of it before! I know the power of thoughts and my thoughts were threatening to make my dream race a nightmare. I've tried to get into this race for FOUR YEARS. It's my bucket list race and now I was dreading it. 

This is just too big of a deal for me to let that happen. 

Years ago, hypnotherapy helped me with quitting smoking - and somehow it popped into my head, "I wonder if it could help me with my running?" 

So I did a google search and I found a certified Hypnosis Practitioner, Mary Battaglia.  I read how she had helped a woman conquer her fears on a mountain bike. It rang very relevant to me. Maybe Mary could help me! 

So I contacted her on Monday and by Tuesday morning I was in her office. 

She helped me undo some of the mental trauma I kept playing out from the other two races and then we created a mental script for me to listen to all week. We also created affirmations for me to say several times a day. She hypnotized me and she helped to plant all these positive thoughts and feelings about the race in my head. 

It worked! It's like a miracle!! What a gift this woman gave me. I have not felt a moment of worry, fear or dread since. I've been nothing but excited, embracing and ready. And you have no idea how huge that is for me. HUGE. 

Joyfully holding my bib! See you at the finish line! :) 

If you're the type of person who worries, doubts yourself or has debilitating race day anxiety and fear - this might be something for you to consider. 

I don't know what is going to happen on Marathon Sunday but I'm ready for it. I'm excited, joyous, and ready for whatever comes my way. 

I'm no more trained than I was a week ago but my mental outlook has done a complete 180. Worrying, self-doubt, beating yourself up and playing the "what if a bad thing happens" mind game has never helped anyone. Hypnosis or not, fear and dread is nothing but a thief to your happiness. Trust me. 

I can't control what happens at this point just my reactions and attitude.

Bring on NYC. I love you New York Marathon, I love that I get to be a part of it. Dreams do come true. 

The next post I make will be one as a marathoner. 



Monday, October 5, 2015

Secrets to my Running and Weight Loss Success

I feel really fortunate that I've been able to take this running journey. I started my weight loss journey in 2007, stalled and then found running in 2010. Along the way I've lost (and have mostly kept off!) a hundred pounds while logging thousands of miles.

I get many emails from friends, family and strangers who read this blog for the "secrets sauce" to my success so I figured I'd lay it out here. Most of these are not secrets per se but I've found through my own experience, in talking to others, and in research that this is a few ingredients in the recipe:

I'm in the middle of my two running buddies who keep me
on track and accountable as we train for 26.2!

1. Accountability. By far the number one thing that helped to keep me motivated was accountability. Whether I was connecting with others in a weight loss group or chatting with other runners through this blog, accountability kept me going. Athleta's Chi Blog nicely discusses this issue in their "importance of accountability" article.

2.  Running Buddies. This plays hand and hand with accountability but when you have a friend with you it makes the time go by so much faster! As I train for the NYC marathon, those long miles seem to fly by with a friend by my side. The Active Times goes more in depth on this issue in this interesting article about the benefits of working out with a friend. By the way, I must give a shout out to my running group Jersey Women Strong - I love these ladies and Dana our leader and the founder of the group has really brought us all together! Before meeting them, I ran alone but it's made all the difference finding this group. 

3.  Keeping Track. Keeping track of both my weight loss and my fitness progress kept me highly motivated and on track! If the scale was stalling I had other successes like being able to run faster or further than the week before. I'm not alone with thinking according to this NPR.Org article, tracking helps us regulate our behavior, by keeping us mindful and vigilant.

4. Having a goal. I started this blog because I took the incredulous leap of faith in signing up for a half marathon before I had even ever had run for even a minute. Having a goal forced me to make "someday" today. And because I made myself accountable by putting it in a public blog and by telling all of my friends, I felt a certain (good) pressure to keep going forward even when I wanted to quit. To this day I almost always have some kind of "outside my comfort zone" race on the calendar. It really motivates me to keep on running and training when I might otherwise use that time to sleep, shop or do anything else but workout! They say a goal is a dream with a deadline. I'm a big fan of Jack Canfield. He wrote a book called, The Success Principles. I learned about goal setting and its importance in that book and took the leap of that one big goal because of that book. I can say that putting that goal on my calendar is one of the biggest reasons for my overall success.

What are some of the factors that help you succeed?