I ran in the inaugural Trenton Half Marathon this weekend. With Hurricane Sandy and the NYC Marathon cancellation being a big part of my previous two weeks, I can honestly say my mind was not focused on racing as it usually is. My 5 year old son also has sleep issues that seem to rear their ugly head just when I need to rest most and this was no exception.
So when I woke up at 5 to go to the race after being awake at 2, 3:30, 4 and 4:30, my first thought was to turn off my alarm and go back to sleep. I lay in bed a few minutes and then chose to get up and started getting ready. My mind, however was trying to sabotage me. I was convinced I wasn’t going to have a good race. I was angry I didn’t get a good night sleep. I was tired. And I was already making excuses as to why I didn’t run well, when I was still 3 hours from even beginning!
And then I stopped that obsessive, tired, self-defeating voice with one simple thought — I am so lucky to have the opportunity to run today. People lost their homes and loved ones just two weeks earlier. People who trained for NYC didn’t get to run their marathon. I have the privilege of driving a short distance to run a race with a strong healthy body. Why on Earth would I not just be grateful?
And that was it. That was my mantra for the day.
The race was not without hiccups, including a 45 minute delay to the start. If I would have shown up with my negative attitude, it would have been the longest 13.1 miles of my life.I have been coaching people to keep positive, be grateful and make the most of any situation, knowing there are many things beyond your control. Saturday I got to coach myself with those same lessons and am renewing my commitment to help others with the mental game of endurance racing.And honestly, it’s not a bad way of living everyday life either.