Yesterday I lost it. I was feeling so stressed, under pressure and unfocused. With so much happening all at once and so fast, I forgot the reason we started all of this. 12 weeks ago I committed to run the Half Marathon in the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival. 21kms of running which I have never physically completed before. I also chose to raise funds for the Can Too Foundation. Up until 2 weeks ago, our training was going well. While not perfect we were consistent and racking up some great runs. I was feeling so proud of myself. One day while running, we discussed an idea of creating an event to help boost our fundraising efforts. We called it Optimising You and it has the aim of helping people achieve their full potential. We decided it should be aimed at women, particularly mums as this is what we know. We are mums and we know how we have been able to harness the opportunities available to us to create our business, to fundraise and to run. It felt like a winning formula. We then had the opportunity to go and meet the CEO and the Program Manager at the Can Too Foundation. We had even more motivation to create wonderful opportunities in the South West Sydney area. It was all going well. Until I got overwhelmed, lost focus and wanted to just stay in bed. A few months ago at the Business Event of The Year, I had the opportunity to hear from Olympic Swimmer, Kieran Perkins. He shared a story about the Atlanta Olympic Games where he was so focused on winning gold, he forgot he needed to qualify for the Olympic Finals first. He realised you need to take one step at a time and focus on achieving that before worrying about the big goal. For me, completing the Half Marathon is the first step. If I complete this race, I will be able to stand in front of the group of women at our Optimising You Event and say I did it. Once we have raised all of these funds, then we can look at further opportunities with Can Too. To refocus on the first step, I first had a motivating talk from my husband who believes in me. He told me to stop putting so much pressure on myself, among other things. I later put on my most recent running medal I received in the Hunter Valley, remembered the feeling of achieving that. I then planned our post run recovery meal with family and friends. It will be a celebration of so many things happening right now, but most of all completing the run. Next week I will worry about the event and the last minute preparations needed but for now, I’m focusing on a quiet night in the hotel tomorrow night with my foam roller, a big pasta dinner and having the bed all to myself. Sleep, food and self care are going to get me over the line on Sunday. So when you are doubting yourself, refocus on what the first step is to achieve your goal. What are the little things you need to do first? What steps can you take to act on that mini goal first? You can do it.
Running is not something I ever thought I enjoyed, until I started doing it. I still don’t classify myself as a Runner most days as I remember the tough days of trying to jog 1km and just not being able to do it. I was the Personal Trainer who could not run and had other PTs running 1km like it was a walk in the park. My strength has been in resistance training whether it involved lifting weights or just bodyweight. I could do push ups on my toes and lift heavy weights. But somehow over the years I have come to enjoy running and I wanted to share my 5 reasons why I love to run. 1. For the Challenge This September I am taking part in my first ever Half Marathon in the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival. It was never something I had imagined that I would complete. Last year was the first time I was able to continuously jog 5kms. This year I thought it was a reasonable goal to aim for the 10km Fishers Ghost Fun Run. When discussing my plans with friend, client and now running buddy, Serena Ryan, she shared her plans to run the half marathon this year. I thought I could join her for the 9km bridge run as that ticked the box of what I really wanted, running over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. She broke it down and when I thought about it, I realised I could do it. I had forgotten that I have completed the City2Surf 3 times which is 14kms, what’s another 7kms? It’s great to challenge yourself to complete something above what you think you can do. And look at the awesome medals you get at the end. 2. For the Conversation People laugh when I share how much Serena and I chat on our training runs. We don’t want to be running full pace when we have big distances to cover. We set ourselves a pace that allows us to continue our coversation but still hurts enough to know we are working. My sister will also vouch for my singing abilities while I jog. As I was jogging at her pace one day and not running at my full pace, I was able to sing and motivate her to complete her first ever 5km jog. She will forever have the Foo Fighters’ Monkey Wrench in her head whenever she runs. 3. For the Commitment Running has given me a goal to commit to. It’s easy to go through life day to day with no purpose. As soon as you have purpose you achieve great things. I can now focus my training efforts towards improving my running endurance. I have other flimsy goals around losing weight but I am hoping that will become a side effect of training rather than a focus. I don’t do well with calorie restriction and crazy dieting. I don’t want to feel deprived so if I commit to my running, I will achieve many goals. 4. For the Clarity of Mind I find running is fantastic for the mind. Sometimes I run with music, other times I run with myown thoughts. Even when I run with Serena, we chat and open up about things in life and business that we forget when we are alone in our offices. I have written many blog posts in my head while I run. It’s a shame I don’t always remember them when I sit back down at my computer. 5. For a Cause Running at events like the City2Surf and Blackmores Sydney Running Festival also allows me to raise funds for charities that I am passionate about. In my third City2Surf in 2012, I ran for the Cancer Council NSW. I raised funds as I had recently lost my Aunty Marg to cancer and wanted to complete the run again at my full capacity. I took over 1 hour off my previous race times to finish in 1 hour 48 mins. When I complete the Half Marathon I have decided to raise funds for the Can Too Foundation. They combine two passions of mine, fitness and cancer fundraising. Participants pay a registration fee to train with Can Too and that registration fee helps pay our qualified coaches, they then pledge to raise the nominated fundraising amount and monies raised goes towards funding young cancer researchers. I’m not currently training in a pod but I think a training pod in this area would be a fantastic idea and to inspire more runners to get involved. As a bonus reason, I really enjoy running to inspire others. I hope that by leading through a positive example, I can encourage others to work towards achieving something they never thought possible. I can see the change in my clients now that I have a goal and I get to hear encouraging words from my husband too. If you would like to support my fundraising for the Can Too Foundation, please donate here: https://bsrf2016.gofundraise.com.au/page/MelissaWoodward