Courage, Determination, Resiliency = Success

Running shoes

Putting one foot in front of the other

As I wrote yesterday, I had a really tough run in the morning. I’ve been using the upcoming triathlon as a focus point throughout the summer so I wouldn’t have to think about returning to work/school. The realization that the triathlon was only one week away and I didn’t feel prepared combined with the realization that I’d be returning to work in a couple of days left me feeling sad and discouraged and stressed out. Friends and fellow bloggers gave me great words of encouragement and shared their own stories of setbacks and bad days. Cort the Sport sent me a great post she wrote about our “inner coaches” that you can read here. Carrie, of fitness and frozen grapes commented that “the tough runs make the easier ones even more worthwhile”. Meanwhile, I had read another blog (which I can’t seem to find) that talked about the importance of having a person, a solid reason, or a cause to run for.

I like that idea. When I set my goal of running a 5k, I did so by following a Tony Robbins template that asks you (among other things) to visualize how you would feel and what it would mean to accomplish your goal. That visualization exercise really helped keep me focused throughout my training and during the race. Hmmm…I think I need an equally strong source of motivation to get excited for and complete Sunday’s race.

So, what is that motivation? Why do this sprint distance triathlon? If I stop thinking about and comparing myself to my fitness level when I did my last triathlon (which was 1999 and I was living in Vail, CO), and instead think about where my fitness level just 6 months ago (February 2012 living in Brooklyn, NY). I can come up with some reasons…To reclaim my identity as an athlete; to be something and some one who is strong; to achieve something I can be proud of because it took determination and effort; to prove to myself I have some mental toughness and I am resilient.

That’s it! To prove to myself I am resilient. If the only way I define success in this race is to run the entire run, and I fail, it will be hard to be resilient. So I need to reframe what success will look like. These are my new goals for the race. Achieving any one of them will mean the race was a success:

1. Run the run


2. Finish the race


3. Give encouragement and feedback to the other women

I particularly like number three. I know I can succeed at that.  With that, I’m going to re-try Week 8, Day 3 of Couch 2 5k so I can go into work tomorrow feeling good, having bounced back from yesterday morning.


Just finished the run. I forgot (again) to take my asthma medication but I felt OK. In fact, I felt better than OK. Did I run the entire 28 minutes? No. But I ran 23 minutes and ran/walked the last 5. That’s a lot better than the 11 minutes I ran yesterday!

Difference between Friday/Sunday and today:

1. Morning (-) vs. Evening (+)…Does any one have any tips for morning runs? I seem to do so much better later in the day.

2. Stressed out and not aware of it (-) vs. Stressed out, aware of it and managing it (+)…What a world of difference this makes!

9 responses to “Courage, Determination, Resiliency = Success

  1. Tips for morning runs…have everything ready to go the night before, eat something, have some coffee, crank the tunes, and GO! You may be carrying anticipated stress of the day with you which is why a later run may go better at the moment?

    My prediction is adrenaline will enable you to run the whole 5K of the sprint tri and to finish with giant smile. Run in your own little “bubble”, hold back for the first two miles, get into a comfortable rhythm, and just focus on flow, your ability, and growing confidence. We are ALL nervous and doubtful on race week. Trust that your body will know what to do. It will!!!

    Thanks for the mention 😉

    • Thanks. I’m glad I ran yesterday. It is a tough time of year for transition. I’m returning to my job as a teacher today. The students return Thursday. Lots to do and think about this week but trying to balance it all. Thanks for the follow!

  2. Thanks for the reference! I love the idea of running for a cause. Whenever I feel like I’m “hitting a wall,” my go-to mantra is “run for those who can’t.” I remind myself how blessed I am to have the physical and mental capability to run because not everyone does, and the thought always results in a burst of motivation.

    I agree with Cort’s tips for morning running–lay out your clothes, sneakers, etc. the night before; make sure you eat something (my go-to pre-run fuel is half of a banana); have some caffeine (I didn’t do that today, and I was dragging); and bring your iPod along. Morning running is great because you can check it off your to-do list immediately, and there’s nothing like starting your day with a sweat session. 🙂

  3. I like the idea of having a go-to mantra when you hit a wall. And always good to be grateful and feel blessed. I’ve been eating a banana or 1/2 Lara bar and a small bit of coffee before my runs. I think I need to have more coffee and a little more to eat. Might mean waking up a little earlier. Thanks for the tips.

  4. Pingback: SUCCESS TRAINS: FAILURE COMPLAINS | banzai adventurer·

  5. I completely understand about teaching. I finally threw in the towel last year after 20 years. I loved teaching, and miss the kids, but not the BS and the paperwork. It’s a tough time to be a teacher. Running helps!

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