Exploring the world one word…and one mile…at a time

4 Things I Learned From Today’s Running Mix


L to R: Me and J pre-race; Me at mile 5; J at the finish line; Me “penning” this post

Today was my first road race of 2014, the Mid-Winter Classic 10-Miler in Cape Elizabeth, ME. While I was working through the last few miles, I thought about this blog post to avoid thinking about the fact that I was pushing my legs harder than they wanted to be pushed. In many ways, this post is for me, but I think there’s something universal about it, too. It’s a point of reflection as I consider my goals for the remainder of the year.

I’m poised to take several new risks in 2014. J and I will grow Destination Fitness in ways that will test our merit as small business owners. We’ll contribute our time and effort to organizations that we believe in; we’ll resurrect some of the skills we picked up in our prior professional lives; and we’ll put our creative output into the world to be sometimes accepted and often rejected.

As I ran today, I listened to the songs on my iPod, and I realized that there’s a lot to be learned and applied from what I chose to put on today’s mix.

1) It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll) – AC/DC

During the past six months, I’ve had a tough marathon, a 10K personal best (PB) and a 10-mile PB. The strange thing about these two PB’s is that I only improved by 2 seconds and 6 seconds respectively. One theory is that I’ve hit my terminal velocity. We all know that the older you get, the slower you get (at least in running). But I’m not ready to admit that my short and steep running development curve has come to an end. I think I can get faster. My primary goal for 2014 is to run a squarely-sub-4-hour marathon. So far, the closest I’ve come is a 4-hour-and-7-minute marathon at Mount Desert Island in 2012. To accomplish my sub-4-hour goal, I need a flatter course. J and I will be running the Charlevoix, MI marathon in June. It’s a flat and fast course along the shores of Lake Michigan. Game on! Next, I’ll need to drop about 10 pounds. Fighting weight is fighting weight; I know myself, and I know that I have a few pounds left to lose. Lastly, I’ll need to improve my mental game. I had a strong race today, and I need to carry that forward through 18 weeks of training, and more importantly, through the Charlevoix Marathon. Don’t be surprised if you see me meditating or eating more broccoli (or both) over the next few months. I have work to do!

2) Let yesterday burn and throw it in the fire – Matisyahu/Live Like a Warrior

If there’s anything that running, starting my own business, and trying to make it as a writer has taught me, it’s that you can’t hang your hat on past accomplishments. On top of that, you can’t let your past mistakes and letdowns hold you back. As I work to find a higher gear in life, whether it be running faster, growing Destination Fitness, or taking on new poetry projects, what happened yesterday is gone. It’s time to listen to Matisyahu and “let go….let yesterday burn and throw it in the fire.”

3) I Live for the Applause (but it’s not what you think) – Lady Gaga/Applause

There’s been a meme going around Facebook that says, “If you didn’t fall down and hit your face on the treadmill, I don’t want to hear about your workout.” This particular meme irritates me. It comes from a negative angle, and it wholly misunderstands those of us who use social media to offer support and encouragement as our friends and family embark on their own, unique fitness journeys. You see, I don’t get my kicks from receiving applause. I get them from giving applause. I love it when my friends feel empowered, energized, confident and beautiful after a run, a bike ride, a yoga session, a swim or a gym workout. Please, tell me about it! I want to be inspired by you, and I want to share in your joy. Please, when it comes to staying fit and healthy, check your negativity at the door. We all have goals, and if we can’t get support from those we are closest to, who can we get it from? I know I’ll need your applause as 2014 unfolds, and I can’t wait to give you mine.

Note: If you’re thinking of leaving a negative comment about this opinion, go ahead and unfriend me now.

4) It’s Time to Get In My Zone – Jay-Z & Kanye West/A Certain Song I Won’t Name

I know Kanye isn’t everyone’s favorite, but the lyrics, “Don’t let me get in my zone. I’m definitely in my zone,” are enough to pump up any runner. Regardless of your opinion of Jay-Z and KW, you probably know what it’s like to be in your zone. Your zone is that place where everything clicks: you’re happy, you’re healthy, your priorities are clear, your goals are in sight, and you’re firing on all cylinders. We’ve all been there, and the challenge of life is staying there despite the obstacles, distractions and negativity. In my humble opinion, getting into your zone starts with prioritization. If you can’t prioritize and make time for the things you love and want, you may not achieve them, and you definitely won’t be in your zone. For me, it’s time to focus on priorities. It’s time to get in my zone.

As we head into the heart of 2014, I hope your efforts pay off, your past is no more than a memory, you have the opportunity to give and receive applause, and you can spend the majority of the year in your zone. Cheers! – M

2 responses

  1. Dad

    Great determination….. absolutely inspiring!

    Thanks for sharing your highly important advice.

    February 2, 2014 at 9:33 pm

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