Last night's 5 mile training run was hot and humid. It had rained all day and though Weather.com said that it was 78 feels like 81, the oppressive dampness in the air made it all the more difficult to breathe. Having only gotten one other run in this week, I knew I needed to get out there and run... I also knew the endorphins and serotonin would do me good.
At almost 2 miles in, I passed a woman who was in her driveway. She asked how I was, to which I responded "its too hot for this."
"No it isn't" she responded, "Its never too hot out when you have goals. You can do this."
She will never fully know what hearing that meant to me... but I am thankful for her and her kindness.
On the surface, It is clear why hearing those words would be encouraging. But there is more to it than that.
Because I have a confession to make.
I had this great plan to train for my upcoming bout of insanity at the Center of the Nation Series in September. This plan consisted of a modified build up like I did last year for my first half marathon. I would run 5 miles for 5 days in a row (5x5), then the next week I would run 6 miles for 5 days in a row (6x5), then back to 5x5 then up to 7x5, back to 5x5 and up to 8x5. and so on. While it would take hard work and be totally doable, it involved running 5 days per week from now until the middle of September.
That's a lot of running. And you know... life is running away with me. I'm once again finding myself spread just a little too thin. I never say no, and I am always doing-doing-doing for other people. And between all of this other stuff for other people and the crap-tastic weather in South Florida (really it should be renamed the Thunderstorm State rather than the Sunshine State)... my own training falls to the wayside.
And while I hesitate to say this, I know that for my own mental well being, I need to:
Putting everyone else first, it JUST NOT FAIR.
I'm a list keeper. Anyone who knows me will say that I have lists for everything. Not only that, but my lists are kept on post-it notes, and my desk is covered with them. These lists are for everything that I am working on for school, for work, for my philanthropic endeavors, reminders for bills and phone calls, reminders for appointments (I also put postits all over the inside of my calendar), books I need to get out of the library, basic math equations, etc. You name it, I have a note for it.
But lately, I've noticed a trend. I've been adding things like my daily squats or my daily runs to the postits of things that need to be done for the day. That has to stop! I shouldn't be putting myself on the list of thing to take care of. Taking time for myself to take care of myself should be coming naturally, but it doesn't.
And then for some reason, I get frustrated when people just assume that I have all the time in the world for them and their emergencies or their problems. I feel hurt when people habitually put themselves first and take me and my feelings into account last. I feel hurt when I recognize that I am their option, while they are a priority.
But the reality is, I can't be hurt or angry with them. At the same time, I must recognize that I have conditioned people to treat me this way and always put me last. I have allowed this dichotomy to flourish.
Last night, I put myself first. I said screw it to my school work and my phone calls for work-work. I said it can wait to the dishes and boiling more drinking water (water advisory this week in our area). I said enough to the endless lists and piles of postits that I am trying to sort through.
And instead, I said TIME FOR ME.
And if I can continue to take this attitude toward my training for my next big bout of craziness, the training will come naturally. That I am sure of. My trainings will not be just another thing to check off on my to do list. They will be part of the want to list. And that list wont have to be scheduled in.
Because sometimes, its OK to put myself first. Sometimes its OK to be selfish.