Tuesday, October 17, 2017

#13HappyHalves Update : 1 to go to 21!

From left to right:

Bredase Singelloop Half-Marathon  2016
Eindhoven Half-Marathon 2016
Amsterdam Half-Marathon 2016

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. 
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” 

― Dr. SeussI Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

The Busy Brain is Not A Truly Productive Brain.

The collage above  is not the best version; it is a print screen version.

I wanted to share this version as a mental exercise for myself.  

Share it, step back and be happy with it.

The reason for this, is the same reason, as to why I got the second edition of (2016) #13HappyHalves done: 
I did not over-think  it (the project), I simply did it.

My mental exercises are almost never structured. They arise, when there is a need for it, and the more unexpected, unpredictable the exercise is, the more effective it will be.

I mentioned this strategy before in one of my blogpost (I will link it here, later). 

Yes, I trick my brain to get things done.

My Gain is Yours.

In this  Happy Feet NL's 180th blogpost, I would like to start the countdown towards my 200th blog -  also share here, and in the next 20 blogs (!!!)  knowledge and lessons,  I've gained and learned through running. A lot of running. :)

I think, even if you do not have mental health issues, like myself (I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, 14 years ago, after a decade of dealing silently with depression) you would be familiar with mental blocks, anxiety, self-doubt, and  the universal behaviour of procrastination!

There were many race events that I had to run four times before I let go of self-doubt; there were many training miles ran before I devised a ritual and learned coping mechanism for  my anxiety attacks, and when I am riddled with mental blocks. I think I have accumulated a lot of tips and will continue to add to the list of how not to procrastinate because I still deal with procrastination on running, even after 6 years!

My intention to share is not purely out of magnanimity ;)  - I have to be honest and say, I am getting very forgetful and need to write these "knowledge and lessons" for myself before they are completely forgotten!  I think many runners will agree, that lessons learned in running are very applicable to our daily lives.

Breda Singelloop 2017

picture courtesy of MeeùsFitClub 
taken by Wietse Visser Photography

Trick AND Treat!

Going back to the picture at the header of this post.  The simple act of choosing a photo to begin a blogpost  would have been a mental block. If I had let it!  If I gave in to the need to search for the original pictures, the activity alone would have eaten so much time and drained me mentally. I would have ended up with no blogpost at the end of the day, like what has happened often in the past.

I let go of my "perfectionism" with this simple mental exercise.  As soon as I committed to simply using the collage I felt relieved, my mind relax and I was able to literally move on. Learning is done through repetition.  I posted this print screen version often before here - #13HappyHalves : Keeping Dreams Alive, and  more than a couple of times on my Instagram account to remind myself of an accomplishment to get myself moving.

My urgent goal today was go out to run the first run  of my new training plan. Run before it got dark. What does my brain came up with to procrastinate? It was literally nagging me that I had to blog first about my plan about running my 21st half-marathon race.  A race that I dread but actually made me excited to train again! Well, as soon as I decided for which half-marathon race, I got motivated to create my new training plan and share it online so I will be accountable!

This is not the post, where I will explain why my brain always comes up with  thoughts, that distracts me  and why I feel compelled to listen to these thoughts, before I do what I actually need to do.

What this blog is all about:

is how I created a draft post of this post (to silence the nagging thoughts!), chatted with a friend online (made myself accountable - on one on one basis!) who was about to go out for a run herself (got and hopefully gave good vibes :D ), and how I was able to go out for a run (the clock showed me, if I hurry, I can still meet my middle daughter on the way!).  The first run towards my goal of running my 21st marathon before the year ends!

An "extra accountability trick",
posted a photo on my IG story, a few seconds after I warmed-up

My reward after a great first kilometer of a total of 5 km run was seeing my daughter, and her volunteering to bike along side me before I can start uttering the words, begging her to do so! hahaha

I'll write more about this run, tomorrow!

The Mystery 1 of The 21!

I am SUPER excited to run my 21st half-marathon. Super excited and super scared!

“The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”
 This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa's First Woman President

The quote above will be something I will recite like a mantra in the next couple of months.

Putting my goal out there  - ran another half-marathon PR before the year ends! - is a scary thing for me.  I call it a "positive pressure".  Another way of tricking my brain to go out. Going out is necessary to maintain a strong mental health.

In this blog, I will make a list of all my 20 half-marathon races I've ran so far with the consecutive time, I needed to complete each.

It is one of my many baby steps towards the goal. It is also an activity that calms me.  I have something to come back to and focus on, when anxiety and self-doubt arise.

“It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not
to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is
against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”

The list will be a reminder, that I am running because of and for my mental health; I want to get better and stronger.  The list will also remind me, how far I have come, and how far I can still go, if I let go of fears.

  1. Egmond Halve Marathon 2013 2:52:18
  2. CPC Loop Den Haag 2013 2:30:57
  3. Luxembourg Night Marathon 2013 2:43:04
  4. Vechtloop Weesp 2013 2:35:51
  5. Amsterdam Half-Marathon 2013 2:53:21
  6. CPC Loop Den Haag 2014 2:46:11
  7. Luxembourg Night Marathon 2014 2:44:41
  8. CPC Loop Den Haag 2015 2:44:40
  9. Bredase Singelloop 2015 2:35:01
  10. Egmond Halve Marathon 2016 3:00:23
  11. CPC Loop Den Haag 2016 2:43:22
  12. Halve van der Haar 2016 2:40:20
  13. Marathon Rotterdam (duo-relay) 2016 2:40:07
  14. Enschede Marathon 2016 2:29:20
  15. Leiden Marathon 2016 2:51:34
  16. Slachtemarathon 2016 3:03:15
  17. Bredase Singelloop 2016 2:41:52
  18. Eindhoven Marathon 2016 2:39:03
  19. Amsterdam Half-Marathon 2016 2:39:13
  20. Bredase Singelloop 2017 2:28:38
  21. ??? 2017 X:XX:XX

I'm still thinking of a hashtag to document this adventure. Any suggestions? 

What are you currently training for? What is on your running calendar this Autumn? Winter 2017-18?


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If I can run, so can you: big dreams are reached with baby steps!