Welcome to the first "Motivation Monday" post. Hopefully this content will be able to give you some insights into how we as working moms can try to stay motivated and inspired to set goals and achieve them no matter how big or how small. We will share some stories and personal victories, as well as some thoughts on how to look at perceived "failures" as a step in the right direction.
Anyone who saw yesterday's post knows that both Lisa and I are big Disney fans. We are also runners. Well, me not so much anymore, but had been for many years. We had both done many races including some Disney races, so we decided back in 2016 that we would like to sign up for the 2017 Dopey Challenge during marathon weekend at Disney World. This is a 4 day event which includes a 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon. Yes...48.6 miles in 4 days...definitely dopey! Lisa is the more experienced marathoner, so she created a training schedule for us, and we attempted to follow it but we were not really training together. As the race date drew near, we realized that we had not been as diligent as we should have been, so neither one of us felt we could complete the full marathon. We decided to still go and run the other 3 races and enjoy a Disney trip with our families. We were disappointed in ourselves, yet realized we had done the best that we could at the time, and we were still going to complete 3 of the 4 races which would be something to be proud of. Fast forward to marathon weekend, and we complete the 5 K and 10K no problem. Then an extremely rare thing happened and Disney cancelled the half marathon due to severe thunderstorms. Defeated again...or were we? At that point we made the decision to train better and register for the 2018 Dopey challenge!! We still had a great trip and we had renewed motivation.
What would we do differently this time to ensure we reached our goal? Train together! There is definitely something to be said for accountability. When you have a partner or a team to support you or who relies on you, it can be very motivating. It was unrealistic as two busy working moms who live 45 minutes away from each other to do every training run together, but we decided to commit to doing all the long runs together on the weekend. Mind you, marathon weekend is in January which means as the training ramps up closer to race date, the long runs are being done in Nov-Dec. That particular winter we had a fair amount of cold and even snow at that time. Long runs were done more than once on very cold days on a path somewhat snow covered, losing daylight on the way back. I guarantee you, there is no way either one of us could have stayed committed to that without the other. Another thing that helped us is we have different strengths when it comes to distance running. We are well matched with pace, but I tend to "come out of the gate strong" and take on the first 10-12 miles with relative ease. Lisa was not a fan of the first several miles, but she would get the most incredible "second wind" and the last 10-12 miles were her strong suit. I would be miserable at this point and she would be happily running along as if she could run forever! I would be asking her what treats she had at her house that we could indulge in when we got done. That became my motivation.😉 We used to do our long runs on a trail near her home. I would want to know the run down of all the sweets she had. She, on the other hand, would say " I think I want shrimp cocktail" What?!? Who in their right mind wants shrimp cocktail after a 20 mile run??😂 Give me a giant chocolate chip cookie any day! Luckily she had both at her house...so we indulged!
Marathon weekend 2018 arrived and we did it! All 4 races completed and a great trip to Disney was had by all. Crossing the finish line of the full marathon on day 4 was the greatest feeling. True to form, I pushed us through the first 13 miles and Lisa got us through the second 13. We were a team, and I think certain goals are more attainable with the help of others. We supported each other through this and succeeded, and as you can see, no Disney experience would be complete with out some Mickey ears and lots of bling! They have the best medals and we walked away from this experience with many, but also with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. We didn't give up when it didn't work out the first time. So, as they say..."if at first you don't succeed, try and try again." The first go around was not a failure for us...but rather a step in the right direction!