Last week, I ran 5 miles without stopping for the first time in my life. I casually mentioned to a co-worker that I had set an unrealistic goal for myself of running 7 miles before next Friday when I climb the mountain. In my head, I wasn’t really mentally prepared to try it and that seemed okay with me since I’ve already accomplished so much.
Today, said co-worker, RH, comes in and says: “Is today Friday? Oh, you’re running 7 miles today.’
Me: “Um, what? No!” followed by a bunch of B.S. excuses as to why that was definitely NOT going to happen today (most having to do with the treadmill stopping at 50 minutes at the gym).
Undeterred, I then receive the following email from RH:
Just run 4 miles. Stop your machine, restart it, and do 3. That way you control the break, and the second half is shorter. DO IT!
Then let me know how it goes. It’s pretty much your last chance to do your 7 before the climb. You can totally do it, it’s not that far, and you’ll feel awesome when you’re done.
The thing with this is that all it took was someone telling me they believed in me. I needed the social support to get it done. Maddi and Koshaba (2005) have gone into great detail as to why social support is so important in their book Resiliency at Work: How to Succeed No Matter What Life Throws You. But I don’t think I really believed it worked until recently. I’ve always been kind of a social pariah, highly capable of success on my own strength and willpower, without the need for input from others. We all have walls, however, and sometimes scaling those walls goes faster when you have a network of people cheering you on.
So, anyhoo, guys, I JUST RAN 7 MILES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t stop smiling. And pinching myself because I still don’t think I really believe it.
I overcame a lot of obstacles during the course of this run, here they are:
1. Brand new shoes = many blisters.
2. New pants kept falling down – letting others see your granny panties at the gym
is poor etiquette, so my stride was goofed up from constant pulling up of pants.
3. New shirt felt awkward. Love the dry-fit technology, hate the tight fit around
gut and hips.
4. Drinking bottled Gatorade is difficult when running. For a klutz like me, it just
spills everywhere. People were staring whenever I tried to drink. Most of it ended
up on the treadmill, some in my eyes, on my cheeks, down my shirt.
But, yeah, that just happened. Hot damn!