Get Out of Your Own Way This New Year

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Happy 2014!


Every New Year’s Day I always find myself reflecting on the year past and think about things I want to do in the new year.  I learned an important lesson in 2013 about getting out of my own way and I wanted to pass it on this new year’s day.

This past May I organized a team through my daughter’s Daisy Scout troop to raise money for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation to participate in their annual Reaching for the Cure event and signed myself up to run the 10K.

I started running in 2010 for the first time, and did 3 half marathons in one year. I burnt out a little the last couple of years on distance running, but felt ready to do a 10K again.

Then I gave myself the goal to run it in under an hour, which would be a challenge for me.

Training started off good, but during my runs I found myself going slower than I wanted to. Then I began to doubt myself and these sorts of thoughts started to creep into my head…

I am just not a fast runner.

I don’t need the extra stress of making doing it under a certain time.

There’s no way I will be able to do it in an hour.

I am older now than when I trained before in 2010. 

At the trail end of the training, I caved into my doubts and decided just to do it for fun, not time.

I wouldn’t run with my Garmin so I wouldn’t know my pace. Done. Disappointment averted. But I was disappointed on the inside, because it had felt good to set a goal, and deep down I really wanted to see if I could do it.

Race day comes along and there was one other mom in our troop, Tami (pictured with me above) who had also signed up to run the 10K. We happened to run into each other at the starting line in a sea of people and were side by side for the start.

I was a little nervous because I didn’t know her pace or if I would hold her back if we started off running together. I told her I wasn’t very fast and to feel free to take off ahead of me if needed.

Then we were off!

The start of a race is always invigorating with the palpable energy of all the runners, so it is typical to run faster than your normal pace at the start. Tami and I are running at a good solid pace, completely in sync. It felt really good to be running side by side with someone, and I noticed we hadn’t let up our starting pace. At every mile marker we give each other a high five, one more down.  

After we passed mile 5, I was dying a little, but Tami continues strong and I fight to keep up with her. It’s hard, but I don’t want to fall back, so I just dig deep and do it.

As we approach the end, I wonder if there is a CHANCE I could make it in under an hour? It feels like I might have, but I didn’t know for sure. When we passed over the finish line, the clock was in the 59:40’s. HOLY crap! We did it!

Right after we finished, she turns to me and says, “That was for my best friend I lost to cancer when I was a little girl.” I had to hide the tears behind my sunglasses.

I will never forget that moment.

Not only was it the BEST feeling to achieve this goal, but it was an even BETTER feeling knowing what we had raised for such an important cause.

When the final times were posted, I finished at 59:15. 

Looking back, I realized I was the only one in the way of reaching my goal. When I got out there (of course after putting in the miles to train), I just had to DO IT. I had to get out of my own head, and trust myself.

I believe Tami was there that day to run with me to show me this, if I hadn’t run with her, I don’t think the result would have been the same. It was one of my all time favorite memories from this past year.

What Do You Want to Do This Year? 

In retrospect, I realized how many times I have heard myself say internally or to others, things like…

“I’m not…”

“I can’t…”

“I could never…”

“I would love to, but…”

“I have always wanted to _______, but I am just not…”

But saying those things to yourself doesn’t make them true.

Before I started running in 2010, I always said, I am NOT a runner. I hate running. I can’t run. But that wasn’t true. Now I am a runner, I love running, and I can run. I just had to start. I didn’t love it at first, and it was hard, but I learned I was able.

Is there something you would love to do in this New Year? Possibly something you have talked yourself out of in the past by using one of the sentences above?

I would love to challenge you this New Year to do something you have always wanted to do, and to change your internal dialog to, “I can!

Comment below and tell me something you want to do this year.

You can even use an alias (no one will know!) The time is NOW mamas, we get one chance at this lifetime, and now is the time to do the things we want to do!

Happy New Year! Bring on 2014! It’s Going to be a Great One – I just feel it! 


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  1. 1
    Melanie says:

    I want to truly get organized so I don’t have to waste my time thinking or stressing about the mess in my house!

  2. 2
    Tami says:

    What an amazing article! Jen, that race was a memorable experience for me too. I use the term “I can’t run that far” all the time. That was my first 10K and it won’t be my last. Thank you for the memories! Now I’m going to say “I’ve always wanted to do a half marathon so in 2014 I’m going to achieve this goal.” Xoxo

  3. 3
    Jen says:

    Melanie – That is always an awesome goal! Now it is out there, so take the steps, little at a time, to reach it. Good luck!!!

  4. 4
    Jen says:

    Tami – You would so rock a half marathon! All you have to do is pick one and sign up. I might be inspired to do one again this year too

  5. 5
    Elyse says:

    You made me cry!!! That was such an awesome day…even though I was 9 months pregnant running the kids race to keep from losing my own!
    I have always wanted to run a 10k but same…I’m not a runner. No time like the present!

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