A dear friend of mine recently challenged me to complete a ½ marathon with her.  While I was a little hesitant (especially since she just completed her 2nd Ironman Triathlon), I was also intrigued and excited about the challenge.   Not only was it going to be a fun way to initiate myself into an event like this, but also great motivation simply for training and improving my fitness level.  The ultimate motivation here and reason I would not fail: there is no way I would back out knowing my friend was traveling 2000 miles to run a race together!

But then, disappointment.  She emailed saying there may be some conflicts, flights are more expensive than expected, etc…understandable, but also very disappointing.

Even more disappointing is my mindset now as I contemplate what I should do.  I immediately decided I would still complete the race, but then I wondered if I would actually go through with it on my own.  So I thought of people I could invite to participate with me, which I also talked myself out of, because I don’t want to slow someone down or embarrass myself (especially if I am the one doing the inviting).  For some reason, even though my friend is an “Ironman” I still felt comfortable with her by my side.

So the question becomes: why am I standing in my own way on the road to greatness?  If my goal is to improve my own health and fitness, simply to challenge myself, why am I letting these other (silly) issues stop me?  I remember my sport psychology classes, and have continually applied key concepts to various aspects of my life.  I always strive to maintain my intrinsic motivation, and not relay on extrinsic factors.  However, in this case, that is exactly what I am doing: focusing on the extrinsic.

Interestingly enough, my friend also mentioned another race she is doing later year and asked if the location was nearby (just in an attempt to connect).  This event is much more difficult but I am suddenly (and shockingly) interested.  (She didn’t invite me, but I am confident that she would love the surprise).

And a bonus, this challenge goes back to one that I had set as a goal for myself almost 20 years ago.

I am torn, and am somewhat obsessed with deciding.  For now, I have left it here: the registration deadline for the new event is mid-November.  I am going to start by challenging myself to increase my training for the next 2 months, and then evaluate where I stand at that point.  Perhaps I will use the first race to prepare for the bigger event.  Or perhaps, I will simply return to the joy of running and improve my overall fitness, and decide I don’t need to do these events.

I’ll keep you up to date, and with that statement, this becomes part of my motivation to keep it up!