thoughts on getting started…

The 70.3 training plan is 20 weeks long.  So by my count, Day 1 of official training is here. Am I ready? Am I ready? AM I READY?

Whenever I start something, there are a few weeks where, to be totally frank, it’s tough. Physically, oh sure, there are questions.   It will take a little while to adjust as my body remembers what it’s like to be more aggressively and purposefully active day after day after day, week after week. And sure, this is something to think about. And in this case, since I have ventured down this road before, I know what to expect. Old nagging injuries remind me that I will once again be GOOD friends with my physical therapist, chiropractor and massage therapist this year. Oh brother. But in honesty (other than wondering if certain muscles and tendons will “hold up”), the physical challenges aren’t the major hurdles for me.

Picture found: HERE

For me, the fight is mostly fought in my head.  Over the next 20 weeks, but especially over the next 3-4 weeks as I ramp up the number and intensity of my workouts, this mental fight will be pronounced and definitely at the forefront of my mind. Mentally, as I fight with my inner lazy, the voice inside of my head that argues with me, the fat kid inside of me who just wants to sleep in and eat nachos everyday. That voice that reminds you how nice it was to just RELAX. Watch a movie. Read a book. Sleep in and have a relaxed brunch. Go have drinks and delicious calorie-packed appetizers with friends after work. That voice that is relentless in coming up with excuse after excuse after excuse for why I should just go home and _______________ (clean? reorganize your closet? play with the dogs? make some cake?!).

It takes weeks to create new habits. To make a new “normal”. To reassure myself that I CAN do it, that I DO have the mental stamina to commit to this for the next 20 weeks. To quiet those voices, or, perhaps more appropriately, to  teach those voices the new things that they should be saying, like – Atta Girl!, You can do it!, and  Woohoo – Look at you go! when I need to be praised. And things like – Go running, lazy bum! and Push through it! when I just need to get out and go.

Starting can be intimidating. But when you’re charged with eating an elephant, you’ve gotta do it one bite at a time. That’s the only way this can work. Procrastinating won’t help anyone in this case and certainly not me  – it will only make race day more painful. Each time I procrastinate, it will make achieving success slip just that much further from reality.

 So recently, I’ve been preparing. Steeling myself against the voices and the excuses. Dusting off my game face (which will be used in victorious efforts mostly against overcoming my weaker side and occasionally, posted here in ridiculous hamming-it-up post-workout photos).

I ran across this lovely little reminder (<—) a couple of days ago here: A YEAR FROM NOW, YOU WILL WISH YOU HAD STARTED TODAY.

I think that starting is definitely a hurdle for many. It has been for me. We’ve all been there… I’ll start tomorrow.  Then tomorrow comes AND we put it off another day. And then another. And another…

But the first step to training for a 70.3 is to ignore the excuses and start on the day you’ve marked on the calendar. And for me, that day is Tuesday, March 20, 2012. TODAY.

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