Thursday, January 14, 2010

Marathon Training (Week 1)

Every Friday until November 7, 2010 you will find entries from a series written by Iris about her training to run the New York marathon in 2010. It is something she never aspired to do; she has never run a distance of more than 2 kilometers in her life. In this series she describes her adventures and how she works on her beliefs to transform her challenges and successes into one great experience.

On Sunday, when I announced that 2010 would be the year that I run my first marathon, I had the experience of being "high" from the thousands of feelings and beliefs floating around. I felt excited and overwhelmed. I felt fearless and scared. I felt curious and I felt like looking away. I had no idea how I would accomplish what I intended, but I clearly made the intention to accomplish it anyway.

Taking Action
Instead of doing a dialogue to get myself together, I decided to simply take action. I researched the steps I would need to take to get me to my goal and then immediately started implementing them.
I found that although I usually like to clear my mind before taking action, taking action can be a great way to clear my mind.
The first actions I took were these:
  1. I signed myself up for the lottery of the New York Marathon
  2. I found a 26 week schedule for beginners that will help me train towards the Marathon
  3. I adjusted this schedule to the 40 weeks I have allocated taking into account that I haven't been running at all and giving myself a warm up period.
  4. I told people around me about my plan so they can support me or join me.
  5. I got my stuff in order: uploading inspirational music to my Ipod, making sure I have workout cloths ready, and scheduling workouts into my calendar.
  6. I started working out, observing myself with great fascination.
  7. I decided that I want to get to the finish line with a smile
Changing Beliefs
Over the past few days, I have found a delight in quickly uncovering my unhappiness fueling beliefs and then changing them on the spot. I have found I am creative in making new beliefs that support my wants and goals. I only dialogue about things that I have not been able to change in this way, or, when I get myself to a place of such unhappiness or confusion that I dialogue is a better way to go.

So let’s see what I did with the beliefs I wrote down on Sunday:

I said on Sunday: "This is going to be hard!”
At this point I replaced the belief with “This is going to be a challenge, but doable.

This belief helps me keep in mind that I can make the finish line, even though I don't know exactly how I'm going to do it. If you read carefully you will have noticed that there is no clear statement about completing the marathon, so this is for sure a belief I want to spend more time with.

I said on Sunday: “If it hurts it is unhealthy.”
With my asthmatic lungs, pain shows up easily in the beginning when I challenge them. I hate challenging them. I have not yet challenged this belief. This week I have been working out, but not really challenging my lungs; I have not stretched myself in this area of unhappiness fueling situations yet.

However, I did challenge myself in the area of itchy skin.
The first days of working out, my skin would burst in an enormous itch; at times I would stop my workout because I could no longer stand to not scratch the itch. As a result, I developed some new beliefs to address my “I hate this itch” experience:
  1. The itch is temporary and functional
  2. The itch shows up at places where my skin is opening up blocked pores
  3. The fact that the itch shows up later and later in my workout shows me that things will get better and better during the training
New Beliefs
The other thing I did was to create a bunch of supporting beliefs why doing this marathon is good for me:
  • I will be in the best physical and mental shape ever by November
  • I will learn during this year how to best maintain my body (water/food/exercise)
  • I will be able to show others how changing beliefs can help you to reach any goal you want
  • I will learn to hold onto my happiness while doing something with which I only have chosen unhappiness in the past
  • I am a do-er! If I can do a marathon, I can do anything I want. There are no limits.
After one week I already feel different in my body, more energized, and more believing that anything is possible. The other night, I said to Mark with a grin, “You know, you will like what I have to tell you! I must say that after these few days working out, I am already noticing the positive influence on how I feel and think."

Smiling, Mark responded, “who would have thought!” (He has been telling me for at least the last two years to start a regular daily workout for these reasons. What a sweetheart and patient person he is!)

Well, I’m off to my next training session. Want to join me?

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