I watched an episode of Oprah over a year ago which featured The Secret, which basically involves the laws of attraction, identifying what you want and asking for it. Followers and teachers of The Secret advocate creating a vision board where you post photos, goals, inspirational sayings, etc. The basic premise of this is that by identifying what you want to receive, you send out positive vibrations to the Universe, take steps to achieve it and you will receive it.
So I got all self-helpy one day, grabbed my daughter’s poster board, tape and a glue stick and got to work. I included a sticker “a fit mom is a powerful mom”, a few motivational sayings from magainzes, the O Magazine header (so I can be published in it one day) and as almost an afterthought, my goal time for the 2008 ING New York City Marathon (http://www.ingnycmarathon.com) of 4:29:59. Truthfully, I don’t know where that number came from – it literally popped into my head. My previous PR was 4:51so I know I was asking the Universe for a big favor.
My best friend and running partner Lisa also had a goal for the marathon – she wanted to break the 5 hour mark so she could see her name in the NY Times. This would require her to shave off almost a half hour of her previous marathon time. We both had some serious work ahead of us.
What do you do when you set your sights on a big, perhaps unachievable goal? Other than suffer from self-doubt, insecurity and fear? Well, Lisa and I trained. I went online to the official marathon website, downloaded their training calendar with the intention of following it to a “t”. I stuck the calendar on the wall in front of my computer and logged each run on my calendar. I emailed Lisa with our schedule and we ran.
We increased our running days from 3 to 4 and sometimes 5 per week. We decreased mileage during the week, as instructed and bumped up our longer runs on the weekends. We moved our long runs to San Francisco to train with a NIKE training group and became intimately familiar with Lover’s Lane and the Presidio. The final thing we did was have the utmost confidence that we were doing all we could to reach our goals. There wasn’t one conversation where we expressed doubts or fear about not reaching it. As any runner knows, you can train hard and have an off day during a race.
On race day, as we sat on Staten Island waiting for the cannon to fire, we gave each other a hug. We had done all we could do and unless there was a catstrophic failure of legs, body or spirit, we would have a good race. I crossed at 4:25 and Lisa hit the tape at 4:50.
Being a bit of a skeptic, I would like to say that the reason I cut over 30 minutes from my previous PR is because I ran my butt off. That’s a lot of it. But had I NOT looked at that silly post-it glued to my Vision Board every single day for 11 months, I wonder if the outcome would have been the same.
Run strong and don’t forget to have fun!