What do you Need to Succeed?

Posts tagged ‘achievement’

This Girl Here Finished a Half Marathon!!! Woo-Hoo!!

me with ctc cap before raceBack in November I completed the Destination Races Temecula Half Marathon at the South Coast Winery.  As my friends who are active half and full marathon participants have called it, it was my “first” half marathon.  I, however, have not decided if I will put myself through that again!  I have such mixed emotions about it.  I learned a couple of really cool things about myself through this experience.  But first, Ill tell you a bit about the experience…..

I signed up for this race with a friend who I wanted to run a race with a few years ago, but a ligament injury got in the way.  My friend went on to run that particular race and has since completed several half marathons.  Last March, she basically said, “Colleen, you keep talking about wanting to run a Half, here’s one in Temecula – let’s sign up!” So, we did, and I began training.  My friend actually had to cancel herself out of the race soon after signing up when she realized she would be out of the state at a family function that day.  I decided to go it alone and just try to complete this personal goal I’ve had for a few years.

I’ve been running for many many years, but never more than about 4 miles with the exception of one 10K (6m) race a few years ago.  I found a training guide online and began following it.  I did really well for the first few months.  On my 44th birthday in August, I ran 8.4 miles around Mission Bay.  As a side note, I have a tradition of going for a powerful run on my birthday – it doesn’t always have to be long, but I like to do some sort of local destination run – I started on my 40th birthday, so it felt great to run this far on my 44th!! I was on FIRE!

But then…..I took a series of trips to visit family and for work training.  I was away at least one week of Aug, Sept, and Oct.  This threw my training off.  It was no one’s fault but my own.  I didn’t run nearly as much as I should have during these months.  In fact, my birthday run remained my farthest run until the actual day of the race. Because my training was not up to par, I decided 3 weeks before the race to really put it into full gear – and I did, but actually did some temporary damage by doing too much too soon.  I set 6 miles as my shortest runs and within the first 10 days of heavy training again, I found I had some severe metatarsal pain. I sought out the advice of a couple of personal trainer pals and the result was that I was not going to run until the race.  The thinking was that since I know I can do at least the 8.4 miles, if I take care of my body, I should be able to get through the race the next week.

Well, the couple of days before the race, I found myself extremely anxious- I’m not usually an anxious person, so, I focused on positive intentions of completing the race – that was the intention – I let go of needing to complete it within a certain time or even holding myself to running the entire course – I just wanted to complete it – period. Well, I did complete it.  I set a personal record of running 10 miles without stopping.  Oh, but wait! I bet you’re thinking – “Uh, Colleen, a Half Marathon is 13.1 miles, not 10!” Right you are! But first things first – I RAN 10 MILES!!!! HOLY COW! OK…and then the metatarsal pain kicked in so badly I had to walk the next 2 miles.  Those were pretty slow miles – I had to keep stopping to stretch the bottom of my feet to lessen the pain.  Then, at the beginning of mile `12, I thought, “I got this! I can run the last 1.1 miles!” Well, my mind was definitely fighting against my body – I tried to jog and realized I was so dehydrated that my calves started to seize and cramp, so I was left to walk to the finish line.  Ah well – crossing the finish line did happen, but the screaming rock star I envisioned myself to be in my fantasies wasn’t there.  The scream was more of a cry of relief when I saw my husband standing there waiting for me.   I remember just grabbing his shoulders and crying – there were definitely tears of pride and joy in there, mixed with ones of fear because my body never really felt the way it did for about the past hour.   There was a party going on at the winery.  People looked happy.  There was live music.  Lots of racers were walking around with their complimentary wine and goodie bags.  Me?  I collapsed on the ground and hoped no one would step on me while I tried to talk my body into calming down! It eventually did and about 20 minutes after I finished the race, I requested that we just pick up our belongings at the hotel and head on home because I wanted to go to bed…no after-race party for me!…lol..After dealing with a few hours of severe dehydration, my body was quite fine and I was quite proud of my accomplishment 🙂

Here’s what I learned about the experience:

1.  There’s no such thing as drinking too much water! (Seriously!)

2.  For as much as I didn’t gracefully run across the finish line as I dreamed of, I still hit a very significant personal best of running the 10 miles.

3.  I was able to let go of needing to finish by a certain time or needing to run the entire race.  I always hold myself to very high standards.  I can be very self-critical.  In this case, the needs of my body over-ruled whatever I wanted to put it through to meet my goal – and that was OK. If I want to do this again in the future (notice I said do, not try) I will definitely be prepared to train more consistently – that lesson was definitely learned!

4.  Before the race, I would say, “I’m training for my first half marathon” rather than “I’m training for a half marathon” – like this was just the beginning…lol….I think for now, I’m good with just one – that is something new for me –  my competitive nature usually forces my hand in these situations, but I’m going to sit with this accomplishment for now and enjoy it for what it is before I move on to the next 🙂

CoachingThroughChaos.com

Colleen Mullen, Psy.D., LMFT

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How will you build your happy cage?

A lot of talk in recovery work deals with “building a positive (& sober) support network” and there is a concept called “re-joyment” – essentially it’s teaching addicts in recovery how to have a good time or recognize fun when they experience it.  When people have been addicted to substances, they are used to such dopamine overloads in their mind, that when life returns to “normal” and they don’t have such stimulation, it can sometimes be difficult for one to recognize a sense of what “joy” or “fun” feels like. When I have taught Drug & Alcohol Counseling courses, I used an example of the football game: Very often addicts/alcoholics were used to supporting their teams through  hours-long tailgating with lots of alcohol (which also increases the brains release of dopamine) & alcohol throughout the game.  When they are sober, they have to “re-learn” how to participate at a game & what exactly they are feeling.  People DO go to football games without drinking AND they may even tailgate without alcohol, but for the alcoholic in recovery, this is a new concept to them.  This is why the positive support network has been a positive part of recovery.

The article linked below provides new support for the positive supportive environment & it’s role in helping addicts stay clean.  It reminded me of the expression: “Happy Wife, Happy Life” 🙂 Researchers found that when rats who were previously addicted to drug-infused water and isolative environments, they got addicted, but when they gave them the same water paired with other rats they could interact with, even after being “addicted”, they were ale to stop drinking the drug-infused water.  The article notes that in a preliminary study with combat veterans, when they were addicted overseas in combat, they could more easily leave the addiction behind when they were back home in happier environments.  The article posits that, like the rats who did better in more hospitable cage environments, we humans can design our cages (or support networks) in happier ways that could lead to more positive outcomes for a person’s recovery from addiction.

This post was inspired by someone dear to me who is trying to learn about their own venture into addiction and how to stay sober and I just want to publicly note how thrilled to know she is surviving and learning through her sobriety 🙂

http://elitedaily.com/news/world/scientists-may-discovered-real-cause-addiction/915030/

Please like & share as you see fit!

If you would like more information on addiction resources or counseling/coaching support, please contact me through my website at CoachingThroughChaos.com

What seems impossible to you?

it always seems impossible until its doneThe range of variability in what one views as impossible never ceases to amaze me! From house chores to bungee jumping – it’s all relative to the individual.  What seems impossible to you? Planning on taking on an “impossible” task this weekend, or sometime soon?

Got Motivation?

got motivationMonday’s post was about making “1 small change” to help you find your motivation.  If you commit to that and find even that is a struggle, I provide coaching and counseling services that can help with that! Don’t hesitate to reach out!

My website is CoachingThroughChaos.com

1 Small Change: What is lack of self-motivation holding you back from?

i got 99 problems lack of self motivation is causingWe all struggle at some point in time with gathering up the motivation we need to achieve what we want to.   Is there something you can do differently just one day this week that will get you closer to a goal you have for yourself?  Here are some small ways to make changes:

If you want to save money, but you buy coffee every day: Can you skip the coffee run 1 day this week and leave that $5.00 in your account?

If you want to get a new job, but don’t think you have the time to address this:  Can you search the internet for 1 hour, 1 night this week and decide to email your resume to just 1 place during that hour?

If you want to exercise, but haven’t “found the time”: Can you plan ahead before you go to work 1 day this week and pack your sneakers.  Decide to take a 20 minute walk around your employer parking lot (even if that’s all you have access to) during your lunch hour.

I recognize that these are small and basic examples, but sometimes we don’t realize how small changes can lead to more regular habits.  I’m positive you will feel better when you hold yourself to 1 small change – just for this week!

P.S. When you realize you felt better making the “1 small change”, try it again next week….& the week after…& the week after that…&….. 🙂 Best wishes for success!

CoachingThroughChaos.com

Please Listen in! I’m going to be on ESPN Radio This Weds 1/14/15 !!

I’m going to be an in-studio guest on “Real Talk San Diego” this Weds. 1/14/15 from 1-2pm PST.  Ill be talking a bit about what I do and will also be sharing about how to help tend to your emotions through a financial crisis! Please Tune in!

http://www.espnradio1700.com/real-talk-san-diego-1-2pm-weekdays/

You can follow Real Talk San Diego on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/RealTalkSanDiego

Please Tune In!

If you like what you hear or see on my blog, you can now follow it by signing up for email updates at: https://coachingthroughchaos.wordpress.com/

Thanks so much for your support!

CoachingThroughChaos.com

colleen at xmas

Dr. Colleen Mullen, Psy.D., LMFT

Commitment to yourself….

committment means staying loyalThe reason why so many “New Year’s Resolutions”  fail is because people make their declarations in a surge of emotions filled with hopefulness about the new year, then once that surge passes & they get back into the daily routine of life, they don’t have the motivation to keep the resolution.  When you decide to make a commitment to yourself, you need to decide that even when you don’t feel like it, or when nobody’s looking, you will still hold yourself to your word. Best wishes to your success!

CoachingThroughChaos.com