Journey to a half marathon: Michelle Findlay
Follow Michelle’s journey as we work together to crush her goal of completing her first half marathon in June 2017!
Michelle is sharing regular updates on her progress through our in-person and online coaching sessions, utilizing my goal setting principles to break through to the next level.
Michelle’s SMART goal:
I will run a 2hr flat ½ marathon on June 3, 2017.
Why I hired Bruce:
I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to live a more fulfilled life. A life full of happiness, gratitude, fulfillment. A life where not only do I reach the goals I set, but I crush them. I have had many setbacks while working towards this life and over the past few months, I realize that I shouldn’t have to do it on my own. Yes, the work is my work to do, but having a coach and mentor who I can connect with, that’s when I really strive harder to hit and, even, exceed my goals.
I met Bruce at my gym. It is so inspiring watching him crush his workouts! There was a workout that I had already written myself off for and Bruce helped me strategize and pushed me at the end when normally I would stop. I blew away my previous score and the goal I had set for myself. I knew then that Bruce was the coach for me.
What I would like to get out of the coaching:
Well, I WILL crush that 2-hour ½ marathon goal! I want to have more confidence and belief in myself that I can achieve far more in life than that which I have limited myself to. I want to learn the strategies to successfully accomplishing a goal so that I can apply them to all areas of my life. I want to learn how to stop the self-sabotage talk that I have mastered and which continues to limit my potential. Lastly but just as important, I want self-growth. To push myself beyond the barriers that I’ve set for myself.
I was nervous heading into my first session with Bruce. This whole process is completely out of my comfort zone. I’ve been told I’m a very coachable person but I’ve always been a “do it on my own” kind of girl. But recently, I started realizing that my methods weren’t getting me to my goals.
Once we got through the “Getting to Know you” stage, we started talking about my goal to run a half marathon. I told Bruce that I was always the person that avoided running, lots of excuses. Recently, I have found a real passion for running which prompted my 2017 goal. Never in my life would I have believed I could run that distance. But here I am.
We reviewed the goal and changed my language when speaking to my goal. I find now that when I speak of various things I stop using “hope” or “if”. Instead, I now say “will” or “when.” This is a big step for me. We also outlined the steps I would take to reach my goal. This was very helpful as I really had no idea where to start. Some of those steps needed to be started right away and some are more for the month before the race. As we went through this process, I could envision what the next 4 months were going to look like.
I was assigned some homework and off we went. At the end of the session, I felt a wave of confidence that my goal is truly reachable.
Some thoughts and reflections from this session:
- The honeymoon is definitely over
- A very emotional session for me
- Coming to grips and facing the “Shtuff” in my boat that stops me from completing all that I set out to do
- Bit of a reality check
- We talked about ways to overcome or even disable those people/voices that mess with my confidence
- I have used my “touch” in other areas of my life to bring me back into focus
- Good discussion on overtraining. Listen to my body NOT my mind…
- and never be afraid to ask for help
This session was not quite as emotional as session 2 was. Although we reviewed the last session, I felt much more comfortable talking about the “items in my boat” because I put them out there, into the universe.
Bruce asked how I was dealing with “what’s in my boat”. I admitted that I was having difficulty finishing the letter to my ex, who has been a voice in my head creating self-doubt on many journeys. I have committed to completing that letter before our next session. This commitment will push me through the roadblocks and procrastination I’ve been putting up for myself.
We talked about my health business, Isagenix, and what I want, not hope, to achieve with it. I told Bruce about an amazing conversation that I had with my husband about the future of my health business and the vision I have for it with Isagenix. He was so supportive and contributed some really awesome ideas!
I can’t believe the comfort level in discussing so many things. It’s so easy to be open and honest in these sessions. The more open and honest I am, the more clear my head becomes and those barriers/obstacles I’ve built for myself are becoming weaker.
Going into this session I had kind of given Bruce the heads up that my motivation had disappeared. That I had forgotten my why. That I was opting out or making excuses for training. My body was feeling beaten up from the Open and the thought of getting up and running just made my body hurt more. Then a tragic situation unfolded in my family and threw me right off course.
I met with Bruce the day after learning about the tragedy. We talked about my goal, was the Half marathon still a goal? Yes! Ok, so what did I need to get back on track? First of all get up and move even when you don’t want to. Also, accountability works well with me. A daily check-in.
Bruce called this the “Not so Sexy” stage of the game. The time when you really need to find a way to push through. The other task I was left with was to start tracking my pace numbers. Build an excel spreadsheet and plug in my numbers so that I know if I’m on track for the time goal I set for myself. So, getting up and moving even on rest days, checking in with Bruce on training days and plotting my pace numbers is on the menu!
Bruce’s take: Your Plans vs. the Universe’s Plans
That “girl on fire” feeling… well, it was as great as I thought it was going to be. I managed to train the first 2 days of the week. Woke up exhausted on day 3 so took a rest day. Unfortunately, the flu then hit my house. My oldest was super sick for 48 hours. This translates into no training time and no rest time for mom.
As the week went on, I continued to feel tired and sick myself. So took the rest of the week off the gym and running. The following week I went to the gym a few times and got 4 runs in! I was so happy with how things were going. I had my 5th session with Bruce that week. I was still not really feeling myself. We talked about what my game plan is so that I continue to move forward.
I told Bruce the plan is to focus on the run training. On run days, use the gym for mobility at lunch so that I’m still going and not getting in the habit of not going. Even work on strength work and not focus on the WODs. We talked about how my business progress was going. I had great feedback from my test group and yet, I had nothing new to report. I was given homework to read Integrity Selling.
I had full intentions of continuing with my progress from the previous week. Instead, I was back to feeling crushed. Until Friday when I ran my first 16k. I decided to run the Georgian Trail and as I got going I thought “why don’t I run this more often?” It’s so beautiful and peaceful. So that initial “I don’t feel like doing this right now” feeling, quickly turned to “I’m loving this!”
I had never run this far before. My lungs felt great, my legs a little rough. But overall, very happy with how that run went. I may not be hitting my ideal pace but I now know that the distance isn’t going to be an issue. It’s such a great feeling after the rough ride the last few weeks.
The final week leading into the race, I felt myself self-sabotaging. Not in previous forms but it was obvious that this old habit did not go away. I had trouble sleeping, eating, sticking to a routine. I struggled to find three things a day I was grateful for. The night before the race, I felt myself getting anxious, wanting to find a reason why I couldn’t run the next day. I actually visited this very page and read through all the session notes. I thought of three things, wrote them down, and went to bed.
Day of the race
I got up race morning and my belly was actually okay; I didn’t really have too many nervous feelings. I headed to my office where I was meeting a colleague that signed up to run the race as well. I arrived early and that’s when it started to kick in. Chris arrived and off we went. I think I chatted his poor ear off most of the way but he knew how nervous I was!
We arrived at Earl Rowe park and picked up our bibs. We headed off to the washrooms and then did some stretching. We took in our scenery. It was gorgeous! I started to feel a little more relaxed. I’m usually pretty good at using natural surroundings for taking my mind off things. Last trip to the loo and off to the start/finish line we headed. He was out to set a new half PR and, well, I guess so was I! The race started and I turned my music on.
Though the first 10k I just let myself soak everything in. My surroundings, the people around me. I thought I had found my pace bunny. However, after that 10k and the folks running a 10k came into play with their fresh legs, that’s when the s@#$ started in my head. Everything I had trained myself to do when this happened went right out the window. I tried looking at my surroundings and embracing them. I tried to think of why the heck I was there to begin with. I tried to focus on Katy Perry’s ROAR. Instead, I started to hear that inner critic creep into my thoughts.
At 15.5k, I had to stop running and walk. Then my angel arrived. This 20-something girl came up from behind me and said: “Hit your wall?” She went on to talk about how the 10kers passing us is a real mental game and that we have to remember that we’ve already run 10k. We exchanged names and she said “I’m going to stay with you, Michelle. You ARE going to finish your first half today!” So we started running again. We were doing really well until I saw the last water station. The 10kers were turning back to the finish line. I thought, “Awesome!! We are almost done. I can see the finish line.” Then I saw the half folks in front of us run past the water station in another direction. I guess the little out and back to make up the 1.5 difference… I stopped and bent over. I was sure I was going to throw up.
“S@#$ Lindsay! Do we have to do that out and back again?” “Yep, and you’re just fine. Let’s go see Lewis at the water station and then keep going.” So we said hello, I dumped some water on my head and away we went. That’s when Lindsay told me the story of how she knew Lewis – he was her first half angel. I looked at her and thought “Yep, she’s my Lewis. Let’s go!”
As we got closer, I could feel my legs speeding up. My colleague, Chris, and his dad were about 700m out ready to cheer me on. Chris said “You’ve got this Michelle! Camryn and Ciara [my kids] are waiting for you at the finish line.” That’s when everything I had left in the tank kicked in. I stood taller and I sped up. One of the volunteers was cheering so loudly when I was coming in, I felt like a rockstar. Then I heard my husband say, “Here comes Mommy.” I saw my 3-year-old dancing and yelling “Go, mommy!” I felt like my legs were going to give out the minute I crossed the line. Instead, there were hugs and “I’m proud of you.” I took my shoes off, tried walking around, but really couldn’t even think straight. I had a banana, said goodbye to everyone and headed home.
What happened after…
At first, I went through an “all that training and it was all done by 10:30?” kind of feeling. I was upset that I had to walk little bits of it. I was happy-ish with my time. Then thought, really? Are you kidding me? I finished!! The girl who quit finished!! What was my problem? My husband said, “how many 5ks have you run?” “Well, I haven’t actually run a 5k. Just a couple of 5k obstacles.” “So, how many 10ks have you run?” “Um, none.” “Exactly!” So, I got over it. I crossed that finish line thinking “I am NEVER doing that again. That SUCKED!” However, by Monday night, I was checking out the half route for the Run Blue Mountains in October 😉