Commit to Something: NYRR’s 9+1 program

“It’s supposed to suck.” Mike and I have been saying this to each other lately, before we go to the gym, while working out, in the middle of a run. We say it generally about exercise and the discomfort involved but it just as easily applies to life itself. Lately I’ve been finding that the more discomfort I push through in my daily life, the more joy and excitement and gratitude I feel. This half marathon is a good example. I wasn’t thrilled to be training in the dark months of winter and even on the day before the race I told a friend: “I just want it to be over so I can stop running.” And then the next day I PR’ed my previous time by almost 7 minutes. And it was this resounding “Yes!” in response to this question I’ve been asking myself for months: Am I in the best shape of my life?

Yes. Physically I’m strong. And fast. Im exercising almost every day…hard. I’m eating well and drinking alcohol much less than I used to. And mentally I’m strong. I’m getting enough sleep. I’m meditating daily and it’s giving me the ability to control my mind’s reactions, keep doubt and anxiety in check, the ability to persevere and stick to a routine that’s working.

Meditation has also helped me to get know my mind and it’s tendencies, good and bad. And I know now that having these races to train for is helping me. It’s keeping me on track, keeping me moving. Keeping me running and strength training and going to bed early. It’s part of the complex equation I’ve found to keep my body and mind happy.

So I signed up for the 9+1 NYRR program. 9 road races this year and I can run the NY marathon in 2020. It’ll be a lot of really early morning traveling to Central Park and I’m sure over the year I’ll be very annoyed that I’ve committed myself to it. It’s going to suck. And it’s going to be great.

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