All or Nothing

Does anybody else immediately think of O-Town when you hear the phrase “All or Nothing”?

'Cuz I want it all, or nothing at all...

Oh please please tell me why those see-through tank tops were ever considered an acceptable “fashion” choice for men in boy bands.

As much as I love to reminisce about the good old days of NSYNC vs. BSB, Hanson, and 98*, I’m talking about the “All or Nothing” mentality when it comes to running (any any exercise for that matter).

One of my friends from college sent me this article today –

4 Stunning Revelations An Idiot Has About Running

The article is written in a humorous way, but it definitely struck quite a few familiar chords. By outward appearance alone, I would have never put myself in the “out of shape” category, but the fact that I used to get winded climbing the 2 flights of stairs to my finance class tell me otherwise.
Like the man in the article, I also thought being a “runner” was an all or nothing thing. You either ran 50 miles a week, signed up for multiple marathons at a time and ate plain chicken for every meal, or you weren’t a runner.
When I ran my first 5k in November 2009 I had never in my life run an entire mile without stopping. I was the asthmatic kid with an inhaler in every backpack/purse/medicine cabinet of everyone we knew. I think I attempted 2 runs before that 5k and ran maybe 4 straight minutes before I started panting and thinking I was having a heart attack.
That first 5k took me 36 painful minutes to complete. I remember it was obnoxiously hot for November and someone had barfed at the finish line and I had to hold back my desire to throw up as well. J and I ended up going to San Francisco the next day and if I sat down for more than 3 minutes it took me 16 minutes of stretching and small movements to be able to walk again:
That’s my “If-you-make-me-sit-back-down-I’m-not-going-to-be-able-to-get-up” face.
If someone had told me that weekend that in 2 years I would have completed a few more 5ks, knocked down my time by over 8 minutes and would be running 10 additional miles in a race I would have laughed in their face.
But here I am. I’m not the fastest, but 2011 Danica is a heck of a lot faster, stronger and having way more fun being active and healthy than 2009 Danica. My point is, like the article says, running and fitness are not All or Nothing activities. a 36 minute 5k now would make me want to punch kittens, but the fact that I got out and did it 2 years ago is great! No way was I going to be able to run a 28 minute 5k back then when I could barely run to the end of my street. It’s all about taking those little steps forward (no pun intended) and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone. I also think it’s very important to celebrate our small victories. I’m getting really nervous with the half coming up next Sunday (ahhhh!!) but I’m realizing now that I really shouldn’t be nervous because, like my first 5k, this is a no pressure race. I have no previous times to compare it to and I’ve never run 13.1 miles before. Finishing the race will be a total victory for me. And after this first one, then I can begin to focus on chipping away at those minutes in my next half marathon.
What was your first big running/fitness accomplishment? Or any big accomplishment you feel like sharing – we all deserve to brag a little 🙂


Filed under 5k, Half Marathons, Running

5 responses to “All or Nothing

  1. LOVE your blog and reading about your adventures 🙂 you’ll do great at the half…just remember not to go out too fast and hydrate! i just finished my first 13.1 in september in germany. let me know how you do and good luck!

  2. Ha! I love that you loved this article – I felt the exact same way about “All or Nothing”. It’s interesting too, I feel like I’ve come full circle. When I was out of shape, I followed the All or Nothing rule, mostly falling to Nothing. Then I got SUPER in shape and worked out like crazy for about a year, and once my gym moved and I moved I feel like part of me has been back in the All or Nothing rule. Slowly bringing myself out of it though 🙂

    I’d say my first big fitness accomplishment was completing P90X last year, and then Warrior Dash and Spartan Race, the two 5k mud runs from this year. Super Spartan in January will be 8.5 miles and if I don’t die, that’ll be a great accomplishment!

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