Sunday, June 24, 2012

four down... sixteen to go...

I did it. I am alive. I conquered the rolling hills of the Canton Marathon.

Three weeks out from race day I decided to look at the course map. I usually don’t do this because I’d rather have it be surprise where I’m running. When I signed up for this race, for whatever reason, I thought it was a flat course. WRONG. I saw the elevation chart and about peed in my luon pants. Already having slacked on training a bit, I went completely below the line. I was eating fear for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. People would ask are you ready? Are you excited? And my response would be, “uhhhh… yeah.”

It’s so funny how we can trick ourselves into thinking we can’t do something. I could have backed out. I could have transferred my registration to the half marathon but I didn’t. This was my “Do one thing a day that scares you.” I was flying to Ohio to be with friends and family. I couldn’t NOT do it.

So, the week before I stocked up on healthy pre made meals from MyFitFoods and bought $25 worth of electrolyte enhanced water from Whole Foods, as well as coconut water and chia kombucha tea. I popped 2-3 Emergen-C packets a day (way more than you need I promise) and knew that if I did everything I could to physically prepare myself all I’d have to worry about was my mind.

Marathons are 95% mental toughness, 5% physical.

My alarm went off at 4:15am and I’m up. I’m shaking. I can’t let anyone know how nervous I am right now. I eat a pack of black cherry shot blocks as we zip away to the start line. I kiss my husband and hug my family. Here we go.

I was fortunate enough to have a good college friend with me running the half we paced together with solid 10 minute miles for the first 6 of the course. Then she broke off and I entered the point of no return.

Mile 14. Shit, what was that? My left foot started to hurt and my toes went numb. The hills we’re getting to me. I’d been to Canton a million times and never noticed this? A couple miles later the pain subsided but in the back of my mind all I was thinking about was the fact I may have a stress fracture.

Mile 18. Here comes the rain. For about 20 minutes I was pelted in the face by rain drops. My shoes we’re soggy, feet numb. I had to keep chugging along. The rain water was pooling in my ears and my left ear bud stopped working. I didn’t really care much about my iPod, if the rain ruined it so be it. I had to keep running.

Mile 23. Oh… my… God. Should I move to the side of the road and die? The “wall” people talk about was here, much later than I’ve ever experienced it before. I saw a man put on a stretcher and I wished it were me. Noises we’re coming out of my mouth I’d never heard before. Right around this time I came up next to a guy who asked me if I was okay. He also appeared to me in great shape but limping a little. “Yeah, just locking up a bit” was my response. He said, “Yeah, I’m pretty sure I just blew out my knee. I just need to finish this thing.” Oh my god, how hard core is he? We wished each other well and I trotted off ahead.

That the thing about most runners. What I love so much. We’re hard core. We don’t know how to give up. We could have blood coming out of our ears and we’d still want to finish the damn race. Everyone is so supportive of each other on the course. “Are you okay? You got this! Come on! Almost there!” It’s all you hear… and it’s enough to get to you to the end.

The Canton Marathon finish was one of the best in my opinion. It didn’t feel like it dragged on forever. Sometimes the finish will twist and turn and feel like a damn obstacle course. The finish line was on the field of Fawcett Staduim at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. My new thing now is crying when I get close to the end. I think its the crowd support. Everyone wants you to cross that line, receive that gorgeous hunk of metal. I’m not sure if it’s the pain or not but tears stream down my cheeks. I see my family, I hear my name being called.

I cross the finish.

I almost collapse. I suddenly feel so sick. I’m cold and wet. My dad wraps a solar blanket around me and I block out my surroundings for a few minutes. People we’re talking to me but I honestly don’t remember a whole lot of it.

I did it. I feel sick and can’t walk very well but I did it. And 4 minutes off from my PR none the less! With all the hills I’d like to think I could have done this race in 4:30:00 if it were flat. I didn’t expect to be as fast as I was for this race. My average was under 11 minute miles the whole time. You can really make up speed on those down hills (and boy, were there a lot of those)

I’m happy to report that nothing is broken or fractured in my foot. I just strained some tissue and ligaments. I’ll be back at it in a few weeks. Enjoy the photo of my giant sausage foot J

I’m going to take a tiny break from marathons. I’ll get after it again in January.

Stay tuned…
Liz and I around mile 6.

#sausagefoot #isthata300lbmanfoot?

Sweet, sweet, victory.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

so you want to be a goal coach...

I’ve been asked by several folks lately “how do I goal coach someone?”While it may seem like some difficult task, it’s actually really easy. All you need to do to commit to helping others reach their fullest potential is listen, listen, listen… and ask questions.

First step is to set up a time to meet. I love coffee dates. Or Whole Foods dates. Sharing coffee is one of my favorite things to do… goal talk or not.

To prep someone to be goal coached you just need to let them know to leave all their “ifs, ands, & buts” at the door. They are not welcomed here. We need to start from a place of “anything and everything is possible.”

I like to get to know what is most important to people. A person’s core values should be at the heart of all of their goals. Examples of a core value are: expression, family, experience, love, balance. A core value is something that a person would fight to the death for- something that can’t be taken away from them. Let’s role play:

Sam: What is one of your core values?

Lady Gaga: Family.

Sam: What is it about family? Unpack that for me.

Lady Gaga: I can always count on my family. They don’t judge me. I can confide anything in them.

Sam: Good. Non- judgment. Trust. Loyalty. Commitment.

Lady Gaga: Yeah, loyalty and commitment. I would do anything for them and I know they would do anything for me.

Do you see how I un-rooted a deeper value for Lady Gaga? The words loyalty and commitment for Lady Gaga made her heart sing! It sat really well and captured the essence of why family is so important to her. These words excited her and from here we can set really powerful and intentional goals that are in line with what is most important to her.

Next, talk about vision.  In one of my previous blog posts I talk about vision setting. It’s about setting your mind free to wander and lust for the future you’ve always wanted. It may be hard to do a vision exercise in public (noise and what not) but ask them who they see when they picture themselves 10 years from now. What do they look like? Who are they with? How do they feel? How do they make money? What do they do in their free time? We set our goals to get us to where we want to be in 10 years so this step is really important. You’ll probably come across folks who say they “don’t know what they want in 10 years.” Ask them what they are afraid of? You’ll never get what you want if you don’t put it out into the world. Ouch, that stings!

Now to the good stuff…as if it wasn’t juicy enough already! GOALS! I like to start 10 years out and work backwards.  When phrasing goals, have the person use the “I am, by when” method. Literally fill in the blanks… I am ___ by ____. Speaking as if we already own that goal and putting a date on when will be what keeps us tied to our word.

Example: I own a beachfront property by June 2022

Okay, so what do we need to get there? Do we need money to buy it? Yes, probably. Is that inspiring? Not really. Maybe you’ve acquired your dream job in 5 years and it brings in the money you need for your beach front property.

Example: I am a writer for the New York Times by January 2017

Great! So what steps do you need to take NOW to get you to your dream job? Maybe you’ve never written anything? Maybe you’ve started a blog?

Example: I have 2000 followers on my blog by December 2012.

This means people enjoy reading your writing. It’s a platform for you to practice your craft.

Can you see the trickle down affect? Each one of those goals is in line with each other and is uniquely inspiring all on their own. A lot of times people just write a whole bunch of goals they don’t have a lot of cohesion.  Your job as their goal coach is to help them with this. Be their guide to their own future. They are driving but you are helping navigate their dreams.

Goal setting works best when you set 1, 5 and 10 year goals. Do you have to stick to this method? No. Should they all be career focused? No. That wouldn’t create balance in a person’s life and that is really important. I find it best to merge the following categories while goal coaching: personal, health, and career. Because you know their core values you’ll see a common thread between all the three.

There is no perfect formula to being a goal coach. It’s really about having a conversation that is completely dedicated to the person you’re coaching. Once you’ve set powerful goals with them your job is not over. Follow up with them regularly. Offer your support. Make sure they are taking actions NOW that will get them to their goals.

Now you have the tools. Go out there and change the world one goal at a time.


Monday, June 4, 2012

goals on crack...

Recently,  I had the pleasure of attending a meet up led by one of the most influential leaders within lululemon athletica right now. The topic was goals. There we’re probably 40 or 50 of us sitting on the floor with healthy snacks and plenty of water. Mostly employees but also some of our most loved community members.

We started off by getting grounded in what we wanted to get out of the night. People said things like, “I want to write goals for myself and not my husband… I want goals that inspire me. I want to know how to take action on the goals I’ve set.”

If you don’t know what your vision is for your life it’s kind of hard to write goals that can take you there. Our leader had us get comfortable, lie down, take a couple of deep breaths, and close our eyes. She then led us through a vision exercise where we imagined ourselves leaping out of our body and up into the atmosphere where we had a bird’s eye view of the world.  We imagined a bright beam of light that took us back down to the earth but when we landed it was the year 2022. She guided us through questions on where, who, what we were doing in that time. What did it look like, smell like, taste like? How did we feel in that moment? Happy, relaxed, excited? Then she told us to look at that person and say, “I’m proud of you. What do I need to do right now to be where you are in 2022?”

When we came out of the exercise there was time to share. It was beautiful hearing people’s visions. Nothing seemed impossible… for anyone. The versions of our futures selves ignited something in us all. For some it was excitement, others fear and anxiety.  Because we’re all afraid of failure…we’re human, after all.

What is your vision for you like 10 years from now? If you have a hard time imagining it, ask yourself, what am I afraid of? You don’t need to think of all that could get in the way of your achieving what you want. We’ll work on the obstacles later. Put down on paper exactly what you want for yourself 10 years from now. It can be ANYTHING. Go… write down what you want for your future.