September 3, 2012

Rules of the Race: ROW80

Yesterday, I ran 13.1 miles after months of training. It was a very humid and hot day even at 7am when the race started in Virginia Beach. I was sweating before the race began.

A couple of years ago I promised myself I would finish a half marathon sometime in my 40th year. Mission accomplished. I also promised myself I'd finish the sequel to Depression Cookies in my 40th year... 11 months and counting.

Training for a race was exhausting and full of ups and downs, but it taught me a lot about life and writing.

My Depression Cookies medal and Half Marathon medal

1. You Can't Prepare for Everything, But You Can Prepare
You can't know every challenge you'll face, but you can prepare in the best way possible. Even though my running partner and I ran in heat and humidity, we never ran 13 miles in it. But we prepared mentally and physically for a grueling race and it paid off.

We can't predict life, but we can plan to make writing such a priority that life can only make us slow down... not quit.

2. Don't Race Out of the Gate, Conserve Your Energy
It's so easy to get caught up in the energy of the runners and take off at the sound of the starting gun. But 13 miles is a long way. Same in writing, it's easy to see other writers setting word count goals and jump on board, fist pumping and excited. In the end, you want to be able to finish.

3. Don't Worry About People Passing You at Mile One
Because it's more important to run your race, your way. Plus, the people who start off without being practical, might just see you move past them at mile 12 or 13.

Along the course, my running partner and I were amazed at how many people we were passing. People who looked like amazing athletes. They warned us at the starting gate to take it easy with the humidity, suggesting to back off your normal times. Clearly a lot of people didn't listen and gave out.

4. Enjoy the Training and the Race
My sister, and 5-time marathon runner, gave me this advice while I was training: long, slow runs should be enjoyed. These runs build endurance and should be the one training run you look forward to.

What's the point of all the mental and physical preparation if you don't enjoy it? Sometimes I get so caught up in the goals and numbers, I forget to simply enjoy it.

5. Bring it!
On race day, you have to bring your A game as best you can. It's best to surround yourself with people who are cheering for you and rooting for your success. Same with writing, surround yourself with positive writers who support you (like ROW80!). It'll give you the encouragement you need during the rough spots (or hills!).

If you give it your all, you'll be proud of the final result.


My A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) Update

A day late thanks to my race, but still kicking. I'm going for the short update. On the writing front, I discussed my book with a fellow author and got some valuable and energizing input. Much needed. Kept to my hour of novel time on Thursday and Friday, but was not for my marathon weekend. It is still my goal to finish DCII before I turn 41!

Editing is cruising along, even with the weekend break, but a bit behind in reading and social media. Tomorrow is my makeup day, because the kids will be back in school and my mental energy will no longer be focused on my race.

I hope everyone had an amazing Labor Day weekend filled with friends, family, and words (whether writing or reading.)

Oh, and just in case you missed it yesterday, Depression Cookies got a great review here. Please check it out!


Kate @ Teaching What Is Good said...

I'M SO PROUD OF YOU!!! Great words of encouragement!! Praying for the completion of the book!! ;-)

Jo Michaels said...

CONGRATULATIONS! Holy cow at your success! I hope you realize what a huge achievement running that half marathon is. Writing a book is babycakes in comparison :) WRITE ON!

Shan Jeniah Burton said...

Tia -

I love how your running has fueled your writing, and you are translating your successful completion of a grueling goal to a sense of power and capability at achieving other goals.

I am very intuitive, and I sense things about people in the language they use and they way they use it.

I have no doubts at all that you will complete your writing goal, as well.

It's a different type of half-marathon, but you already possess all you need to reach that finish line, too -

You have you! =D

Julie Glover said...

What great, practical advice! You drew some wonderful comparisons between running (which I hate) and writing (which I love). I especially liked the advice to run your own race. Sometimes, other writers swear by their process and want to thrust it upon everyone else. But bestselling authors are all over the place on how they write. We just need to run our own race.

Best wishes getting the writing done with the kids in school. The school routine has definitely helped my to-do list!

Tia Bach said...

Thanks so much, Kate.

Jo, So sweet. I'm glad I can now mentally focus on writing again.

Shan, What a lovely thing to say. I feel so encouraged!

Julie, I get too caught up in how fast others are, etc, and I have to learn to go my own pace and be proud of my own accomplishments. Thanks!

Andrea Westphal said...

I'm sorry, I meant to stop by and congratulate you on this amazing accomplishment when I first read your blog post, but I find that the ROW80 check-ins come up so fast...But better late than never, I hope. CONGRATULATIONS on completing your first half-marathon. What a tremendous victory! Good for you.

Tia Bach said...

Thanks so much, Andrea!