My Pity-Party Is Over--It's Time To Get Serious

By , SparkPeople Blogger
My brief interaction with a fellow runner a few weeks ago has changed my attitude about running, at a time when I needed it the most.

As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I'm running the Chicago Marathon this Sunday. Training for a marathon is a long process (about 18 weeks), and definitely has its ups and downs. Some weeks, my runs go great and I feel like the race will be a success. Other weeks, my runs are terrible and I start to wonder if I'll be able to finish. Having done this type of training program before, I know that's part of the process.

A few weeks ago, I had a series of pretty terrible runs. And because of that, I started having an internal pity-party that lasted a lot longer than it should have. I started telling myself that these runs were harder for me than the average person. I have young kids, I'm still nursing one of them, I don't get much time to myself, I don't have the time to train as much as I should have, blah, blah, blah. The list could go on and on. My motivation and confidence started to wane, and instead of enjoying the training process, I started to dread it.

Then something happened. I was at mile 18 of my 22-mile run, telling myself it was okay to walk instead continuing to push through the fatigue. I started walking up a hill (which felt like a mountain, but was really a small grade), when I saw a man running in front of me. He was probably in his late 70s or early 80s, shuffling along, braces on each knee, but continued running when I had chosen to walk. Finally I picked up the pace, and eventually came up behind him. As I passed by, he waved and said "Hello." When I asked "How are you doing?" his response was "Pretty good for an old man!"

At that moment, I realized that everyone has their obstacles and I needed to stop internally whining about mine. We all have things that could stop us from reaching our goals or things that make reaching those goals a little more challenging. I'm not the only one, and my challenges aren't any bigger or smaller than anyone else's. I might be tired from being up late with a sick kid, but someone else might be just as tired from working late to meet a deadline at work. When you set a challenging goal for yourself, whether it's to run a marathon or lose 50 pounds, you know it's not going to be easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it.

So now it's time for me to focus on my goal and get serious about finishing this race. I might not be the next Deena Kastor (she's the American record-holder for the marathon and is also running in Chicago this Sunday), but I can finish strong and be proud of my accomplishments.

Have you ever had a pity-party for yourself when times got tough? What did you do to get yourself out of that mentality and back on track?

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DEE107 12/14/2019
thanks Report
KHALIA2 9/8/2019
Thanks! Report
True about fitness, but so very true about life in general. We WILL all face challenges. Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
great blog Report
great blog Report
Good blog. I now am going to start again in having more faith in GOD. Doctors have told me several times that I have End-Stage COPD and I will not LIVE past 6 months. I am in home Hospice care where all are trying best to make my dying comfortable.
After. reading this blog I am NOT going to lie back and wait to die.
I truly believe GOD controls how and when I will die, not the doctors. I know GOD gives me/us freewill to choose. So I am choosing faith in GOD to keep me alive for HIS purpose for me, just as HE has a purpose for each and everyone. I feel I am not don't my best for GOD or me or my family or anyone I am to help.
Dying is not an excuse to accept for me to just lie here on ventilator sadly waiting to die.
GOD is love. I am selfishly doing only for me when I believe the doctors cm tell me when I will die.
I will have faith GOD will improve my quality of life ONLY if I start doing more "right things", food choices,exercise,etc.
I need to quit lying here waiting to do and have faith in GOD that HE will give me wisdom, knowledge, strength to have abetter quality of life.
DEATH IS ONLY MY pitiful excuse to not doing all I can.
GOD bless all. Report
Great share, Thanks! Report
Lately I have found it harder and harder to stay down for long because I am really
pleased with my consistency. I have started exercising every day with my 13 y/o
son and 9 y/o daughter and all my focus is on being a good role model for them
and encouraging them to push themselves. Report
Thank you...thank you...thank you. While I haven´t been poor me,ing, I have been accepting that I 'just can´t do it in this environment' as easily as others can in the United States. But I can...I will...I must...The time has come for me to do it and be healthy. Report
In my first marathon near the 20 mile mark I was feeling very tired and sorry for myself. About that time a herd of 70-ish folks came along side of me and started trying to encourage me. It turns out that 3 of them were 50-staters meaning that they had run at least one marathon in each of the 50 states. They tried to get me to keep up with them. I was in my 30's then and just couldn't do it but they motivated me so much that I didn't even notice 2 miles go by and at that stage of the game that's saying a lot. Now, my goal in life is to get to that age still running and find some tired looking person in the crowd and motivate them. Report
This is an awesome blog... I am with you 100% with moving the obstacle of pity parties... and making things happen without using excuses...Pushing past pain, presevering through weariness, just to name a few. It is So and So It is!!! We are winners when we have an attitude shift... Read the bible for more inspiration and courage to conquer any goal you may have set for yourself.... Hebrews 12:1 ...Enjoy!! :)D Report
Great motivation. Thanks for sharing. And congrats on the finish in Chicago! Report
What a wonderfully well written example showing us that we all can accomplish our goals, regardless to the myriad of reasons each of us can sometimes come up with not to!!! I went through my own "pity party" of sorts just a few days ago and I'm so glad I found this blog entry bc it helps me to realize that what I went through isn't something other "winners" haven't experienced and overcome, too. Our best gift to ourselves at a pity party is to leave it . . . Report
Hope you did well at your marathon! Sounds like you had the motivation to finish strong :-D Report
I was at the marathon cheering people on this weekend! I hope you did great! Congratulations on such a great accomplishment! Report
Good luck in the marathon. My ex-step-daughter will be running and her father is going to be there from Detroit to cheer her on. I'm sure you've got your cheer squad handy. And we'll all be cheering from online SparkPeople. You'll do fine. Report
I read your blog post. I've been having a bit of a mental pity party and your post helped. Thanks! Report
Great story, good luck on Sunday! Report
Jen, just doing a marathon is fantastic! You're going to have a great run Sunday! and I know you'll be spreading the Spark! Report
Good luck - you can do it - remember, it's not the end that counts - it's the journey along the way that counts! Report
good luck sunday, jen! Report
Oh yeah I am a great pity-party giver! And always the good Lord puts someone in my path with real problems and a great attitude and I have to dust myself off and get on with my life. Report
Great article Jen! So true. Report
I'll be nearby in Kalamazoo, MI this Sunday visiting family...will be so WITH you in SPIRIT! You are gonna ROCK and SPARK the day away! Woo Hoo! :-)

Don, Co-Leader of All Health Professionals, Binghamton Area Losers and Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams Report
Thanks for the perspective :) Report
Oh my! I have pity parties too much. Always wanting to blame this, that, or someone for my failure to exercise, or overeating. And no one likes to attend someone else's pity party. Report
Great blog, I can certainly relate! Good luck on your marathon Sunday!! Do you know how cold it's going to be here in Chicago on Sunday? Brrr Report
At least I have some company--and good company, at that. I've been wallowing in self-pity lately. Marathon training seems to be going on forever and now that I'm running 20 miles, the aches and pains are escalating. I leaned on my friends at Spark People and they provided much needed support and inspiration. And, I ran into a former boss, now 82, who was on a relay team for a 50-mile ultra-marathon. The 8 men, ranging in age from 67 to 89, ran a fantastic race. They are very inspiring! Report
This was MORE than timely for me! Almost like you read my thoughts the past few days as I question my decision to try to be a "real" runner. Those "aha" moments of perspective as you experienced with the older gentleman on the hill, well, those moments have a tendency to put it ALL in perspective and to shut down the pity party. Awesome post! and Best of Luck and Mindset melded with Strength in Chicago! Report
I've been having an internal pity party for myself b/c I can't seem to get the last weight off to meet my goal, but I have kicked my butt into gear and am working out harder so hopefully it will come off soon. Plus I lowered my goal weight so I have a new goal to meet! Report
You're human, Jen. You will be where you should be on race day. As you say, it's all part of the process.

Best of luck in Chicago! Report
I am hosting a pity party for myself today today as I write this response, LOL!. My knees are hurting from jogging. I am a brand new runner and have been questioning my decision for the past couple days. Your blog helped, believe me! Thanks! Report
When I'm having an elongated pity party I go to bed for a day and sleep hard. I visualize in the middle of the night getting up in the morning with a smile on my face and in the morning I get up with a smile on my face. Then, I go about my day, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, and exercise, and cook and communicate with friends. Then, I'm back to normal. But, usually I have my sleep day on a Sunday.

Jempower Report
this was great. i have to stop and think and realize that as hard as my life is there is someone else out there worse off than me and most of them are going through life with their disabilities with a positive and winning attitude. we can learn alot from others! Report
Thank you so much for your inspiration. I just started exercising and watching my food intake this week! I am off to a good start! You, however, inspire me more to keep it going for good health! Good luck this Sunday with the Marathon! You are going to do great! Kudos to you! Report
This IS the healthy way of looking at whatever life throws at you and an attitude that will take you to the finish line. Report
Thanks for this Blog! And Good Luck on your run! Report
This is a great way of seeing the challenges! I've been in pity-party mode for a few days, after a month I should have been more proud of, and it's definitely a help to read about how everyone faces these trials. It's all in your attitude, isn't it?! Report
awesome post!!! LOVE It!!! I will be there cheering you and nancy on on Sunday! My goal is to see you all on the course at least 4 times so keep your eyes out for me boucing along the sidelines!!! WOO HOO!!! Report
I hope you really kick it with your marathon and get as much inspiration as you've given others!

and yes, I think most of us has fallen prey to that pity thing. Then I search through Spark and find some amazing stories (from members or other links) - people who run triathlons with no legs, swim with no arms or legs, etc etc. I tell myself (in the tough times/runs/sections) "The mind gives up before the body does" and I've NOT ONCE found that to be untrue... Report
"Any excuse for a party" just keeps running through my mind...
Loved this blog.. thanks for the laugh in my heart today. Report
This blog came just in time. I'm in a pity-party right now! Life surely throws some curve balls and I need to finally accept that.
Thanks! Report
Yes Fantastic Blog!! I in the past always had a pity party for me cause I had so many excuses.. NOW I keep focused.. Thanks.. Report
Good blog....And you can be the next American record-holder if thats what you want..what ever you set your mind on and really want you can do..Good luck
God bless you Report
Thank you for sharing this with us! :-) Everyone has those same ups and downs - but you are absolutely right - you may think you have it the worst and then you realize that you actually don't!

Good luck this weekend at your marathon - you're gonna do awesome!! :-) Report
Thanks for sharing this!! I've definitely been having a pity party the last couple months and I need some help. Thanks for reminding us that no matter how crummy we feel, there's someone with a worse situation doing what we don't want to!! I'm running my first 5K, the Race for the Cure, this Sunday in Phoenix, but I'll think of you all at one point. I'm hoping of running my first half sometime relatively soon! Report
Heres to a great run on Sunday Jen! Will say a special "encouragement" prayer for you and all the runners on Sunday! Report
excllent blog Report
Actually this is just what I needed to hear today. I have been in a slump for the last few weeks and even though I know I need to get my butt in gear if I am going to achieve my goals I keep coming up with excuses in my head why I can't do it today or whatever. I need a kick in the butt to get up and get back on track myself. Thank you for this! Report