Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Journey

On facebook I posed the question: "how does one become more competitive?" One answer flipped a switch in my head: "I think there is a natural mellowing out that happens when one get married and has kids." (sorry for excessive colon use.)

You might be thinking that that is not a particularly illuminating point. However, it got me thinking. Purposefully or not, I am constantly comparing myself to my training partners and competitors. If they run faster than me, they must be doing something or thinking better than me. What if, I am a mellow married mom who enjoys pushing myself and isn't a balls-out predator when I race. So what? Will that mean I will never reach my goals? No! Does that even mean I am actually underperforming right now? No! In fact, what if I am actually doing my best and racing and running very well for myself right now. What is the harm in self-acceptance? Nothing. Self-acceptance doesn't mean I am content to be a low 18 5k'er. I can go for improvement and still accept my racing style, my strengths and weaknesses and my self, generally.

It's easy to get sucked into this self-deprecating spiral during a hard training cycle. Miss an interval, or a milage goal, or a race dream time or whatever, and everything seems for nothing. The world stops. There is SOMETHING wrong with me if I don't do x, y or z. But there's not. We just are what we are and it can actually be ok!

On the advice of E, I read these two blog posts. One by Magdalena Lewy-Boulet and the other a response from Camille Heron. Both stressed the importance of tenacity. After my Johnnycake Jog disappointment I flirted for a brief second with bagging my running dreams. What was the point of all that hard training and butt-busting for 1 second? Mrp addressed my frustration and urged me on: "the difference between champions and everyone else is that the champions keep going after disappointment."

Tears welled up in my eyes as I typed that. I think I finally get it. I am not doing anything wrong. I'm just not there yet.


Quinto Sol said...

I think you OVERanalyze your performance. You also tend to "race" your workouts... Mellow out on the w/os a bit and "race" races; and let the chips fall where they may.

The Salty One said...

QS, thanks for the insight! Just out of curiosity, why do you think I race workouts? I might take them too seriously or overanalyze my performance in workouts as well as races, but not sure I have that problem generally.

Quinto Sol said...

I guess because your quality workouts would predict faster race times???

Janet Edwards said...

Great MRP line!! You will get there!

The Salty One said...

QS, I was just doing the workouts as I was told to. They were definitely very hard--much harder than workouts I have done in the past. If I was writing my own plan I doubt I'd push myself that hard, but Coach G thinks it's the right way to go. I trust him and the plan. But, as I've written here, I am excited he's backed me off even just a hair! I think all those hard workouts will have their pay-off eventually. Just not quite yet. As Coach says, "the workouts are just soaking in now." Thanks again!!!

solarsquirrel said...

Good post and sound advice from your hubby. You need to be satisfied with where you are, and it sounds like you're (almost) there. It must feel so good! ;)