Friday, June 22, 2007

Epiphany waiting to happen

I have sat many hours thinking over my running and realized I have made huge improvements since I first started in 2002. Then how come my mind frame is still stuck in the past? I need to get past my fears and limitiations and not be afraid to finally surpass what I am seeking. I know I'm not that slow awkward runner anymore who was scared to look at her shadow while running because it wasn't a pretty sight.

My running times reflect something different than a slow runner of what I thought. I have improved significantly and then that raises a whole new set of issues for me. Can I get any faster? Do I want to? I know running should be about enjoying it and not worrying about what other runners do but for me it's all about the time. It has to do with the competitiveness nature within myself. I know I can do better, so how can that realization be made. What happens if the goal isn't met? I know I will never win but it's something about the numbers and where you stack up against other runners. I think our world forces people to judge one another and look down upon people who aren't at their same level. I think that is what I get when I run. Even though I have completed marathons I feel my finishing times aren't worthy enough as they were well over 5 hours. You always get asked, "Will you ever run Boston" "So what was your time?" You give it and they are like "wow that's a long time to be out there." "Did you then get picked up by the bus" I just get this feeling that anything over 5 hours isn't deem in high regard to other runners that finish faster. I want to get the same recognition of someone who finished faster. I am just slower but deserve the credit for being out there and it has nothing to do with poor training. Do you really think I enjoy being out there that long? Don't get me wrong, I love that I have finished all of my marathons but deep down in my heart I know I could have done better.

How come it's hard to change a mind set that is no longer true. Changing the way you look at reality is a tricky thing. Maybe it's just something you learn as you grow older and wiser. I don't know but it's something I struggle with. I also think body image issues come along with losing weight and they are all in the same mind set of beleiving you have gotten better/faster. For me running and losing weight have so much in common it's hard to wrap my mind around it all at once. For example: Shopping for clothes / running clothes. Why do you always go for the bigger size when you should try the next size down. Is it habit? Or are you afraid you don't fit in that next size? Whatever it is, it challenges the way you think. I think changes or epiphanies happen over time little by little sometimes without even realizing it and that is hard getting used to.

1 comment:

ReneeMc said...

One of my favorite comments I ever heard was when someone who won a marathon, I don't remember who, said he respected the people who were out there hour after hour because they were working harder than him. I feel like faster runners give us slower runners so much crap -- like when I hit upon all of these people calling Dean Karnazes a jogger because his PR in a 5K was 15 minutes and some change. Crazy! It's all relative. If that's jogging, I must be sitting still when I come in at 29 minutes!

Yes, we can get faster. And we will. And some of it is about fear and anxiety and toughness. Did you see the July issue of Running Times? There is a fantastic article on mental toughness that really motivated me to work on that. It's not online yet, but they usually put it up eventually.

And I think your marathons are amazing!