The title will make sense in a bit. No, this post is not about the new trends in nail polish, but let’s just say I do want to try myself a caviar manicure, particularly just as an accent nail.
Enough about nails.
You guys remember Clip, right? Clip of “listen, only 3 people won” fame?
Well, sometimes upon being told he needs to “brush his teeth and go potty” before bed, a tired Clip will yell, “But I brushed my teeth and went potty YESTERDAY!”
Sorry, buddy, you have to do it again today. And every day for the rest of your life.
Unfortunately, that’s how I think about running sometimes. You know, “BUT I WANTED TO BE FASTER YESTERDAY!”
Sometimes, I get too frustrated all too easily. I become plagued by crazy thinks like “why isn’t xx:xx pace easier by now?!? why can’t I race X distance under X time, yet?!?” And, sometimes, I second guess my progress, such as “wait, if the race wasn’t a PR, am I getting worse?!”
So, just as I started the ever growing #5Krevolution, I’m going to start the #letsnotbeobsessedwithPRs revolution, whose hashtag is far too long, I fear. I’ll work on it.
The RCF gave me some good advice the other day, which I thought I’d share.
Upon asking the RCF if “I am getting worse because I didn’t PR in two 10ks,” he responded by telling me to “think what the pros have to do – we don’t PR every race.”
If you go to Ben’s USATF.org athlete bio, look under “events and rankings.” There is about a 4 year period where Ben’s steeple PR is 8:26. Yet, he was placing better in races (unless my information is incorrect). And, then his PR started going down again and is now 8:19.
Ben (RCF) told me to think about it like a trend line.
If the trend line is generally going in the “right” direction, then it’s ok for a few points to be out of place.
I don’t have this whole running thing figured out. I mean, I can’t do a freaking tempo run without having a meltdown (which needs to change pronto, like tomorrow). So, you just probably take everything I’m saying with a grain of salt (but not what Ben said because he does have it figured out).
But, since I’ve learned to take my racing focus so much off of time and on other things, I’ve come up with a checklist of sorts to judge “race success.”
- Did I try my best? Was I pushing myself?
- Did I have fun?
- Did I earn my ice cream?
- Am I proud of what I did?
If I can answer “yes” to all of those questions, then it was a good race, no matter what the time.
Now, sure I do love myself a PR and I’ll probably celebrate next time I get one, which you will hear about on this blog or facebook/twitter.
But, it’s not the only thing that is important to me anymore. Racing is just a snapshot of what I was on that day, which comes with its own context and backstory and has to be judged, per se, in that context.
One final thing: a long time ago in the days of yore when I was trying for that BQ, a friend told me that part of her hoped I got my BQ on my next try, and part of her hoped I didn’t, so I could learn to chip away at a goal little by little – that it would change me as a person.
I was thinking today how both missing a BQ twice and getting injured has really changed me as a runner. Sure, I didn’t love it at the time – I felt like a failure after NJM (ran 3:48, a 21 min PR but no BQ) and I wouldn’t wish an IT band injury upon anyone. However, both have made me appreciate the strides I do make, have helped me take the emphasis off of time, and have made me appreciate every race I get to run that much more.
And, that is my ramble for today.
TELL ME: HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOUR SUCCESS? OR JUST TELL ME SOMETHING COOL AND NOT TOO DEEP, LIKE WHAT YOU THINK OF THE LATEST EPISODE OF DANCE MOMS.
Alright, back to Dance Moms. And, I’ll tell you the winner of the Oiselle shirt tomorrow.
Until next time…