Trendy

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?

This is Clip. Look at that stride! The focus! The determination!

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.

Look at that line of best fit!

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.

I drew this before my IT band injury as my “marathon mentality” for the NYC Marathon.

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…

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8 thoughts on “Trendy

  1. Hmm, let’s see. Yes, I agree you can’t and won’t PR all the time. And I agree that it just needs to be fun and speed with come eventually. IT REALLY WILL! You are doing so well! And you are such a young runner.
    Also, I love ice cream. And I’m lactose intolerant. I don’t care. Hello bloat.
    I feel you on the tempos. You might always hate them. I still get scared any time I run faster than 7:00 per mile pace. Yes, you heard right. I can run a 5k at 5:30 per mile pace and I get scared when a run calls for 7:00 or faster. I have no idea why. It’s ok though, a little bit of nerves can help. I guess you have to build some confidence to overcome the nerves that are trying to destroy the workout. That comes with time… and practice.

  2. yea, running is like an EKG chart, it goes up and down. the spikes are those PR’s but u still have to have those easy ‘slower’ days for the dips and all the others in between. because collectively they are the pulse that keeps on beating and running those miles. hmm, did i reach too far for this parallel, prolly. so in lightness, HOW freaking cute is Clip?!?! 🙂

  3. MEGGIE! I love this post. It’s so true – getting hung up on PRs and PRing every race is like setting yourself up for unnecessary disappointment. I think I’m slowly learning that – my past two 10Ks I didn’t PR either, and while I was admittedly a little bummed, I looked at both races as progress towards future goals. It really helps. If I give something my all, I really can’t be mad at the result.

    I really can’t stand Nastia’s hair. And I think she’s done like dinner.

  4. Hey girlie!!
    I usually define success by PR’s & placing…but as I get more and more into this running thing I’m noticing that not ever course/race=PR, and you have no control who shows up to race, getting first but running 3-min slower is not a successful race to me.
    Now when I race I have a goal time & pain plan 🙂 both must be achieved to equal a successful race!
    great post!
    I’m excited you will be on this side of the country in July!!
    xoxo!

  5. I love this because somedays I want to run far/be fast/dominate hills aka do it all at once, and this is the perfect reminder that progress happens slowly. I think hearing about other’s progress over years of time helps me look at the big picture. Seriously, I’m only 22, so I have plenty of years to run and get faster! I’m also going to use your checklist for races to make sure I focus on earning my ice cream and having fun.

  6. I love your race success checklist. I get super discouraged and competitive with myself when I don’t run to my expectations. It usually takes me a couple of days to get over my disappointment, but then I can look back and see the positive side of the race I had just completed. Postive thinking is always good. What is this Dance Moms???? Am I totally missing out on something awesome????

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