Racing with Doubts


thinking out loud

So I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

I subscribe to Runner’s World magazine and finally sat to read it last week before my half marathon. I flipped right to “No Pity: It Takes a Lot of Courage to Run a Sucky Race,” by Lauren Fleshman. (I guess I thought that my upcoming half may be sucky…)

The title drew me in and I love Lauren Fleshman. I began to read Lauren’s article and proceeded to get teary-eyed.

She described pushing through doubt, facing failure head on in the wake of big goals, and embracing how important it is to try anyway during the Olympic Trials in 2012. The article led me to think about on my own personal courage.

I haven’t been feeling the “running” lately.  I have skipped weekday runs.  The ones I have done have been filled with walking and a pace of over 12 minutes. My longs runs since April have been non-existent other than the VCM relay. (That one was unplanned and so my goal was just to have fun.)

I doubted my ability to run another half marathon well.  Yes, I could finish it.  But I was embarrassed to just finish again.  I am not injured and I have finished a half marathon this year in 2:09.  So why attempt one when I knew the results in advance. I did not train well enough to do well.  Should I still try?

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On the fear of failing in a very public way and feeling sorry for herself well in advance of any failure, Lauren wrote:

“I would think, This is the very thing that holds people back from trying things. From having experiences. This fear that failing makes you a failure. In our core, we want to believe that trying matters, regardless of the outcome. That having the courage to see things through to their mysterious ends is worthwhile. That fighting well with what you have is enough.”

I realized after reading this article, that my race was more than just a finish time.  It was an experience.  Running 13.1 miles. Meeting new people.  Seeing new places. Challenging myself.

If I didn’t try, I would miss all this.

So I ran the Walkway Half Marathon and gave it my best shot.  And I didn’t have a PR.  My time was even slower than my last half marathon (that I just ran for fun.) But that was okay and expected.

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Trying is enough. Seeing things through to that mysterious end is worth it. Fighting with what I have is enough.

“…the reason we set big goals is not to achieve them, but to set ourselves on a road trip toward them, and that trip is where all the good loving is.”

Happy Running! Do you agree? Did you get a chance to read the article?

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5 thoughts on “Racing with Doubts

  1. I think that’s why it’s so important to have goals & multiple goals for each race. I also think it’s ok to have big goals & fall short – heck, happens to me all the time!

    I do think when you find yourself not wanting to run, it’s time to sit back & wonder why. There’s usually a reason & usually a solution. It’s like an overuse injury – it starts out with just a few aches & then bam! You’re sidelined & you wonder why. If you start to look at what you’re doing at those first aches & make adjustments, you might avoid the injury.

    PRs are nice but it’s not the only reason we run. So just find your why again & the rest will follow.

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  2. That was a great article in a really great issue of Runners World.

    You’ve been running a lot of races and maybe now your body is telling you that it’s time to take a break from racing. At least that’s what I do when I start to feel a little bit burnt out.

    Hang in there. This too will pass!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My RW still has been untouched due to our wedding weekend, but I certainly know that having goals for each race is so important. Having fun at a race is sometimes more important than earning a PR. I also feel that if you run lots of races, you can only have a few each year as “goal”, PR worthy races. Hope to dig in to my RW and read that article this week!

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