Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mediocre

So I'm very well aware of the fact that I will never be a competitive runner. As much as I enjoy running, and all the benefits that come with it, I know I'm not fast. Still, I feel like I'm a little bit stuck. In every race that I enter I expect to beat my best time. I'm very tough on myself I know, but I like seeing progress and when I can clock myself running faster at any given distance, that's very tangible progress. And I feel like I should be getting better. Even if I'll never be "fast" per se, I can at least be "Faster" than the last time. Because the more I work out, the stronger I'll get right? And I should see that in my race results.

Which is why it's inexplicable to me that I'm having such a mediocre summer. I've not set a personal best time at any single distance yet this year. In fact, I haven't come close. They've not been my worst races either, but still I feel like I should be progressing and somehow I'm not. Or maybe it's just that I'm not progressing as fast as I'd like to.

At first I figured it was because I was heavier this year than last year. (Having both kids in the hospital and an unemployed husband this past winter, really took it's toll. I packed on 15 pounds in a relatively short amount of time.) So I went on a diet. In 8 weeks I'm down close to 18 pounds, and while I can tell in my training that running is getting easier for me, it's not showing in my race results. My training runs seem to be a little faster over all. And most races start out excellent, but by the end I seem to run out of gas. Even in the short distances.

This morning at the Kelly Canyon Half Marathon I was once again on target to beat my personal best (and by a large margin too!) If I'd only done the 10K perhaps I would have. At 6 miles I was still 4 minutes under pace and even though I was tired, I felt okay. And then it kind of fell apart on me. Everything hurt and I just felt exhausted. Honestly the last 4 miles felt more like the last 4 miles of a full marathon than a half. And thus I ended up walking for the entire final 5K's and finishing a good 10+ minutes slower than my personal best half marathon time.

My dad always drilled into me that we don't choose to settle for mediocrity. (Have you ever noticed the quote on the top of this blog?) I mean I want to know that everything I attempted in life, running related or not, is something I put my very best effort into. And yet I'm struggling because I'm feeling like I'm putting in the time and effort to train and eat right and take care of myself and yet the results are disappointing, especially for someone like me who expects so much of herself.

3 comments:

Angela said...

Why do you run? To win? To get faster and faster? Or for health and strength and as a symbol to yourself of your progress? Because it is still progress when you don't reach your best times. For me I think wow, I couldn't have done this before, I'm glad I"m taking care of my body. I know there is balance in there somewhere and I hope you find it. But life isn't about always beating a previous record. It is about doing your best that day even if it is a day when your baby falls apart during a race.

Darryl and Cindy Cunningham said...

It will come. I think there is a stress factor you haven't been figuring in. Dan Jansen anyone? Until then I have a question for you...

What happens when the Lotus blossom blooms in the mud?

Love you. :-)

Jacob and Cami said...

You should read the Jeff Galloway book on Running. It's helped me keep a good perspective and not get discouraged when I'm not making as much progress as I'd like. Plus there's some good info and cool facts about running.