In spending some time this week reflecting on my recently set 2018 goals I have decided to make an addition. This is more of an approach/perspective to running and life rather than a quantitative target. But I think the outlook we have on life plays such a big role in our overall enjoyment of it. And at the end of the day we only get one life so we should make the absolute most out of it!
I have spent a lot of my running career in a state of fear. Fear of not hitting the pace, fear of not accomplishing the goal, fear of not beating someone I think I should, fear of not making the team and generally fear that I will never be a ‘good’ runner. When I step back and think about it, this is quite irrational. Because it should not matter. What should matter is if I am pushing myself in training? Am I seeing improvements? Am I making positive changes to increase performance? And most importantly am I having fun doing it? If I am doing all of those things, then there should be no reason to be in a state of fear.
In the book ‘The subtle art of not giving a f*ck by Mark Manson he talks about people creating issues to worry about. I absolutely do this in my life and I think trying to be more aware of my perspective will help with this as well. One cue that really helped me with running was ‘staying with my breath’ (*of course from coach Megan Brown) this allowed me to be in the now as that is truly the only thing we can change. Rather than being in an interval and thinking of the time I am going to run it in, just think of every breath I take. Key is to keep the process top of mind as that is what will ultimately change the outcome.
Last year I was able to break away from this fear in my build for Chicago and it paid off immensely with a greater than 5min personal best in the marathon. As I look towards my build for the spring season I can already sense myself defaulting back to that same state of fear. This is of course frustrating because I have seen the benefits of not living in fear and it was so much more enjoyable. After all there is nothing to be scared of I do this for fun!!
One of the biggest realization I had in my running this year was that of my running being for me, no one else. Therefore, there is no sense in being so caught up in the numbers. The only question I should have to ask myself after a workout is: did I work hard today? If the answer is yes, then that is all I can ask of myself. Training comes down to making physiological adaptations so if I am working hard on that day it is irrelevant what the garmin tells me.
SO I have decided to add to my goal setting list that I posted last week and add in that I DO NOT WANT TO RUN OR LIVE IN FEAR. I want to embrace where I am in every aspect of my life and love every second of it! Doesn’t that sound like fun?!
I am going to continue to work on this mindset and we will see where it gets me.