When I first started running. I ran/walked (stopped) my first mile at 25 minutes.
I remember the elated feeling of running my first 15 min mile.
Then 13 and then 10.
I remember training for my first Half Marathon and thinking that 13.1 seemed like a trip around the world. Now, that's the mileage of my regular long runs.
Last year at this time, I was still in my active recovery & PT phase of my hip blow-out. Ironically, I never believed my running career was over, but I often wonder how it would be different.
Last year at this time, I had completed 3 - 5K's and a Half. I remember thinking that was A LOT of racing so early in the year. Well, it was for me at that time. That was where my fitness level was and that is how much I could comfortably race.
The other day - I looked at my medals & awards of 2012 and I realized how many more races I had ran: 4 -5K's (incl 1 Trail Run), 1-10K, 1-5 Miler, 1-Full and 3-Half's. 10 races total, thus far in 2012.
While we should not compare ourselves to others and often we should not compare how we were a year ago (life could be different) - I do. I want to be a better runner in my body and my mind. While some may define me by the number of Overall, Age Division and PR's I have achieved - I define me by my standards.
My own sense of accomplishment. I only know when I am running what I need to do to conquer whatever is ahead of me. It might be a hill. It might be a mental battle. It might be weather. It might be a head cold.
My success is not determined by my Awards and PR's, but how good I feel about my race, when I am done. If I know I did the best I could do THAT DAY, I feel I have succeeded. I can't always control who I am racing with, I can't always control my Finish Time and I certainly cannot control the course. But, I can control my attitude about the race. If I am not feeling it, it's not my race. I don't force it. I have had 2 of those races, this year.
For me, it's all about the race and the experience. How I choose to embrace that experience, is mine. Others may inflict their opinions on me, but what is mine is mine.
At the end of the day, it's my name (and yours) on the Official Results.
Make it your own. Know Thyself and Finish on Your Terms.
And in the end....you just might be standing on top of that podium and bringing home some hardware and know you ran on your terms.
How do you Know Thyself in your running? Please feel free to share -
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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