All I can do in this life I've been given is strive to be the best ME possible! I have been doing some thinking lately about my running, primarily, even though there are other aspects of my life that are touched on. I kind of took a month or more off of serious running...well, wait - now that I think about it I think I did recovery following the Tinkerbell Half Marathon back at the end of JANUARY and never really returned to feeling like I had that "fire in my belly" for running. I had a lot of life stress going on and my running became something that was just one more thing that I felt like I had to do...and I didn't need even one more have to do so running kind of took a backseat. That was probably the first time in the almost three years that I've been running that I was getting little to no joy from it. Don't get me wrong, it felt good when I went out and got it done the once every couple of weeks I was doing it, but it didn't feel good getting there...putting on the clothes, the running shoes, the iPhone/iPod, the headphones, the Garmin. It just all felt like WORK. So I kind of took a break from more work.
And then the life stress lessened a little and I realized I needed to get back to a regular workout schedule which includes running 3x a week. But as I have been mentally thinking about where I want to go, the negative thoughts come creeping in. The ones that tell me why bother because I'll never be "fast". I'll never win races. I'll never be one of "those people" that run effortlessly pounding out 5 miles in under an hour 5 days a week all before they head off to work. That will never be me - so...why bother????
Well, because although I will never be the fastest runner, I could be the fastest runner I could possibly be. I still don't know what that threshold is, and it may never be as fast as I was a year ago because as you get older, you naturally slow down. But I don't know yet if it was my max...all I can do is keep trying and see where I end up!
I may never win a race...but I can beat myself in a race! So far I've been able to mostly improve on my time in each consecutive race I've done. That's something tangible! There may be times, like the upcoming Idyllwild 10k on June 2, that I consciously decide that I'm not going for a PR (personal record)...and that's okay too. I don't have to beat myself every time. OR I can just be one of those runners that is still going strong at 80 and by then the competition in my age group should be significantly smaller and I'll win by default! ;-) Hey - a win's a win, right?!?
And who says I can't be one of "those people" banging out 5 miles before work. That is far from an impossibility. Yes, I may have to get up even earlier than I already do...but if it's something I want, there's no reason why I can't attain this.
The reality is that I may never be better than the person next to me, but I can be a better person INSIDE of me! And that's all I can do...and it's enough.