Thursday, March 3, 2011

Perspective

Let's see if I can remember how this here blogging thing works...

I'm running the Gate River Run again next weekend, March 12th. It'll be my 4th time running the race. I thought this was going to be a good year for me. I was hoping to drop my time from last year but still realistically knew I wouldn't get close to my PR from back in 1999 when I ran it the first time. But in December I started running faster, like 4-6 miles in a 9:50ish per mile pace. And considering that I was running 11+/mile two years ago and 10:30's last year I was hopeful to drop my pace again. It was a goal that I got swept up in and focused on.

And then I got injured. Again. My shin splints flared up, probably from pushing too hard and running with bad form. Then my right IT Band tightened up so much it hurt to walk for over a week. So I had to give up running a half marathon early in February to make sure I could run the River Run. I like the River Run and I had priorities.

I was disappointed though. Badly disappointed in myself. And I looked around to others I knew who are running faster, who are stronger, who are setting goals and slaying them. And it hurt. Jealously does nothing for self-esteem. Let me tell you that.

But then I got real. The rational side of my brain kicked in (thankfully) and I fixed my perspective. It's not like I am running this race to WIN it. So there are always going to be people who are faster than me. And I'm still running in the middle of the pack so there's always going to be people who are slower than me. So whatever. It's not about winning. It's not about perfection. It's about improvement. I tell my students this all the time. Seek improvement, not perfection.

This here perfectionist sometimes has a hard time turning the tables on herself. :)

Really all I had improved though was my attitude since my running times are still not where I want them. So I had to get real about that to in order to pull myself up out of my running funk (ahem, bitter disappointment).

So I thought about my kids. Bug and Bear have noticed how often I go out to run lately. Bug asks me how long I'll be gone and if I had a good run when I get back. (Bear tells me I'm stinky!) He tells me when he's older that he'll run with me or ride his bike like I used to do with my Dad when I was a little girl. He sees me trying.

So I am not giving up because I'm disappointed in myself. I'm going to go out there and do the very best I can with the cards I've been dealt, and I'm going to look my little men in the eyes when I get home and tell them I ran 9.3 miles; that I battled a Green Monster and I destroyed it with my feet and my heart. I'm going to teach them not to give up and to get out there and do the best they can at something they love even if they aren't at peak performance, even if there are other people who are better. I am going to be proud of myself so they can be proud of themselves.

And then we'll go out and eat cheeseburgers. And maybe some ice cream.