Thursday, October 23, 2014

High Goals = High Self Worth

I am a very goal driven person. If I set a goal, I want to reach it. It helps me stay focused and motivated. Something to reach for. Something to be proud of once it's accomplished.

Well, if it's accomplished.

For the past couple months, I have been setting mileage goals for myself to run. Fifty in August, seventy five in September, now eighty five for October. I had to push it to reach September's number. Now I'm reaching the end of October with a little less than halfway to go still. I don't want to accept defeat. I'm not sure if it's possible. I'd have to do five miles a day for the rest of the month. I don't want to give up. I want success.

I can't get hung up on "if onlys". It's too easy to slip into that. We can't change the past. If I went back and redid the month, I would do it differently. Unfortunately, that's just not an option. Time to face facts - there is almost no chance I can get to eighty five miles this month. Almost no chance.

There is a slim chance though.

Why not try? Why not just go for it? There's a possibility of success here. Yes, it's a long shot. Yes, it's going to be a struggle. Yes, I might fail. If I give up now I fail anyway.

And what if I do it? What if I achieve the goal? No reward. Nothing tangible. I could tell people sure, I could tell you. It doesn't matter,in the scheme of the world, whether I reach eighty five miles or not. It means a hell of a lot to me though. I may not get anything but pride out of it, but that's enough.

Eight days. About 35.77 miles to go (I use the Nike app to keep trackAdd Me). That's 4.47 miles a day (had to use a calculator). Challenge accepted (HIMYM reference).

Set goals. And then kick butt to meet them. It's not easy. Who wants easy? Do you care about it? Are you passionate about it? Then don't let yourself give up. Don't get beaten. There are some things in our control even when most of our lives are out of control. Take it.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Why I Race

I love the atmosphere of a race. To me, that's one of the best things about participating. I like to beat personal records, sure, but I'm not necessarily there to win. I mean, if I won, that would be the coolest thing ever, but that's not why I show up.

Actually, I don't even do many races. I would say my average is maybe two a YEAR. I hope to raise this in the future. Just writing it down makes me realize how pathetic that number is. Especially considering how much fun I always have.

When you go to a race, you will see every kind of person. Gender, age, color, size, shape, everything. Everyone is energized. You can feel the air thick with it. Without having to talk to anyone, you suddenly are part of a community. Sometimes it's a very large one. You all have at least one thing in common. You are here to run. I can't imagine many people do races when they don't like running. Maybe some do it for other reasons. There is something amazing about being around so many people who are passionate about the same thing.

Usually, I don't like going to events by myself. At a race, although I prefer some company, I can handle going by myself. It is a comfort to stand, waiting, at the start line, blending in with a crowd of people who are essentially the same. Yes, some are faster. Yes, some wear headphones. Maybe a few don't want to be there. When you are in the middle of everyone, you only feel the expectation of what is to come. The few minutes before the race, everyone is posed to begin. Excitement waves through and around. Once we are allowed to go, allowed to release our pent up energy, we run. No, we are not running together in the sense that we all know one another. But we are running together on this course. We are bound together by this one race. It doesn't matter who you arrived with, or if you arrived alone. Now you are running with everyone.

I sign up for races because it reminds me of how much running effects so many people. No matter where I'm running, there are other runners out there doing the same thing at the same time. Our feet pounding the pavement, or track, or trail. Sometimes it's nice to be able to see it. Tens, or hundreds of people. All with one goal, run to the end.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Don't Worry. If Onlty.

The past couple of days I have found it difficult to fit running into my schedule. It doesn't help that before 7 in the morning it is pitch black outside. How am I supposed to motivate myself to run when it is so dark and cold when my alarm goes off?

I feel the difference though. When I get to running several times a week then miss a week, it really is noticeable. My head feels heavier. I use my runs as a way to clear it, but now it is loaded down with thoughts and worries.

Someone told me recently to not worry so much. Do you guys ever hear that? I want to say right now that I need to never say that to anyone. Who is free from worry? How nice that must be. I tend to be a little anxious at every moment of the day. If I could control it I would. And I try to. I go for runs. I listen to music. I write. It doesn't make it go away. The worries are there. I just can quiet them down every now and again.

Don't worry so much.


Tell me how you don't worry about things. I can't just tell myself things will work out for the best and move on. I wish that worked. I've tried mediating. I've tried mantras. I've tried screaming into a pillow (not really, I can't bring myself to that for some reason). My head is always full of different problems. I want solutions. I want relief. How do other people free themselves of this?

Run. I want to run. At least it would help. Even just for an hour or so. A clear head. A relaxed mind.

I wish I worried less. I wish things didn't matter so much to me. They do though. I care too much. Not just about what people think, but about the future, about the past, about choices I've made or will make. Just go with the flow, I tell myself. Don't worry, other people tell me. How can I not worry when there is always so much at stake? Not to be super dramatic, but really. There is always something to lose. If I could not think about it, don't you think I would do that? If I could not worry, wouldn't I just not? Telling me not to doesn't help. Reassure me. Tell me HOW.

I need to run.

The Sock Problem

There is an age old question - Where do all my socks go? I'm not even just talking about half of a pair, I'm talking about whole pairs of socks! I really don't think the dryer is to blame, but how am I misplacing so many of them? Especially my running socks. That is the upsetting thing. I don't have enough of them to be losing them in abundance.

What all this talk about the mystery of the disappearing socks is about is that when I went for a run the other day, I had no running socks, so I was forced to use regular cotton socks. I mistakenly thought I wouldn't really notice a difference. That just showed me how little I really know about running.

How did I used to run in regular socks? After two seconds of running my feet felt like ovens. I figured the socks would just burn away at least, but instead they just got soaked with sweat, making them even more unbearable. I was aware of them every single stride of my run. Where does the sweat usually go? My socks felt heavy and uncomfortable. It really makes a difference. I am not even exaggerating. Thankfully this was not a long run. I could feel the blisters waiting to form.

I am not making that mistake again. Solution - get more running socks. Wash them by hand so as not to lose them? Nah, not that worried.