Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's Official

I signed up for my second half marathon; Sunburst which will take place in South Bend, IN on June first! I'm pretty excited!! I know I hinted at it and said I probably would in yesterday's post but after I wrote it, I did register. So... It's official! Half number two is coming up in 87 days.

You know what I just realized?

I didn't even look to see if there's a finisher medal. There should be. Even smaller scale races I've done that have half marathons give out medals. I mean, I'll do it just for the t-shirt (er, the satisfaction of completing another one). They have an expo and everything before hand and usually only larger races have expos. And photographers....They MUST have a medal.  If not, I'll survive.

Yes, I run because I enjoy it. I like the exercise and I like the satisfaction of completing something, especially a large task. I look at each race as a new goal... Once I've finished, I've achieved it. That's an awesome feeling. Whether you walk your first 5K or run 26.2, I feel that you should have that feeling. Each accomplishment is something to be celebrated. Find something new to take out of each experience.

Being the anxious person that I am, I already researched last year's times. I don't know why but I have this fear of coming in last. I saw a quote today that said something about finishing dead last is better than not finishing, which is better than never started. All of that is true... Yet something inside me does not like the idea of being last. Or even second to last.  I guess being somewhere in the middle (even the end of the middle) is my comfort zone. I know I'll never finish first or anywhere near it, and I'm okay with that. But last? Last is somewhere that I don't want to go.

In my research I saw that there were several people who finished in more time than it took me to do my first half. I now feel confident that I won't come in last.

Here's the thing... This only applies to me. I looked at the list and saw the last place person, her age, and her time and I thought, "good for you... That's awesome."  I'm supportive of everyone else, no matter their time. The fact that they got out there and gave it their best (heck, even if they couldn't finish!) is something that I feel makes them pretty awesome.  Like that quote, even not finishing is better than never starting. 

Yet when it comes to me... "I cannot do poorly" is stuck in my brain. And poorly is based on  my own personal definition for me and my abilities. It could take someone five hours and I'd feel like they did a good job. If it took me five hours, I'd be mad at myself.  I'm not hard on myself to the point where I end up doing damage... I just want to always do my best. And for me, last place and a five hour finish would not be my best.

I guess it's my sense of competition. As an athlete I'm more competitive with myself than others. To me, it doesn't matter who's passing me (although I do always find my "person" during a race and am determined to beat them; keeps me motivated).  It doesn't matter who is in front of me or behind me. It doesn't matter that I will take twice as long as the first place person. 

What matters is doing my best.  I think about whether I'm working harder than the last time. I want to push a little. I want to beat previous times (I think a lot of us are all about setting PRs!). I want to beat myself.  Why? This will show that I'm working hard and making progress. It will show that I don't just settle for whatever I happen to do (this is the case in other areas of my life too). I strive for my best. I don't base my performance on anyone else's best (better than mine or not). 

Yesterday I ended up doing my first training run for this half. Followed by Turbofire. I started the plan in week two and have several more to go.  I'm looking forward to it. I'm actually more excited about this training than the last. I'll be running outside again (warmer weather; I refuse to run outside in Winter). That is a huge part of my motivation for training. I expect to work hard and do better this time than last... I'm out for a PR!

Happy Wednesday!


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