Saturday, March 21, 2015

Your only competition should be YOU!

Disappointment...that was the unexpected feeling that I got when I found out the results of the Big 12, 12k that I ran last Saturday.


What? Seriously? Why was I disappointed? I made a goal for myself to run an 8  minute mile for the whole race...and I did it. I accomplished my goal...



In fact I managed an average pace of 7:44 for over 7 of he hilliest miles I have ever run! 


Possibly the worst part of it all was that I was in NO WAY disappointed as I crossed the finish line. I was ecstatic. Not that you can see my excitement from this terrible photo (are all finish line photos bad?)


I was absolutely thrilled with my time and pace. Especially since I was faster towards the end of the race (which is always a goal of mine)

In fact, I was using this race to see if I was really ready for Heartland 39.3

 You see...my goal for the 3 half-marathons is an 8 minute mile pace and I told myself that if I could manage 7+ miles at that pace (or quicker) then I would for sure be ready...especially with an additional 4 weeks of training to go! So...as I crossed that finish line I felt nothing but joy...


I ran a 7:44 mile pace for 7+ miles on an extra hilly course...I just KNEW I was ready for a much less hilly course at Rock the Parkway. I was giddy with excitement and couldn't wait to see the official results.


Unlike other races I have run before, they didn't have a booth where they printed out your official results...so that meant I would have to wait until the race was completely over and they were posted online...bummer!

After the race we hurried home, got cleaned up, and loaded the car for our trip to Chicago...then as we were pulling out onto the road I looked up my results...

 
 I was SO sure I was going to place in my age group....and I saw that I ended up 5th in my age group and I felt as if I had been punched in the stomach.


 I was so disappointed. How? Why? Not fair!!! I had wanted SO badly to place in my age group!! Why is this so important you ask? Well, I have placed in my age group twice and seriously it was the best feeling ever...and it always seems as if in ALL of my races I always manage to place 4th or 5th...I'm always so close to placing in the top 3 I can taste it...


As I sit here and type this I feel stupid...I have been debating all week whether or not to even share this moment of absolute ridiculousness. 

And in the end I decided I had to share it...because let's face it...we have all been there. Whether it be in running or life in general...I think we all get caught up in comparing ourselves to others instead of celebrating our personal victories. 

As embarrassing as it is to admit I think deep down I wanted to place in my age group so I could prove that I was better than the other 30-34 year old runners (who are fast as hell by the way) and I let the fact that I didn't beat those 4 other girls ruin that I killed it in that race. I beat my goal...I showed myself that I can in fact "ROCK" that parkway in just a few weeks. I proved that all my hard work and training over these last 10 weeks has paid off. 

And that my friends...is stupid. I quickly (well...by the next day) remembered that my focus should not be on how I did compared to others...but it should only be on me.


Can I promise that I won't let this happen again? That I won't ever compare myself to others and get down on myself again? Probably not...it's a constant mental struggle for me. I always want to be the best...at everything...but it's so important for me to remind myself that there will always be someone better than me...and that's okay because if I choose to focus on me then I won't ever lose :)



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