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Best runner I can be

“If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.” – Priscilla Welch

I need to look up this Priscilla lady and find out who she is, but her words really strike me.  I started running about one year ago today to train for the Cap 10K.  I couldn’t run a whole mile without stopping at first.  It took me 3 months to be able to run 3 miles without walking in the middle.  One year later, I had another 10K, a 10-miler, and 4 half-marathons under my belt.  And except for the the Austin half last Sunday, I ran every race without walking.  My accomplishments have been pretty incredible when you look at it on paper and I’m proud of myself.

But…I could do better.  What started out a year ago as running 4-5 times per week has slowed to 2-3 times per week (and it’s been rare to get in a 3rd run).  Back in October/November, I realized I could do my one quality run with Rogue on Wednesdays and my long run on Saturday mornings and still complete my races.  It was never my intention to only run twice per week, but it was the minimum standard I set for myself and it’s all I achieved for months. 

But Priscilla’s words strike me, especially coming off the Austin half marathon where the course kicked my butt.  I know it was tough for lots of people, but if I had been training 4-5 times per week, could I have finished it without walking?  If I added 1-2 days of cross-training, worked on building my core, added another 1-2 days of running, paid better attention to my nutrition, and dropped 20 pounds, wouldn’t I perform better?  Of course I would!  So what am I waiting for?  Even when I was delirious @ mile 12 last Sunday, facing the hill from hell on Enfield, lamenting at how I was beat up and couldn’t keep running, I reminded myself that I hadn’t given my all to fully prepare for this race.  Yes, I’d done the minimum, but is that all I’m capable of?  Hell, no. 

I reminded myself of my long-term goal of running a marathon in 2012 but quickly dismissed it at the end of the race last Sunday.  After regrouping later that day, I realized I shouldn’t count myself out of a race I haven’t even trained for!  The difference between success and failure is TRAINING.  If I give it my all and I’m not able to complete a marathon, at least I tried.  This kind of talking-myself-out-of-doing-something-before-I’ve-even-started thing is not new to me.  I’ve broken up with guys I’ve never dated before.  Yes, you can read that again, but I mean it.  I’ve looked to the future and decided I knew exactly how things would turn out and stopped it before it even got started.  I’m doing the same thing with my running.  How can I count myself out if I haven’t even tried?  Now if only there was a training program for dating…

All of this thinking reminds me of a speech by Nelson Mandela that I’ve posted below. 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Shrinking so that others don’t feel insecure around me? I’m not worried about that at all, but I really like the rest of his words.  I do need to be liberated from my own fear.  This I know for sure.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    I love this post, and it’s because of the part that doesn’t even resonate with you the most! I shrink so others don’t feel insecure around me all the time. It’s really time to stop doing that!!

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