Monday, March 19, 2012



Running a race always seems to teach me something about myself. Shamrock 2012 goes down in the books as the one that taught me that I'm never satisfied with my accomplishments. 

You see, when I started training, coming in under 2 hours and 10 minutes was my goal. Towards the end of my training it looked like I could make it right at, if not just under, 2 hours and 5 minutes. So while my response was always "under 2:10" when people asked me what I thought my time would be, in the back of my mind I would be saying "2:05, 2:05, 2:05". 

As a runner you come to accept that you have good and bad running days, you just hope and pray that Race Day isn't one of the bad days. The morning of the race I was a little "off", but nothing major that made me think it would be a bad day. Mark picked me up at 6am and we were off to the ocean front. I couldn't have asked for a better day for running. Cloudy, no wind and in the 50's... a runners dream! Unfortunately miles 1-5 I had a tough time settling in to a comfortable pace. My fancy watch kept showing my pace fluctuating between 9:30" and 10:45". NOT GOOD. I needed to stay under 10' to meet my goal. 

I mentally struggled the rest of the race wondering how that sloppy beginning was going to affect my time and wondering if I could try to make up time without burning out before getting to the end and completely ruining my chances of setting a PR. Not to mention my IT band thought it would be a good idea to get tight and make my knee hurt. *rolls eyes* But enough excuses, I could come up with a million reasons why I was slower than usual the first half of the race but the fact is I was just running slower. 

As I came up to the 12 mile marker I knew under 2:10 could happen but I also knew my chances of getting in under 2:05 were next to 0. (Unless of course I could magically run a 6 minute mile.) I pushed myself that last mile trying to get as far under 2:10 as possible, as soon as I crossed the finish line I felt defeated. But why? I had made my goal of coming under 2:10! What was the deal? Unfortunately for me its never good enough. School grades, college degree, dress size, weight, race time... its all the same. I want to be better. Of course this isn't always a bad thing, but going in to the benefits of pushing yourself is for another time. This post is for learning to recognize when you accomplish a goal and taking time to celebrate and enjoy that accomplishment before rushing it away to try to do better. If this is the last 1/2 Marathon I'm ever able to complete, do I want to remember it with joy or disappointment in myself? 

Because the fact is, I did set a personal record. I came in 6 minutes faster than my last 1/2 marathon time. I committed my training to the Lord and with His help I accomplished something I thought impossible when I ran my first half. So right now I'm choosing to enjoy this achievement with no regrets and boast in the help of my God instead of focus on my own weakness. 

"Commit everything you do to the Lord. 
Trust him, and he will help you." 
Psalms 37:5

If I do have the chance to run another Half... my goal is under 2:05 : )

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