This is how it works-
I love to run but there are times when I would rather not. This is when the voices start. Chants, name calling, guilt and reverse psychology is how they get me up and out the door. I don't really mind the voices and have actually started looking forward to their daily calls. Together we have formed a running club that supports, encourages and competes with each other. I love these peeps. They are much more experienced, talented and tougher than I am. Pushing me out the door, through the hard miles and up the monster hills when I am feeling lazy or want to give up. Some people have "real" training partners, coaches and support crews. My team is ALWAYS with me and helps me to keep my eye on the prize and not veer off the track. Sounds crazy- Yeah, probably is.........

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nothing to Prove....

I have nothing to prove to anybody. Except the VOICES. They are never satisfied. Always pushing. Always taunting. Always wanting more. They expect more. They believe I can deliver everytime, regardless of how I feel mentally or physically. They are also my harshest critics, questioning every success or accomplishment.

They pushed me through my first half marathon even though I had the flu. I finished in 1:30:36. I should have been ecstatic but the VOICES let me know that I had missed a sub 1:30 by a mere 37 seconds. I qualified for Boston during the first attempt by finishing 2 minutes under my required time. BUT I dropped 5 minutes on the second half. "Need to work on that." A 3rd place finish, in a small marathon, when I had pneumonia like symptoms? Or a 5th place finish the following year while limping from a calf strain? "Dude, you suck. Toughen up."

After my first 50 miler, where I placed 3rd overall, they questioned whether it was legitimate or merely a lack of stronger competition. Last November I busted a sub 3 marathon and a PR one week after a strong 5th place finish on a tough 50k course. The VOICES once again called me out. "Fluke", they said, "do it again." Less than two weeks later I ran another sub 3 and PR'd. That worked for a minute....

Sub 24 100 miler? Nope. Not good enough. "The course wasn't that tough. Anybody could run it in 21 hours...."  An 11th place 50 mile finish on a rough trail course with a swollen knee? "Big deal." Maybe a sprint tri on "Ye Old Schwinn" and zero swim training? Nope. Expected to do well. A state record for the 35-39 year old age group in the 50 miler? "What a joke. Pure luck."

"Of course you can carry a 40lb kid for a 5k. It's only 3.1 miles...." As I write this it becomes clear to me why I had to run the Bass Pro Marathon with an ITB injury that had me limping for the majority of the miles. I still have something to prove to myself. I don't know what it is but there is something. Maybe the VOICES want me to reach a point where I can just be happy with who I am as a runner.

Or maybe I just need to sit one out and watch from the sidelines. I don't like it but maybe I need to prove to myself that I can........ Wish me luck this weekend as I cheer from the sidelines of the White River Marathon. This will be my biggest challenge yet.