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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.


6 comments:

Mike said...

Excellent post David. This speaks to me on so many different levels. It is the VOICES that kept me running for 3 months after I knew I was injured and it is the VOICES that urge me everyday to say "Eff the Dr" and get back on the road. It is the VOICES that tell me I am a weak bastard for deciding to drop from TNF 50 due to injury, after all, I know I can finish, but no finishing time would be good enough for me. I, like you, believe that I must become happy (and satisfied) with myself as a runner. If you have any ideas on how to do this, I'm all ears. Good luck as a spectator this weekend. I am actually going out to spectate myself this weekend to watch the Big Sur Half Marathon.

Jenny said...

Awesome blog David. I'm sure this will be rough for you. I am going to run extra fast so I can hurry and come cheer with you!

Omni Fitness said...

It is funny the things and people that move you in life. I stumbled across you on Twitter, added you on FB and now follow you here. Something about your spirit, drive and plaine ol' craziness has captivated me. I was you a decade ago. It was possible(not likely but possible) to beat me but by God you would never out work or out train me. Noone had more guts and willpower than I had. I see a lot of what I was and what I respect in you, and it has given me a small kick in the butt to get going again. I can honestly say that your posts and blogs are the reason I get out there and run most days. It may not be the 10 milers at 6 minute pace that they once were but at least I run. Hell, I may even hop in a race or two one of these days. Thanks for always training and in turn always inspiring.

RunJunkee said...

Love it. Thanks for inspiring me to take my running more "public".

J-Rod said...

I play soccer and stayed injury free through 4 years of high school and my freshman year in college. During my sophomore year I got seven stitches above my eye and two weeks after that a major concussion that should have ended my season. When you have coaches and trainers telling you that "It'll be okay you can play" knowing now that I was not fit to play, but I also wanted to play so it was my own fault. I got lucky. In hindsight I figured out that it's not worth getting hurt even more. I'm okay with not running when I feel like it won't get any better, even when the VOICES tell me to suck it up and run.

Andrea said...

You know my deal. I was more than devastated that I was injured and couldn't fulfill my dream to run the 2011 Chicago Marathon. I thought I would be sad to see that weekend come upon me. But, I had friends still running the race. How could I think woe is me and not be there for them. I was waiting all weekend for the sadness to hit me that I wasn't racing. But, you know what? It didn't come. Because I was having more fun than I've had in a very long time cheering on my friends - AND the thousands and thousands of strangers I made smile with my sign and Whooooooo's. You are such an inspirational person and your spirit is so contagious. Take that to the sidelines and continue to inspire people to get to their own finish line. You will have SOOO much fun that you won't even be melancholy for a second that you aren't running. Yes, running is a huge part of who you are. But, what you may not realize is that the amount of people you inspire to be better far outweighs any 100 mile race or limping marathon you will ever compete in. For as much as you may think it's all about you (giggle) it's more about all the people who's lives you change unbeknownst to you. Keep on keeping on... whether on the road, trail, or sidelines. WOOOOOOO!!!!xMrKickAssCheerleader