Thursday, October 29, 2015

Advice From An Unlikely Source

No, it wasn't from a fortune cookie, although I have had a few zingers from those in my time ;)

Let me preface this by saying I LOVE MY HUBBY! He is my number one cheerleader. He comes to the majority of my races just to take a couple pictures and see me for maybe 5 minutes of running. He gets up early, fights the crowds and chases me around the course to cheer me on. He is proud of me NO MATTER WHAT and is always there to give me a big, sweaty hug and congratulate me on however I do. 

With that being said, the running world isn't his world. He runs because he loves me but it's not his passion, focus or love. Now, if I had a question about surfing or art, he would TOTALLY be my go-to-guy and my expert on the subject. But, let's be honest, when it comes to running, he doesn't know a ton (and I don't expect him to). 

I am beyond blessed to have some amazing running friends who are not only awesome runners, but also are just fan-freakin'-tastic wonderful people. Whenever I have a question or concern about my running (or, let's be real, about life in general), they are the ones I reach out to and try to pick their brains on certain topics. So, normally, my nuggets of running wisdom come from them.

...But not this time!

This time, it was my hubby that said something that rocked my world!
I was talking to him in the car on the way home from the RnRLA Half Marathon on Sunday. I was telling him that one of my running friends legitimately thought that I might be able to qualify for Boston ("That's truth. Not hype." - his words ;)). 

Ryan then said something like "Of course you can". And I told him that he has to say that because he is my hubby and he has this crazy, blind faith in my abilities, but it isn't necessarily the reality of the situation. (At least I know that when a runner friend says something like that they know what it actually means and if I legit have the training/ ability to even attempt something like that.)

Then Ryan said something that really hit home.

He said, "Carlee, you run for fun. You run because you love it. You are out there having a great time, handing out high-fives, cheering on other runners, thanking the spectators and volunteers, but I know you can do it. YOU JUST HAVE TO KNOW IT MIGHT HURT." (Emphasis added by me)

He was soooooooo right! It's was like an AH-HA moment. I realized I am a runner... NOT a racer! 

Sure, I run races, but for the majority of the time I am not out there to push as hard as I possibly can. I run races because I love the running community, the camaraderie, the common love for the sport, but I am usually not running to race. 
Maybe it is because it is too much pressure, maybe it is because I don't want to disappoint myself or others (because, #RealTalk, I go in with a defeated attitude most of the time), maybe it is because I don't want to lose the love of running, but whatever the reason, I normally don't run till it hurts. I normally run and finish with a smile on my face and probably a little too much left in the tank. 

But if I want something that I've never had, I've got to be willing to do things I've never done. I've gotta get comfortable with being uncomfortable. And if my goal doesn't scare me, then maybe it's not big enough, right?! Because, if there isn't a chance for failure, how will I know what it feels like to exceed my expectations?
I know, I know, I sound (and feel) like a broken record. I don't believe in myself, but realize that there is really NOTHING to lose. I know I will be more disappointed in myself if I don't give it my all than if I do give it my everything and miss my goal - so I've just gotta go for it! 
Now, please hear me, I am not saying I am going to run through injury or try to hurt myself. I am saying that when the going gets rough, instead of pulling back and "just having fun", I am going to push to see what I am actually capable of. I am going to run strong and run with a smile on my face, but I'm also going to run hard and run even if it hurts! And I'm going to run to leave it all out on the course.
Where's an unlikely source you've drawn inspiration or sought advice from?


John Hykes said...

Mine came from this Steve Jones article:

Normally, my response to that headline is "shut it. Anyone who goes out and runs is a runner. Period " And that's still my answer. BUT! I think his point was more about racing vs. running.

So, my next half marathon, I treated like a race. (Ok, I was actually racing my wife. And lost). And I actually took 12 minutes off my half marathon time compared to earlier this year.

So, I guess even Jerks can be inspiring. He's still wrong, though.

PavementRunner said...

"That's truth. Not hype."

Unknown said...

"The race always hurts. Expect it to hurt. You don't train do it doesn't hurt, you train so you can tolerate it." Go out there and chase that unicorn girl!