Thursday, November 4, 2010

Let what you fear make you stronger.

What scares you?  What makes you lay awake at night tossing and turning?  For most people it is the job, money, kids, government, etc.  There are too many fears, irrational or otherwise, to list here.  My point is that runners and athletes in general have to face our fears to push through and excel.

I have a fear currently that may seem irrational given the time and mileage I have logged in training.  My "first" marathon is next week.  (You may laugh about that considering how much I write about running.  I probably know less than most of the people reading this post.)

Single digit days to go.  One more possible group run for a little pep talk and motivation.  Nothing left to do really but eat, sleep and hydrate.  The mileage plan is in the bag.  So what am I afraid of tonight?

Not finishing.

I know it is the journey and not the destination.  I know that time goals are an illusion and if my plan goes to hell I need to focus solely on crossing the finish line.  Save your breath.

My fear is not seeing my name on the results sheet.  Ultimately I do not care where my name falls on the list.  First would be awesome but not probable.  Last would be acceptable if it meant I actually finished.

You see, this marathon is the site of my DNF last year.  I know this course.  I visited the host site many times as a kid so I have history here.  But last year's non-finish means my name did not appear on the results list.  Did not even rate a lowly "Logan Hejl - DNF".  No official record of being there.  The mind equates that with not even starting.  As if the previous year of my life had been wasted.

What the last year has taught me is that there is no shame is finishing last.  Someone has to do it.  Walking is as good as running if time is not important (till I get caught by the course sweeper that is).  I also understand my form and style better with another year on the road.  I should be able to correct any form issues that arise.

I don't fear pain.

The past year taught me to deal and accept and move forward. 

I don't fear speed.

Someone is alway faster than me.  But if I am out front I can't worry about losing that lead.  Next Saturday is not my time to lead.

I don't fear expectations.

I am my toughest critic.  My most demanding coach.  But if the day does not meet the goals I laid out I am comfortable with scaling back and moving forward.

So in spite of whatever time goals I have talked about, my primary goal is finishing.  Head high and heart light.

Now if I finish the way I have it planned, and can do what I hope to do after I cross that finish line...  oh the story I will have to tell.

1 comment:

  1. I really like your blog. I think you will surprise yourself. Good luck!