Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How To: Get Over Yourself

Two years ago I ran my first race. I ran a half marathon. It was hard. I started having pain during mile two which caused me to fall behind the pack. My running buddies all took off and I had to dig deep to finish. My time was 2 hours 8 minutes.

Last year I ran my full marathon, TWENTY-SIX POINT TWO LOOOONG MILES. I had never in a million years thought I could do it. My only expectation was to finish under 5 hours. I trained hard and took care of my knee so there was no pain. I had the best run. I felt great and finished in 4 hours 20 minutes. I was more than happy with that time.

This year I decided to run the half again. 

(picking up our packets)

(pre-race carb/protien overload)

I had a great training experience. I mixed it up from the last two races by adding more cross training and sprints. I wanted to do this race for time. I wanted to run it in 2 hours or under. I knew taking 8 minutes off my time was going to be tough but I felt like I had it in the bag.

Last Saturday was race day. 

I started with the pack but it was hard to stay together in the sea of runners. I got a little ahead of my friends and realized I had lost my buddy Melissa completely. I slowed down to find her and she was not doing so good. She was sick already. I ran with her for a little bit but I had decided that at mile three I was going to go for it and run my own race. The night before my friend Meg who I had ran with the last two races kept telling me to go for it and see how fast I could do it. So with her in my ear I took off.

I put on my running tunes and found a good pace. I didn't have a garmin so I had no idea where I was. Half way through the race I was under an hour and felt great.

As I came into mile 11 I heard my friend Randi behind me so I ran with her for a tiny bit, but then she told me to go. So I took off again. I was excited to be so close to the end but decided to save my sprint until I could see the finish line. Then I saw my other running friend Jessica who had already finished running towards me and she gave me some encouragement so I kicked it into gear again.

The finish line wasn't where it had been the year before so I couldn't see it, but then I heard my name and looked up and saw the finish line with the giant numbers displaying 2:03:42.

UGHHHHH! I was so disappointed. I couldn't find my family in the crowd. My friends were either on the trail or had left. I was all alone at the finish line. I begrudgingly grabbed my medal and drank some water as I walked it off. 

I walked around feeling so annoyed. It was such a different feeling from the year before. I felt like I had blown it. I was too tired to cry about it, instead I was mad.

After a while I realized I still had friends out there and I needed to cheer them in. I also had my family that I needed to find.

We took pictures and congratulated each other.

I got home and Aric took care of the kids so that I could have some time to recover. I finally let it all out and let the disappointment take over. I had a pity party all by myself. I was so mad that I had left my friends to run "my own" race just to be disappointed with my time. It wasn't worth it. I wish I had ran with them, especially Melissa. It was her first race and I left her at mile three sick! I felt like a horrible friend.

It didn't take long for me to realize how stupid I was being. I ran a good race. The best part of the race wasn't the race at all. It was training with wonderful friends who love me and inspire me. It was my kids and Aric at the end who were so proud of me. It was realizing once again how blessed I am to have a body that can keep up with all the demands that I put on it.

I had to get over myself. 1:59:00 is just a number. It's not who I am. With the time of 2:03:36 my family was still proud of me. 

And my friends still loved me, even though I ditched them.

This whole experience made me realize how I let unnecessary expectations get the best of me. I get so caught up in how I don't measure up, that I can't see what I have accomplished. Not just in running, but in my life.

So here is to a new way of thinking,(at least for today), I am going to get over myself and see the positive instead of the negative. Instead of looking at my house and seeing all the things I didn't get done I will focus on the things that I did do. Like go to the fifth grade celebration planning meeting. Like reinstall the toilet. Like watch my friends kid so she could get some training done for her job. Like work on my book that I never have time to work on.

I hope my little experience/life lesson will help you get over yourself and see past your unrealistic expectations. Maybe then you can focus on all the amazing things you do that you don't give yourself credit for.


Lindsey said...

I love your tunes that you have on!!! You are the best. Don't be worried about it. You are great, and just DOING the race is a great accomplishment!

Randi said...

Love this post. It is so true. We weigh ourselves down constantly with unnecessary and sometimes unrealistic expectations that can take joy out of our lives and blind us to the blessings Heavenly Father is really trying to give us.
You did amazing. I am so glad I got to do this with you. You are so inspiring to me. Thanks for being such a great story teller on the trail. :)

Lauren in GA said...

I think you are amazing. Truly. I love how you turned discouragement into a teaching moment.

Rochelleht said...

You are awesome! Seriously, I couldn't even begin to accomplish that. I have terrible knees. I'm so proud of you. Truly, I'm in awe.

Christie said...

You are a rockstar (both on the course and off). Seriously just what I needed today. I am the queen of beating myself down for what I didn't do. Thanks for the reminder. And awesome job on the race!

Jess said...

You girls did great! Yep, I agree don't beat yourself up, but you know sometimes those beat up days are just part of life....best thing to do, learn from it....you did!

Nurse Graham said...

Loved this post. I know how easy it is to beat yourself up about unfulfilled goals--with racing and in life. I also know how liberating it can be to give yourself permission to slow down, focus on small achievements, and move forward with wisdom earned from the experience. I'm trying to live by this.

Thanks for being an inspiration and I'm still want to run with you as soon as school is out for summer. Oh, and on a completely different note...are your tutoring slots all filled for summer?

Natalie said...

good job jessica! All of those (or one) evenings in the lowes parking lot paid off;). Beautiful life lesson to accompany a beautiful race! thanks for taking the time to share it!

Rachel said...

Great job Jess! I think Satan loves it when we allow ourselves to look at the things we aren't doing perfectly instead of focusing on how much we are trying and growing. For some reason he is especially successful with this in women. You are awesome!

Cami said...

Love you...so happy to share our lives with each other out on the trail. You ran a great race...with many more runs to come

calibosmom said...

You're a SUPASTAH!!! At least you got back out there and did it! I ran one full marathon and TOTALLY blew it and swore I would never torture myself like that again. Here's to seeing the positive!!! Love you!

Ashley C said...

This is a great post, Jessica. Women are especially good at beating ourselves up over everything. I will be happy to just finish the race, let alone finish in around 2 hours. :) You're awesome!

kthom said...

Beyond impressed. I'm thrilled with each 5K I run...I couldn't imagine a 1/2....So great! Running partners and friends make it so worth it. Your race was a big deal....way to go!

Melissa B. said...

No offense but after reading this I am even more motivated to run another soon. NO FAIR getting sick!!! I loved training with you and can't wait for the next. I agree with giving ourselves more credit in our lives and 2nd our talk we had today in my basement while painting;)

Heidiram said...

I am super impressed. One of these days I will start to run . . . or jog . . . or even walk for that matter. I am just such a baby with the heat and humidity. I can't even make it down the corner to my mailbox without dying.

Christy said...

Such a great perspective! It's definitely a lesson that I will take to heart.

Way to go!! I'm so proud of you! I think it's pretty darn amazing that you ran a 1/2 mary!! xoxo

Elena said...

I am very amazed of all your accomplishments. I've felt like that recently too. I agree Satan can put stuff in our heads that will bring us down. You got it together though. You have many persons who love you and see all you do. I'm sorry I wasn't there to cheer you on. It's been fun to see you come around the last bend and head for the finish line. You're pretty hot stuff! xoxo