It never ceases to amaze me the ups and downs that a runner can have. Now I guess this is true of most any situation in life, or simply of life in general, but the constant roller coaster of emotion was not one that I expected when I began running.
2012 was an epic year for me, one I will always remember. Being my first full year of racing, and the year I began documenting my journey on this blog, it was a year full of fantastic experiences and successes. It really has been so amazing to reflect on the progress I’ve made as an individual, and as an athlete. But somehow, I arrived in 2013 with a less than sunny outlook.
I’ve been hard on myself lately. I feel like I should be faster, that I should go farther, that I should have more motivation. I feel like I completely blew my diet over the holidays, and that I lost my typically rock-solid self control to indulge in food and drinks I normally wouldn’t. And my biggest fear is that I won’t complete my first Spartan Race as well as I hope due to my own shortcomings with regard to diet and training.
For the most part it seems I may have the same sort of self loathing that many people do once the holidays pass, and all we are left with is a house full of sweets and few extra pounds around our midsection. We quickly shift from joy and celebration to insecurity and regret.
So I admit, I’m not perfect. My diet isn’t always perfect, my motivation to workout and run isn’t always 100%, and I do doubt myself on a regular basis. But, the difference lies in the fact that despite these low points, I still carry on, because I remember the high points, and they are so very worth it! I can and will improve my diet again, I will lose those couple of extra pounds, I will run on.
Today, I ran 5 sub 9 minute miles. For me, holding that pace for longer than 3 miles can be tough, but I pushed myself and made it happen. It felt great! After all that negativity a runners high was just what I needed!
So despite me not being perfect, I need to remember that no one is. We all mess up or lose our resolve from time to time. The main thing is that we do not give up and succumb to the negativity, but use it as a tool to rise above and improve ourselves for the better.
I truly am looking forward to an amazing 2013, and I’m going to try to be a bit less hard on myself. I hope that each of you in your journey takes a step back once in a while as well to realize how great this journey really is. Be proud of yourself, and push on!
Happy New Year! (a tad belated.. See! Not perfect, but it’s okay. 🙂 )