This weekend I am sticking with my 2012 goals and I will be running my second half marathon in the Publix Half Marathon here in Atlanta, Ga. I am not scared like I was for my first marathon but I am apprehensive to see if I will beat my time from October. When I first started running, I was totally unconcerned with beating anyone–my main goal was to simply finish. When I got to the infamous finish lines I was literally mentally and physically drained but the sense of accomplishment I felt was unbeatable. I had something I had promised myself earlier I would do and that others thought I could never do. That was a good day but being the reluctant runner I am, you already know that I was soon to realize another important lesson in the running world–only run your race.
When I started running I had NO CLUE what that meant. I thought the point of running was to beat any/someone. It did not make things better when (in the running community) I would meet people who run not for fun necessarily but because they are trying to win. Sometimes these people were great tools for running newbies like myself but sometimes their personal records can actually make you feel like you may be inadequate. I know I sure did. I began to feel ashamed and would routinely opt out of talking about my race times. That is until one day I came across this quote..
This made me reflect on why I was running races. I was not running to become an elite athlete, to become a pacer or even to beat anyone else–I was running for my health. So while I always strive to do better, I never try and compare my 3:03 half marathon time to the person who can run a half marathon in 1:45. I only can run my race. My race may be longer, harder, easier than the next person but all that matters is that I did it. While running I don’t think about other people’s times or beating them, instead I think about the struggles, pains and triumphs I had during my training and when I finally cross over that finish line, I feel accomplished instead of defeated. I have just ran MY race..not anyone else’s race. You see running is 50% mental and once I have mastered the mental part the physically part stands no chance. There were times I felt defeated, I gave up, I doubted myself but in the end (in the words of Dr.Dre),”even in defeat I still rose to my feat.”
This weekend as I line up with thousands of other runners, I will start off at my pace and there will be times when I go faster or slower depending on the terrain,heat, etc. However in the end I know I will finish. So as many of you guys are beginning runners, always remember to run your race–it’s not a competition (unless you’re an elite runner) but a testament to what you’ve been preparing for the last couple of months. So as I leave you..here is some motivation I use to help me keep going..