A month ago I wrote about the one small thing I committed to do daily for a month to get me unfunked from my workout slump….run. And not just any run…run up and back down this brutal hill in my ‘hood.
It took me 10:44 on my first attempt and with consistency my times kept moving down. Get this — by day 11 I shaved off 1 1/2 minutes!
This was all very encouraging so I decided to increase my training beyond the hill and sign up for The Chattanooga Chase 8K which happened to be around the end of my one month unfunk commitment. This was going to be the perfect race to test my hill training because it highlights a hill from hell — Minnekahda Road.
So here’s where the comparison pity party comes in.
I used to categorize myself as a runner. I enjoyed it, it came easy to me, and I was pretty good.
The Chattanooga Chase was the very first race I ever ran back in 2005 and I took 1st as overall female finisher with a time of 36:00.
This time? I sucked ass. My time was 44:15. The last couple miles hurt so bad it literally felt like I hadn’t trained at all.
And man, did I get emotional and weepy after the race.
“How could you let yourself go like that?”
“I can’t believe women so much older than you finished minutes faster”
“What a loser and has-been”
“You’re getting so old and flabby. You’ll never be great again”
Oh yeah, my Inner Critic had a field day making me feel like shit and I secretly wallowed in her B.S. off and on for the remainder of the day
And then I decided to call off the pity party and do some productive reflection…
Comparing my current self to my more youthful self is B.S. It’s draining and makes me feel helpless and sad and I’m too mature to give away my power like that. Aging is literally part of life and I get to choose how I’ll move through it.
I was a much better runner back in the day in part because I was running (a lot) to escape parts of my life. Today my life is full and there’s no need to escape and I’m very grateful for that.
My Inner Critic drove me back then. “She” was my negative and shitty motivator yelling at me to always try harder for that perfect body and was always first to point out all the imperfections (body and otherwise) that needed my time and attention. She fed me the line that perfection gave me worth. Hahahaha. I’m so grateful that I’ve learned to recognize her evil B.S. quick and instead listen to my kick-ass Intuition who is so much more kind and helpful :)
So I went out and ran for an hour yesterday, a week post-race. It was painful and my legs hurt. And you know what? I was grateful.
Grateful for all those early years that shaped me into who I am today. Grateful that if I decide to get back into the running scene I’ll do it for the right reasons and with a much healthier mindset. And grateful that I get to run.
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