Am I Afraid?

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I read a blog the other day that made me pause and reflect. A woman who ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon wrote it, it was her first half. Though she had been training for a finish time of around 2 hours, she actually finished about an hour after that. It bothered her, she wanted to find out if she really deserved the Corral A assignment. Immediately after the race, she signed up for a 20k and crossed the finish line in under two hours. (http://thefinalforty.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/race-recap-miles-for-music/)

 

Awesome right?

 

As I read the blog it occurred to me, I’ve never really run a race to prove I can make a goal time. I have pushed it on a few 5ks but it was just because I was feeling really good and really in the moment. But most important I just felt like running. So a question has been lingering, why haven’t I tried to break 2 hours on a half marathon? Based on my 5k time it should be well within my limits.

 

In previous blogs, I’ve written about how much I just enjoy getting out and running. I’ve also written about how much I enjoy running with new runners. But I recognize that the pace I run is really comfortable. I am so much in my comfort zone that I can knock out a sub 2:30 half marathon with virtually no training. Am I satisfied with being comfortable? Am I satisfied with simply enjoying every run? Or do I want something more?

 

Answering the question is a struggle. One thing really bothers me. Am I afraid to try? Am I simply afraid to set a goal time? Am I afraid I won’t be able to do it?

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I love running. I love the not so competitive atmosphere running offers. I love the friendship and camaraderie. As I struggle to answer the question I also wonder if chasing a time goal will make me lose the things that draw me to the sport. Or am I selling myself short by not challenging myself and trying?

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There are a few more races on my schedule for this year. I’ve got the Newport 10 miler in April and I’m going to sign up for a half (not sure which one) in the fall. I think it’s time to reassess what I really want to achieve from this sport. And maybe, even if it is for one race only, I should make a goal of getting a PR (for both the half and full marathon).

11 thoughts on “Am I Afraid?

  1. First…thank you so much for the support, I really appreciate it! You’ve totally made my day, and you’ve inspired me to stop being such a big scaredy-cat when it comes to sharing my blog.

    I know exactly what you mean here, and I can tell you that it made a HUGE difference once I started to actually give myself specific goals. I was always hesitant to set any sort of time goal for fear that I wouldn’t reach it and that it would somehow discourage me from trying again, but the exact opposite is true!

    I love running because, like you said, it is so personal and it’s really not about competing against others (well, unless you’re some kind of an elite athlete, which I am NOT) — and signing up for races gives you this awesome opportunity to show yourself what you’re made of. So I say, if it helps motivate you to set a time goal or to chase a PR, then go for it…but if you enjoy running just for the sake of running, then there’s definitely nothing wrong with that either! We get to choose why we run, and I think we both know that running a half marathon is a CHALLENGE no matter what! 😀

    • Thanks again. And I know that either motivation I keep using for running is good, the most important thing is to keep moving forward. I guess I’m just wondering what my limits are.

      If you ever want to meet up for a race, I’d be honored to run with you. (And I’m sure you’d do an excellent job of pushing me on the course.)

  2. People like you are so amazing and inspiring to me! If I even EVER signed UP for a race or even a walk, I’d feel accomplished! lol Actually, I have done walks and runs (although I, myself, didn’t actually run) for charity. It’s just that I’d probably never do it on my own for the fun of it.

  3. Having a time goal is a great motivator…you can do this! I personally am just hoping to be able to run my half in September in under 3hrs due to nagging injuries that just don’t want to quit…if it’s not one thing it’s another…I love running but my body hates it, lol! Blessings and thanks for sharing!

    http://runningsurvivor.blogspot.com (following you now)

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