I chose this picture of me for today's blog by design and intentionally as I think it depicts well one of my strengths as a competitive runner and athlete for many years~namely the ability and choice to remain relaxed prior to competition- to trust in my training, in the process and in myself....
One of the key components that allows me to remain relaxed even in the face of a challenging race ahead aside from trusting in my training and in the process is the fact that I allow and encourage myself to be free to fail- I don't plan to fail but I am free to fail and therein lies an enormous difference. This for me applies just as much to training as it does to racing. First of all if I have a bad race or do not meet my goal, it does mean that my training is not on point or has not been effective, it simply means that I did not have a good race or workout and I do my best to try and isolate where things may have gone wrong on the day to try and make sure that history does not repeat itself- it it does repeat itself and becomes a trend then I look more deeply into my training or circumstances that led up to or surrounded the race, again to try and put things back on track. It could be that I have to look to where things may be out of balance in my life and again I try to make the adjustment and correction.
However, the bigger picture point is that I am free, liberated in my ego to be able to declare my intent ~ 'How fast are you racing the 5k today GP?' ' Thank you for asking, I plan on breaking 17 minutes' ..no bragging, no chest beating, no games, I am simply answering the question and reinforcing my plan, my goal and my expectations of myself. Quite frankly I don't care what they think, I am reinforcing things to myself and I make no excuses, it's hot, it's windy, I have some physical issue...nobody cares and I certainly do not want to tell them even if I do have an issue, why would I want to give them the edge, the knowledge that something may be an issue? I wouldn't ~ I work on the premise that 80% of runners do not care that I may have an issue and the other 20% are glad I have an issue so why would I tell them?.. Au contraire, I quietly and firmly declare to myself and then I go for it, and if I achieve my goal I am not the better person for it and if I fall short I am not the worse for it, I only let myself down if I do not try. I like who I am and do not want to be anything or anyone else, I am comfortable in my skin and in who I am and my very self worth, self esteem does NOT rest on the outcome of my race or workout, my very identity is set in stone and is not predicated on how fast I run. It does not mean I do not try, I try with every fiber of my being but come what may, wherever the chips may fall, I am fine with who I am and that is what allows me to relax and be free to race freely and to be able in no uncertain terms be able to 'declare my intent' !
Thanks for listening, walk in peace and let the good times roll !