running · self-esteem

On erasing my personal records

This past season of training and racing was a huge success for me – not just physically in the act of running, but mentally as well. I learned to love my journey and my process. I learned to have pride in myself. I learned to believe in myself. I learned about sisterhood. I learned about embracing mental and physical challenges.

Now that I am in the “off season” before training for the Syracuse Half starts in August, I have had time to pause and reflect on my hectic 8 weeks of intense training and how I want to proceed moving forward.

One week after the SPAC half marathon, I did something that I have resisted doing for years. I went for a quick 3 mile run. I saved the run in my watch…and then I opted to delete all of my personal records from my history.

Yes, that is correct. Ms. Data-Obsessed, Ms. Pace-Obsessed, Ms. Time-Obsessed deleted all of her PR times and distances from history, without a second thought.

Why? Well, I realized that I spent a lot of time reflecting on my need to embrace the athlete I am now, rather than lamenting the athlete I used to be…but I didn’t act on that realization at all. I still let myself feel slow, heavy and nostalgic after a run, race or workout. I still allowed the misery to creep into my thoughts, as I compared old times vs. new times.

How could I be proud of my accomplishments, motivated to chase new goals, and enthusiastic about my races when I had my past performances clinging to the back of my mind? I deserved to treat myself, and my performances now, with more respect than that.

I feel less anxious now, that I’m taking these weeks off of intense running. I do not feel pressured to run now, to “maintain fitness”, because I know it will come back to me. I run when I want to, I explore new methods of fitness and activity when I want to. I’ve been practicing yoga weekly, and attempting to teach my mind to meditate. I’ve been exploring what my body wants and needs in this moment. I’ve been learning to love my body, myself – without hardcore training looming over my head.

Erasing those records? It’s been good for my soul.

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