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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Pursue the Uncomfortable...Even if You Fail

"If you're achieving all your goals, you're probably not setting a high enough standard for yourself."
~Shalane Falanagn on the Lindsey Hein Podcast

In February 2016, I watched the Olympic Trials in my living room and I wanted in.  I looked up the qualifying standards and thought that they were ridiculously impossible.

I was training for a 3:15 at Boston that year.  I didn't get it.  Crash and burn.  My marathons had stalled out at the 3:25-3:30 area and maybe that was what my max was.

Except that I hadn't really allowed myself to fully commit to do the work to get faster.  My prep for every marathon was half-assed in some way.  Either I limited myself to how many days I was running (and therefore limited mileage), or I limited myself by skipping workouts that I didn't feel like doing.

What would happen if I actually showed up...did the work?  In training for Cellcom Green Bay in spring of 2017 - I found out.  I could drop 14 minutes off my PR and feel good for the race.  So good that I could finish and know that I could do more.

My coach said the words, "Olympic Trials" in a discussion and that brought it back to my head...."What if...."

Yeah but.  I have a job.  I have a family.  That is a lot of time to drop.

So I put a qualifier on going for it.  Let's get to a sub-3 marathon before really allowing myself to think OTQ.

I knew I could do the work - I chose the same plan that got me to Cellcom and just upped the paces.  The workouts were hard...but I was finishing them.  A sub-3 scared me but deep down I knew I could do it.  Every hard workout this spring I was thinking of breaking 3 at the finish line and that got me through.  In my gut, I wanted the OTQ but I was convincing my head that sub-3 was the ultimate goal.

Still, I was afraid to go for it on race day.  Thank God for the people who texted, messaged, or told me to my face: "GO FOR IT."  It took me two miles of hem hawing at the beginning of the race but I went for it...and got it.  Just like I saw myself doing during all of those early morning practices.

Now I have no excuse for limiting my goal.  I made myself prove that I could get here and I did it.

My mantra for 2018 was to purse the uncomfortable.  I'm sure by now you've seen my godawful race photos.  You can bet I was pursuing the uncomfortable in that race.  In examining a lot of the stories I have been telling myself to date, I realized that I was seting goals I knew I could achieve. I don't like to fail (no matter now many "fear of failure" quotes I write down in my journal) so I set goals I can achieve. I do this in running, and I do this at my job.  When I achieve these goals, they feel good...but there is always this very small voice saying, "This is not it."

So I'm jumping in.  Going public with the dream that began 2 years ago.  I want to run in the Olympic Trials Marathon in February 2020 in Atlanta.  I am a strong believer in omens and when Atlanta won the bid for the trials, it was another sign.  I lived in Atlanta during a pivotal time in my life.  I went to grad school there - I met my running coach there.  I have besties that still live there.

Maybe this is the goal that I don't get.  I'm willing to fail.  It's time to really pursue the uncomfortable...well, at least it will be in two weeks when training starts again, ha ha ha.

Card by Emily McDowell Studio



3 comments:

  1. Big hugs! So excited for you!

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  2. Ahhhh I am SO excited for you!!!!!! Rock this goal just like you did the sub-3 at Grandma’s. You inspire me because honestly I’m stalled out in the 3:30/3:25-ish half-ass training land. I’m okay with it for now but I know there has to be more. I’m proud of you for going all in!

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  3. I love your passion and your willingness to take risks! Best of luck to you, Amy.

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