A Thief Named Comparison

Reflecting on the my recent half marathon has brought out my competitive spirit.

As I mentioned, I didn’t meet my time goal. I was initially bummed when I finished, and I quickly got over it. However, even though they’ve been surrounded by positive thoughts, I’ve had moments of doubt over the course of the last couple weeks, and moments where I’ve been frustratedly wishing I was at the fitness level that other people are at. Thankfully, I’ve been reminded by my dear husband that there has been so much to be positive about. I finished, first of all, and I finished without injury. My asthma barely flared up this training cycle. The same thing could not be said for the first half marathon I trained for last year, which is a sign of improvement. Combined with the fact that I genuinely didn’t have time to train like I wanted to, I’ve resolved that it’s okay for life to get in the way sometimes – I’m only human. Plus, there are lots of other races coming up.

Again, for the most part, I’ve felt pretty good about how everything shook out. I am writing this because I find it fascinating how, even when we aren’t competing with anyone else, we find ways to compete with ourselves. This isn’t intrinsically negative, but when we let this rule our lives, it can be destructive. We are our own worst enemies.

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Since I needed to be reminded of these truths, I wanted to share them with you, in case you need the encouragement as well.

First, comparison will steal your joy, if you let it (so don’t!). There is always going to be someone faster in running that you can compare yourself to. With the endless parallels running brings to life, there is always going to be someone smarter, cooler, or whatever than you, so comparison is futile and will only cause you to focus on the negative. Comparison is not healthy! Regardless, if you’re giving your best effort (and even on the off days when you aren’t), your life matters, and there is always something to be thankful for.

Second, accountability can remind you of the truth when you aren’t able to see it. We all fall prey to negativity, which is why accountability is a healthy alternative to comparison. My husband and friends who don’t run remind me that everything in life is relative, and they build me up when I struggle to remember how far I have come. Most of my friends don’t run, and when I tell them my running struggles, I’m also reminded how trivial they can be. The lessons I’ve learned from running are greater and far more important than a time on a piece of paper.

Finally, whatever fitness struggle you are encountering, I implore you to remember that you are more than just a number on a scale, clock, etc. Comparing your success now to any success in different circumstances (someone else’s success, past progress, or something else), is fruitless. Yes, great things happen when you push yourself, but today is new, which means the present challenges are also different, and comparing other experiences under different circumstances is like comparing apples and oranges. Revel in the successes each day brings and cling to those.

So, onward we go. Cheers to seeing the beauty in each day!

After the Storm

As I mentioned a couple of days ago on social media, there was a 90% chance of rain on the day of my Half Marathon. Well, that chance became 100% because of a little hurricane named Patricia.

Yesterday (Saturday) was kind of a rough day. Due to the storm’s trajectory and high risk of flooding, traveling from Austin to Houston was not feasible, so I wasn’t able to make it. In the end, I was somewhat glad I didn’t risk my safety because the race ended up getting cancelled, with parts of the route underwater this morning. The rain continued all day, making it a dreary Saturday. Then, we watched the Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss game on TV, which was also a huge disappointment because the Aggies (my team) couldn’t even get a touch down. By the end of the day, I felt dejected.

However, today was a new day, and so is tomorrow. The Houston Half Marathon committee posted today that they are looking at “options” for how to move forward, so there is a chance they’ll still give us a way to earn our medal.  I got to sleep in, the cooler weather finally kicked in and it was even a bit chilly out today! And I made some delicious pot roast and had time to reflect on training this time around. Amazingly, it also appears that no one has died yet in the wake of this storm. Today offered perspective, and I have much to be thankful for.

Regardless of this weekend’s mishap, I’m planning to run 13.1 tomorrow, here in Austin. I had several great long runs over the last couple of weeks, despite being generally underprepared for the race. I want the opportunity to prove something to myself, and I have that opportunity every day.


I was reminded this weekend that even when things are tough, there is always a chance to start over, to start fresh. Your attitude dictates your opportunity and tomorrow is what you make of it.

I’m looking forward to sharing the next steps of my running journey with you, and hearing of your successes and struggles, too. And I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes tomorrow.

Cheers!

Monday Motivation – June 1, 2015

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Let’s face it: everyone feels like quitting sometimes. I want to encourage you all this week to keep going. Whether you’re dealing with an extremely difficult week at work, trying to conquer creative burnout, or running a marathon, a breakthrough is always around the corner. Keep pressing on. You got this! 😉

Cheers to another week (and the first week of a new month)!

Motivational Monday

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How many times do we say we are going to do something and cease to act on it? I don’t know about you, but once I start something, I want to finish it. The hardest part for me is actually starting it.

Anyway, updates to come later this week! Also, follow my Instagram for more fun updates throughout the week: @freetorunblog

Have a great Monday!