Whether it be that new pair of running shoes, a PR, to lose x amount of pounds, to eat healthier, or even wanting to become a more positive person through running … We always want something. This doesn’t even have to apply to just runners, but people in general. We push ourselves in workouts and go to school or work everyday because we want things. We spend out lives in search of stuff. Sometimes you come across those people, not very often, but ones that seem to have it figured out. By it, I mean life. They enjoy what they’ve accomplished and are able to settle into their choices along with what ‘s come from them. It’s that group of people who I’m most jealous of. They seem to have it all figured out and never seem to want anything else except what they have. Not that they haven’t ever worked hard for things in life and met with failure, but they can accept those experiences and be happy with where they are in life. It’s a lifestyle that seems to have no frustration, no let downs, or upsets that come along with trying to reach certain goals or achieve certain things. I’m at a point with my running right now, where I just don’t seem to be improving. I want so much more, but am getting nothing from it.
Sure, I could use my busy schedule as an excuse for why I’m not improving. I could also be rational about the situation and listen to others telling me that, “you can’t feel awesome everyday,” or, “you won’t PR every meet”. Something I keep hearing is that I’ve hit a “plateau.” Well, I’m sorry … but why haven’t others hit a plateau? We’re doing the same workouts and yet others on my team are still improving. Maybe comparing myself to others is what’s getting me down. It’s probably not the physical part of my training that’s lacking, but the mental side. I could live with that being a reason for not improving.
“Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one.” – Bobby Knight
Amen to that! Bobby Knight may have been a basketball coach, but he sure understood how important it is to be mentally tough. In other parts of my life besides running, my mental toughness is a little on the weak side. Not saying that I give up and don’t try at tasks, but that I get really down on myself when I don’t succeed. I’ve said it before and will say it again, I’m a self-made perfectionist. Because of this and as it’s happened, with every track season, I’m just not enjoying running. This come from the mental aspect of the season. The beginning of the season is fresh and exciting and I feel good almost everyday in our workouts. I look forward to practice and squirm in my seat 6th period watching the clock, praying for school to be over so I can go run. Now, the season has lost some of its newness and is getting stressful. My coach always say, “Don’t think, just run.” Well, it’s safe to say … I’ve been thinking! Racing track is so much more mentally exhausting than cross country. Maybe it’s because in track it’s easier to compare yourself to others since all races are the exact same distance and all tracks are alike. I’m not sure what it is. The amount of racing we do? The hard interval workouts? The lack of a scenery change? Whatever it is, I’ve let it drag me down.
In hope of some motivation and ideas, I’ve come to my blog. My family, coach, and team mates have been equally helpful, but I’m curious about you readers out there. How do you motivate yourself to run and reach your goals when you’ve begun to lose hope? Any tips? I just want to enjoy running again. I’m so looking forward to the long runs and road races I have planned this summer, but want to be the best I can be this season as it nears the end. The next month of track is when the races become more important. Big invitational meets, sub-districts, districts, and then the all-important state meet at the end of May. I want to improve and show everyone what I can do this season. I want to be inspired and become better. Is this a sign? My discontentment being a sign of what’s to come and what I’ll accomplish? That plateau has to end somewhere and who knows what’s at the end. Maybe I have to work harder and climb some hills to get there, but at the end … maybe I’ll find myself among that group of people who have all they want and are happy. That sure sounds like a good place to be.
Until next time,
“Frustration is the first step towards improvement. I have no incentive to improve if I’m content with what I can do and if I’m completely satisfied with my pace, distance and form as a runner. It’s only when I face frustration and use it to fuel my dedication that I feel myself moving forwards.” – Josh Bingham
(When I need motivation … I usually turn to quotes. If you haven’t noticed! ;-)