This is the Year I Race Fearless
I chose this goal thanks to a hotdog package.
It was between "race fearless" and "race to win." And, while shopping at Sprouts Market (like Whole Foods, but a million times cheaper), Fearless Franks caught my eye. A sign! I text Mac a picture. Choice, made.
But, if we are going with the theme of fearless, I have a confession. I had already decided the other option was a no go. “It sounds pompous. People will snicker. I can see the negative thoughts forming in their minds. ‘Can't,’ ‘won't,’ ‘who is she to assume that.’
But wait. What am I doing. I'm dreaming up imaginary onlookers, mean ones, at that, and reading their minds. That sounds crazy. Who are these people I am scared of. And, more important, why do I care what they think.
I chose the word fearless to hide behind that cliché. Because "racing to win" sets myself up for failure. Eff that. I hereby change my goal.
Lauren wrote an article in the Fall, quoting Sally on fear. "That it keeps you diligent, refines your senses, and prevents you from getting too comfortable…three things absolutely required for the highest levels of success." I agree. If fear of the competition gets you out the door on a cold day, embrace it. It's when it stops me from going forward, from trying, where the issues arise.
Last year I changed a lot. I moved, I switched up training methods, I tried different workouts (and really bombed some), I turned focus to different events. And somewhere in there, fear crept in. Not of ability, but rather, of seeming stupid, without a plan. Of failing.
And, as seems to happen a lot, a life lesson came disguised as a running realization. A fear materialized (running a poor race at the national championships...not achieving a goal...) and the world didn’t implode. I could still run, still race. I still had the support system of friends, family, runfamily. The consequences of failure were...okay.
This year, running fearlessly means embracing that outcome, knowing that I can still set goals, and not be scared of the consequences.
Two quotes for you.
"It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants to quit." -George Sheehan
“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.” -Douglas MacArthur
I believe that there is a deeper personal struggle in every race. And that is one of the coolest aspects of running, that everyone can relate to these battles. "Winning" can mean finish, PR, or first.
Right now on my journey, I do want first. I started on a path, and I intend to further it. I want to be one of the ones in contention. And yes, naming goals means accepting that they could not happen. That's where the embracing fear thing comes in. It also means not getting so excited about the result that I forget about the process. So, in the name of holding both humility and boldness equally dear, here’s my 2015 list:
- I will not get ahead of myself.
- I will go about my daily work, head down, methodically.
- I will enjoy the journey - not worry about, but rather embrace, the bumps and turns.
- But if and when I do race, let there be no question as to my purpose.
Jan 2 through Feb 5: Altitude Training in Albuquerque, NM (OiselleNM! LittleWing!)
Feb 13/14: Possible indoor meet, depending on how training progresses. And/or road race. (I’m so specific…)
Mid-March through Mid-April: Altitude in Flagstaff, AZ (Steph!! Caitlin!! Other Oiselle teammates?!?)
May 2nd: Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford (lots of our athlete will be there. fun one to watch. first outdoor meet of the season)
May 15th: Oxy High Performance Meet in LA (hometown track. great for fast times)
Races between this and Nationals depend on time, travel, preparedness...options...
May 30: Pre Classic
June 13: New York Diamond League
June 13/14: Portland Track Festival
June 25-28: USA Championships Eugene, OR (track town! I love this venue)
August 22-30: IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Beijing
Sept 12: Would love to end with the 5th Avenue Mile. I cheered for friends and Oiselle runners last year. This year I want to run alongside.