Define Yourself

I’ve spent more time this training season and post NYCM self evaluating and (attempting) to slow down. I’ve put more of a focus on me, listening to my body, stretching more, resting more and surprisingly, running less. In January (yes, it’s taken me that long to get around to writing some of this), I had the chance to hear Deena Kastor speak. Deena spoke a lot about defining yourself (in and outside of running). Hearing her speak was really inspiring- she talked about having passions outside of running, but giving running all she could when it was the priority. Be IN the moment. Be IN the miles- don’t just do them. ENJOY them. FOCUS.DSC_0048These were all things I wanted to work on this training cycle. I wanted to make sure I had a true balance with training, work, and personal life. I can’t lie and say the balancing has been perfect. I will be the first to admit I am an over-committer (did I tell you I was President of my condo board now and volunteer on the alum board of my sorority. Yep.)  BUT, I have taken the time in the past 2 months to do things I WANT TO DO. More rest days, more yoga, more couch time to balance all the on-the-go time. I’ve learned to say no to things when I have wanted to say yes.

As far as how my running is going and how I feel about being IN the miles…I’m all in. I’m kicking runnings ass and taking it’s name right now. I’m not sure what has changed. Maybe it’s my confidence in truly knowing a sub 3:39 is definitely achievable. Maybe it’s my new coach and our plan. Either way, I’m thrilled with how each and every run has gone so far and I feel GOOD. I enjoy the miles and don’t get ahead of myself freaking out about what’s on schedule or even the miles left in a long run. I just do them as told. I can’t say I felt that way this past summer. There were many runs that I felt defeated, tired, and just down right beat up. I ended more than one run in tears. I haven’t felt that way at all.

I talked to Coach Chris a few weeks ago on the phone and he really reiterated everything I was feeling. He actually joked that nothing was really wrong because I don’t skip workouts and I’m nailing the goals he has set for me. He solidified my thoughts and it was a huge confidence booster. It’s been FUN. I actually get excited to check my Training Peaks log to see what he has put on the schedule week after week. The only thing he may get mad about is the added workouts (that will slow down as mileage continues to build).

This weekend I will toe the line at my first half marathon of the year, the Little Rock 1/2 Marathon. Coach has set some big goals for this race, and I really, really, REALLY hope the weather cooperates. I want to be able to put it all out there and test my training so far. The rain has gone from 80% to 50%, so here’s hoping that all is in my favor and I can really hit this plan. DSC_0053Running will never define me as a person, but it will forever be a huge part of my life. I will OWN the miles- good and bad and embrace each and every one. I will continue o take Deena’s words and put them to use. I look forward to seeing what my passion and drive in the sport will lead to this year.

Have you ever had that point hit you in your running- where you just felt more confident? What changed? Have you heard any famous runners speak? 

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  • Great outlook! I’ve definitely notice a difference in your tone this training cycle and it seems like you are enjoying it a lot more. Balance is one thing that I’ve heard several runners focus on and it’s something we all continually are working towards. Hitting big time goals produces confidence for me both in that the hard work pays off and I can really do the things I hope to.

  • What a great place to be, Elizabeth! I can remember being at a similar spot five years or so ago and it was really nice. Confidence will take you a long way.

    Best of luck this weekend!

  • I can’t say I’ve ever been a particularly confident runner, but the better I am trained, the more confident I am. Good luck (not that you need luck) at the race this weekend!

  • I’m so happy to hear you’re in such a good place Elizabeth! Your post really encouraged me about where I hope to be when I come back from this injury (in a week or two, fingers crossed)! I’ve never been much of a balanced runner, so the time away has really forced me to find balance with yoga/strength training/cross training. This post really inspired me to plan ahead to keep those elements when I get back to running again. Have a great race this weekend!

  • How cool you got to hear Deena speak! Wise words. I think it was my BQ in 2008 that finally gave me the confidence that I COULD get stuff done. So great to hear you are in that place. You are going to rock your half this weekend. Can’t wait to hear about it!

  • I’m super proud of you and 100 percent know that whatever happens with the weather, you are ready to crush this race! I can’t wait to hear about it on Sunday. Go do what you’ve worked so hard for and give yourself permission to “win” on Sunday! xoxo

  • This all really speaks to me. It’s awesome to hear how much you are enjoying your training cycle and the confidence you have….and now you can see you are seeing the results 🙂 Bayshore is really going to be so awesome for you. Over the past year, I have had a turning point where I started seeing times that I always felt were for other faster runners and not me. It’s opened my eyes and given me more to believe in and to work for. I’ve struggled believing this is all real and not just a fluke at times and I sometimes have a nagging fear that it’s all going to go away. But the pendulum is starting to swing the other way where I am starting to have more belief and more confidence in myself.

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