The other day, I was wondering about my competitive state of mind and I ended up thinking that I could only lose this race against my past. At least, this was my temporary conclusion.
But if running races are not about speed, then what are they about? Aren’t they about pushing ourselves to and beyond our limits? Aren’t they about capitilazing on the competition (and competitors) energy to experience sensations we would never have reached alone during our training?
For sure they are. Races and finish times are powerful magnets. Even now, when I’m not so young and confident, I’m still terribly attracted by these personal challenges of (relative) speed.
But another inner voice* also tells me to move to something else. There must be a less risky approach of races. Less risky but still satisfying for my performance orientated state of mind.
* Well… I wish I was inspired by an inner voice but I’m afraid I was more by my painful experience…
Yesterday I talked about reviving my motivation for next month marathon. During the flight, that sentence left me wondering: do I need to revive my motivation? do I lack motivation for running?…
Well… I don’t think so. I couldn’t run a single kilometer for the last three months of 2011. I was dying to get back on track and, right now, I’m still in this state of mind.
But I’m not confident with my running technique anymore. Being so injury-prone in the last few years has turned me eager to run and afraid to run at the same time. I’ve come to fear any sign of discomfort or pain sent by my body.
So now I tend to delay any running commitment or registration. When my sensations are ok, I think again of elusive future finish times but I’m afraid of following any training plan because it puts additional pressure on my shoulders.
Pressure to do what’s scheduled regardless of my sensations. Then feeling of guilt if I skipped the session or worries about injury if I decided to run and if I detected any warning sign afterwards.
Waiting till the last minute before registering for a race gives me freedom of mind to run or not. This is the good side. But, as I’m not in, well… I’m not in and I miss an extra spark of motivation.
Have you met this dilemma? Could you solve it?
After my Monday post, I’ve seen some of you smiling and I guess you were thinking « If all the running injuries you’ve had are blisters then… well, you’re gifted or lucky… or you’ve never run! »
Well, I wished it was true (I mean I wish I was gifted). But my “running injuries” CV is not so empty…
- 1994: periostitis (3 full months with no sport and I swore “No running again for me. Cycling is safer!”)
- 2005: recurrent patellar tendinitis (6 full months with no running after my best and fastest season ever. Totally depressed)
- 2006 winter: plantar fasciitis in my right foot (1 full month with no training)
- 2007 summer: stress fracture in my right foot (3 full months with no running)
- 2008 spring: muscle tear in my right calf (2 full months with no running)
- 2008 summer: plantar fasciitis in my right foot (1 full month with no training)
- 2009 spring: heel spur in my right foot (6 full months with no running)
- 2011 spring: muscle tear in my right calf (3 full months with no running)
- 2011 autumn: stress fracture in my left foot (3 full months with no running)
- 2012: nothing… yet. Please my friends, pray for me and make it last!
The questions are: why do I keep trying to run? Why do I like this activity so much? Am I completely numb? Can’t I see that running doesn’t like me anymore?
One full year since my last marathon… By then, I knew I hadn’t put in enough training to hope for a « good » finish time. With no speed work and no threshold, there’s no miracle. Maybe the marathon will bring you what you trained for. But no free meal!
I just wanted to run the distance again and to get back some confidence. My real objective for 2011 was supposed to be in May so I had time to run for fun an « exotic » race under the sun of Marrakech.
Well, it rained a little bit on race day but the experience turned out beautiful with a lot of new sensations, some of them pleasant, some of them, well…
I’ve written there is no free meal in the sport of marathon. It’s true, if you only measure your success with your watch. But if you also consider your feelings, your mental attitude, the lessons you learn about the distance and about yourself, then each marathon can bring you a lot, whether you did your homework before or not
However, one year later, I still haven’t solved this blister problem… Can you help me ?