Friday, September 6, 2013

Reality Check

This training cycle has been full of ups and downs.  Lately, it seems more downs than ups.  As I tried to study for my upcoming neurology exam surfed Facebook pretending to take a "study break", it occurred to me...I've been WAY too hard on myself.

I'm admitting it:  I don't give myself nearly enough credit for what I have and do achieve.  I'm realizing how true this picture really is for me at this point in my life.

I have not let myself be the runner I am right now.  No wonder I'm having trouble being the runner I want to be.  

I downplay and diminish what I am able and trying to do nearly constantly.  Why?  I don't know.  It's something I've always done.  But, I realized that when it comes to my running, for some reason I expect the performance of and critique myself at the level of an elite runner (um, Kara Goucher anyone?).  However, the truth is my training, nutrition, etc. is not that of an elite runner - it's that of a crazy amateur real person with too much on her plate.  Here's my reality check:

1. I'm not an elite runner.  I'm a wife and mother of two running on caffeine and too little sleep trying to finish graduate school who has precious little time to train.  I need to accept that this is where I'm at in life, for now, and look forward to life after graduate school.

1.  My runs are going to be sporadic.  With the Gotta Run Husband in the military and working all hours of the day and night and the Gotta Run Kids still in diapers, my time to run is cut even shorter than it was by graduate school.  I need to remember, it is what it is and be grateful for whatever kind of run I CAN get in, when I do.

2. Until I can devote more time to it, i.e. after graduate school, I can't expect the quick progression I was hoping for.  I eat on the run, sleep too little, and consume more caffeine than I would like while in my final semester. There isn't anything I can do about it except get through it and look forward to the time when running can be more of a focus.

3.  I CAN still run while finishing this graduate program.  I will have to learn to accept that my times will be slower than I wanted and I may have to walk at times.  So?  I'm still going to finish.  And really, isn't that the ultimate goal?

So, today I'm making a conscious decision to truly live this:

No matter how slow I go, how long it takes me to finish, if I run I will still consider myself a runner.    The time will come when I can devote much more to training for a PR half and a full marathon.  For now, I am choosing to give each run my best effort and enjoy it.  After all, THAT'S why I started running. :)

Gotta Run :)

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