Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Enough With the Excuses!

It should be an easy question - What's your goal for the race? But lately, I've noticed that runners, including myself, are hesitant to give a straight answer. Instead of stating a goal, there's a lot of hemming and hawing. "Well ... I'd like to run X:XX but, you know, I've had some knee problems lately/training wasn't perfect/the weather hasn't cooperated/etc. so who knows what will happen ..."

It's one thing to have an injury and accept that it will likely change your race plan and goal. It's also perfectly acceptable to not want to share your race goal. But the thing I take issue with is all the excuses!

I completely get it. It's scary to put a goal out there. To say exactly what you want to achieve because there's always that chance you'll fall short. Sometimes it's easier to just play it off like it's no big deal. If you don't put yourself on the line, you can't fail - but you'll also never realize your full potential. Like Shalane Flanagan once said:


By allowing excuses before a race even begins, we set ourselves up for failure. Believe a tight calf  is going to affect your ability to achieve your goal time and midway through the race when you're getting tired, you'll let that excuse creep in. Today's not the day. My calf is tight. I'm not going to get my time. I can let up just a bit and coast to the finish.

But to sell yourself short is to disrespect all the training you put into the race. You worked hard for your goal so why would you start making excuses when you're so close to realizing it? Instead, grit your teeth and acknowledge achieving any goal requires hard work. And with running, it's likely going to hurt. Accept this without excuses.

And at worst, if you miss your goal ... so what? True, there's disappointment in working hard and not getting what you want. But it's not the end all, say all. It's not failing. You just need to brush yourself off and try again.

So be fearless. Put your goal out there. No qualifiers. No excuses.

My goal for Lakefront Marathon is a BQ time.

Tell me: what is your current race goal?

- ST

6 comments:

  1. My goal is a BQ time too! Let's go get it!

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    1. Yes! Looking forward to seeing what happens on Oct. 5 :)

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  2. Great post, Sun. The one race that really stands out to me that I made excuses for was our conference championship my senior year in college. I had a whole bunch of them- I had missed graduation and was super bummed about that, there was one person on our team who just loved to spread their negative energy/thoughts around and she was just about on my last nerve, it was my last chance to qualify for regionals so I was super nervous...but at the end of the day, my terrible performance was only my own fault and totally in my control because I chose to let all the negative things overpower everything that was in my control. It's easy to not have excuses when things are going good, but when they start to take a turn, it's also easier to make excuses instead of give ourselves credit for how hard we training for something only to let most often our minds get in the way. My current goal is to PR in a half marathon in December! Preferably about a minute or so! (totally being greedy, but that's okay, it's out there now! ;))

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    1. That's a great example, Hailey! I've had races like that, too, where I've let a lot of negative thoughts or doubts creep in. And they're usually races I've set the bar low when I should have aimed higher :)

      You will totes get your half marathon PR in December! Your training has been so strong this year and I can't wait to see you smash your current PR!

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  3. my goal is to BQ as well. i've got a hip thing happening since northface which is terrifying me as it is bringing me to tears after every 7-10 miles but i'm going to try and see my chiropractor this week and see if he can't fix me. i've also got my PCP on the schedule for friday so i'm going to ask him about pain management for the race too if the chiro doesn't magically fix my problem. lol! we'll see how it goes! excited to see everyone on sunday! xo

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    1. Sunday will be great - sending positive healing vibes your way :)

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