This photo isn't related to this post, but today is the 2 year anniversary of this moment
I have these high expectations and when little things "get in the way" of those, it starts to tear me down.
This past weekend, after a few weeks off from the trails, Mike and I ventured out to Mendon Ponds for some trail running. I had done my two other runs during the week on the indoor track, so I knew that it was going to be tough regardless of anything else. I was excited about the change in scenery and the "warm" weather (since when is 10 degrees warm?)
We met up with some other runners, friends and new friends, and hit the trails. The next 2.5 hours of training were some of the hardest that I have done so far. The snow was really deep in spots and the uneven terrain made footing almost impossible. I got behind the rest of the group because I had 16 miles planned and needed to go slower, luckily, Mike stayed with me.
I was disappointed in myself for only getting 10 miles in when I was supposed to do 16 miles. My pace was above 14 minutes per mile, and even though I know it was because of the snow, I felt like a failure. I said to Mike that I just want to make him proud, and even though he told me that I always make him proud regardless of the outcome, I was still extremely frustrated with how that run went.
I wanted redemption, so the next day we went back to Mendon Ponds for more trail miles. Since I didn't do as many miles as I wanted on Saturday, I went out there with the idea that I would aim for 10 miles (but I would be happy with anything between 7-13 miles).
The snow was better in some spots, but waist deep in others. We had to hike in lots of spots because the snow was so deep that even if I tried to run I would take two steps and fall through the snow immediately.
I mentally gave up.
I have this idea of what I am capable of and even in the most ridiculous conditions, I can't cut myself some slack. Most other people would laugh it off and just get in what they could (which in the end is what I did, at least I got in 7.5 more miles in tough conditions).
Obviously not from this past weekend, but the same place and another time my mental toughness was tested
Both days I kept saying that I am not going to be able to finish a 50K, and Mike kept telling me that other people finish that distance after training a lot less than I will. Being self-coached, I don't give myself the "easy" way out. I don't do the least amount of distance, the easiest brick sets or give myself many opportunities to cut out workouts. I push myself - hard and to the limits.
I have to remind myself that I have only been doing this since April 2011, we are only coming up on our four year running anniversary. We started this journey with the Couch-to-5K and we have done so much in such a short amount of time.
This seems so long ago, maybe because it was
I need to let go of "letting people down". I do this for me - to test my limits, set goals and achieve them. I know I am capable of so much more than a 50K, and potentially even more than an Ironman. As long as I am being my best in the moment, regardless of the outcome, that's all that matters.