So long Jacksonville

After 4 months of training the Jacksonville Bank Marathon was suppose to be “the” race. The race where I finally went under 4 hours, and maybe even get to my dream goal. It wasn’t the day. That’s the short version. There’s a long version if you want to see it. To be honest I’m done with the race. I have no regrets about what happened or the decision I made. I was dehydrated to the point of getting sick, something that had not happened since soccer conditioning in high school. I knew my day was done. The weather was bad, and a lot of people had a bad day. I’m not even upset that I couldn’t have a medal. To be honest I really didn’t want one. That’s all I have to say. It’s time to move on.

coming home to puppy snuggles

I don’t know what I want to do next, or even if I want to do a marathon in 2014. The first thing I’ve come up with is a 5k. Short, sweet, and over in about 20 minutes. I’ve had a lot of good races this year. I’ve knocked 4 minutes off of my 10k time, 6 minutes off of my 1/2 marathon time, and 5 minutes off of my marathon time in 2013. I know I have more potential to find, and new PRs to get. Right now I’m taking the week off to get over this head cold that I can’t seem to shake. Then I’ll thing about what I might want to do next year. I have a few ideas, but rest seems to be what my body wants to do the most.

A little post race retail therapy never hurts 🙂

Table manners

I grew up in the South. I remember the days of table manners when spending the day with my grandmother. In reality threatening to put napkins under your arms to make sure your elbows aren’t sticking out is only devastating to a competitive 6 year old. In the south there are certain unspoken rules, or at least there were while I was growing up. You never asked a lady’s age or weight, and politics were something that stayed at home. I remember my mom telling me once she wasn’t going to tell me who she voted for.

It seems the rules are changing. Political discussions spill over all over the place. The thing that has bothered me the most over the past year is the emphasis put on a woman’s weight or size. In today’s age of airbrushed magazine photographs, and internet anominity people seem to say whatever they want about what a “healthy” woman looks like. My entire life I’ve heard “you’re so skinny” like it’s a bad thing. I was even told once not to become anorexic because of my size. Believe me I am no where near anorexic. While talking to co-workers several weeks ago I actually discovered I weigh more than all of them. At some point being perceived as skinny is just as bad as being over weight.

While I train for marathons, and workout on a regular basis I am far from skinny. I am strong and healthy, something I’m quite proud of. I just happen to be lean. It’s time to stop judging everyone so much. Just because there are pictures in magazines of thin woman doesn’t mean that we all need to aspire to be them, or something we’ve found on Pinterest. All you have to do is strive to be the best person you can each day.

Pushing through

I’ve been working on figuring out a few things when it comes to auditions, and races. I am brilliant at training/practicing. I do everything I need to, all of the scheduled workouts, and hours of practicing, but when it comes to the big day things don’t always go the way I hope. Saturday I ran my first 8k race, and I figured out a few things about myself. Ways I can improve, and somethings I don’t like.

We grow up with phrases like “when life gets tough, the tough keep going.” Do I keep going when it’s tough? The honest answer is not always. I need to learn to push through when things get tough. Maybe I’m tired and don’t want to practice, or I gloss over important details that can make or break an audition. If the end result is to win backing off isn’t going to get me there. Instead changing up the practice session with some slow practicing to reinforce technique could make a big difference. Maybe it’s a hard race course with hill after hill. I need to learn to ignore what my head is saying about slowing down, and run with my heart instead of my head.

My goal for my next race, and audition is to ignore the doubt that creeps into my head, and go with my heart. As I remind my student I’m the only one who can hold myself back. What’s holding you back? And how can you grow from pushing through?