Monday, September 6, 2010
I always loved reading John "The Penguin" Bingham's articles when I first started running over five years ago. Part of it was that he actually convinced me that I was slow because I chose to be, and that it wasn't a bad thing to come up closer to the bottom than the top on the final race results sheets. Not only that, but he made me think that I was there because I wanted to be there, that I wasn't up pacing the Kenyans because I didn't want to, not because there would never be a hope in hell that I would be anywhere near them.
That self-deception wasn't such a bad thing because it kept me merrily racing away, enjoying the scenery, chatting with the other tortoises, signing on and travelling to farflung destinations in order to collect the bling.
So you assume from my tone that something has changed. Yes, it has; I've become more competitive. Faster? No, not much. A little; you know how hard it is to make up extra minutes. No, it's the Nike + and the dailymile.com that have made a difference. Every day that I run I want to shave a couple of points off the pace. Sometimes I do, often I don't. But I'm becoming more consistent, and more consistently faster. My pace is building slowly over time. I'm watching my weight and paying close attention to how I feel, how well workouts go. And friends on dailymile cheer on every little triumph.
No, I won't win any races any time soon. But I feel like I'm pushing my personal limits a bit more, getting closer to my true potential. And, as you know, that mindset translates into the rest of life; I find it harder to settle for anything second rate, I try to find a way to make it just that much better. That mindset is a wonderful thing, and that's where you want to go.