This past Saturday I ran my longest run to date, 54 miles. It was not a sanctioned race or anything of the sort. It was simply a training run. There was so much I learned on this run and I will share all of that with you in my next post.
But there has been something that has been bugging me that I wanted to get off of my chest. After driving an hour to get home from running a very hard 54 miles, I was greeted with these words from a family friend:
Him: “You hurt?”
Me, as I limped in: “Yes, I hurt. I just ran 54 miles and it was hard. Of course I hurt.
Him: “I don’t think you can do 100.”
I could not wrap my head around what was just said to me. I continued to unpack all of my stuff that I lugged in without any help and continued on with nursing my knee, taking a shower and then a hot Epsom salt bath, and going to bed.
Meanwhile I got feedback from family that pretty much said “Great job…BUT….” Why not just leave it at “Great job?” Why add the “but?”
I posted what had just happened on my Facebook page and then tried to go to bed. I was so angry at what was just said to me, but too exhausted to fight about it. I figured I would just have to say my peace in the morning.
When I woke up, the conversation that I thought I’d have didn’t happen. Instead I let this person know that it was the wrong thing to say to someone after they worked so hard to finish something so hard. I explained the process of what a training run is and that if a training run went well, well I didn’t learn anything from it. I left it at that and went on my merry way.
What I’ve noticed since I started running are that there are the doubters, the haters, and the non-believers. The doubters are those who outwardly support you, encourage you, but you can hear it in the tone of their voice and see it in their eyes that they don’t think what you are about to attempt is possible. The haters make a mockery of what you do and then tell you every excuse why they don’t even attempt what you do. They make snide comments and jokes that only show you that they don’t have the courage to dream big. Then you have the non-believers. They don’t think you can succeed. They only see the struggles that you go through and count them as failures. And even when you do succeed at something, to them…you just got lucky.
I got a lot of feedback from my readers saying to “prove them wrong” and to used it as “fuel” and I really appreciate the sentiment and support. But frankly, I would rather use the positive energy that I get from my supporters as fuel instead of the negative energy to prove someone wrong. Even more, I don’t have to use anyone else’s energy but my own to finish my race. I run because it’s something that I love to do. I don’t run for anyone else but me. I set big goals and dream big because that’s who I am. I have the courage to face my fears and test my limits. And while I am afraid of failure, it doesn’t stop me from setting a goal where the risk for failure is high. What I’m afraid of more is finding out that I could’ve done something that I was too scared to try.
In the past, I’ve tried to use some of my races to bring attention to a cause or dedicate to someone special. I will always continue to do this. But, for my 100-miler…this race is mine. I will not do it to prove anything to anyone, but I will do it to prove to myself that once again, I have the guts and grit to take on something that seemed impossible.
This race is my race. I will own it and I will earn every step and every mile. I will embrace all the pain that I feel and relish in the success of finishing this race. Because this race is for me, I have no choice but to finish. I will not allow the doubters, the haters, or the non-believers to enter my mind or my heart on race day. There is no room for them. Instead, I will dig deeper than I ever have in my life and I will discover things about myself that I didn’t know, and I will finish.