Outside factors. Two words and so, so much meaning! Whether you’re trying to lose weight, break a long standing personal record or just live to the end of the race and finish all that really matters is that you make yourself proud. Period. No one else matters! Sometimes you can feel pressure from outside forces to perform at a certain level. Maybe to keep up with a friend, make your coach happy or finish in the first half. For me I get this in two places when I fundraise for The Brain Tumor Foundation during Bluenose races, I sometimes feel like all those donors will be checking my times. Probably not though right? The second time is on social media. Whenever honey accompanies me to a race he makes a post of me at the starting line and tags me in it. I love it because as people comment encouraging things on it I get alerts on my apple watch from people we know and people he knows including one cousin of his in Texas that must be up at the crack of dawn. But one person… always just writes “what was her time?” and then nothing after that… No “great job”, no “way to go” and no “that’s amazing!” Why, well probably because my times aren’t amazing, they are average. But, I worked damn hard to get to average thank-you-very-much (post forthcoming on that idea). As silly as it is, that “what was her time?” always makes me feel crappy and puts pressure on me.
I do know, and have known for some time, that it really doesn’t matter. The fact that this person is not out doing halfs and olympics in their spare time is beside the point. All that matters is that I make myself proud on the big day and in any workout I do. From time to time I will break one of my records and boy does that feel great but the opposite is also true. Every once and a while it will be too hot, you’ll feel crappy or whatever your ‘easy’ goal was for that day just isn’t possible in the moment. That’s okay too. Sometimes that sort of thing even goes on for a good stretch, winter anyone?
As long as you give it your best, leave it all out there and make yourself proud that’s all that matters and that, that feels great! I know training season is starting to drag for most of us out there and some keeners might even be at their big season races real soon. Whether it’s an interval workout during a heat warning or race day just make sure of one thing. Make yourself proud because it’s more than enough!