Sunday, November 6, 2011

D's Race And Finding Humility

This weekend D ran a 15k, and he did awesome. I was truly amazed by the power and positivity that came fluidly from his spirit on race morning as he completed the entire race with a smile. It has been inspiring to watch him feel alive once again through running and begin to dream big for the future.

Yea, he's got his running mojo back
What a stud
While he was racing and I was standing on the sidelines anticipating his passing, I couldn't help but notice the local runners zooming by that I've beat in other races this year. When I should have been on cloud nine watching D fly like the wind through the Chicago streets,  I couldn't help but turn the beauty he was creating into an ugly experience that became all about me. I was excited to support my man, but I couldn't help but feel broken up about how I was aching to be racing. Strange new feelings of how I needed to prove that I'm a decent runner were saturating every thought in my mind, thoughts that somehow started to become tangled into my self worth and left me feeling like an emotional mess.

Truth be told, there is a deeper rooted issue that I have been wrestling with in the past few weeks that has finally caught up with me. My running spirit seems to still be healing from last months marathon misstep and there has been salt burning my wounds with the unpredictability of my career path as of late. I have tried to keep positive and press on telling myself that there will be other races and I will once again give the marathon a go, but my heart is still quite broken from the mess of a race I had. I haven't yet let it go and it has been eating me up inside and quietly greeting me at the least unexpected moments. Telling myself that there will be other marathons, that 3:26 is still a decent clip, and that one race doesn't define the limits of my abilities has only gotten me so far. Beyond the skin of a runner also lies a gal who has recently reached for so many new things and pressed past the area of comfort in life only for situations to turn out less then ideal, that it has shaken the rocky foundation of my core.

It can be difficult sometimes for me to separate the runner from the person in me. Being a runner is just a hat that I wear for a short period of time each day, it doesn't define who I am...but why at times do I let it?

I am...

a child of God.
a wife.
a daughter, sister, and friend to many people.
someone who has the power to inspire others.
a dreamer, a believer, and full of hope.
an intelligent individual that has the ability to create distinct notability.
a positive thinker.
unique in my thoughts and do not let myself be bound to the chains of what is normal.
fortunate to have the gifts that I do.
filled with courage.
valuable well beyond being an average runner.
a woman with many gifts.

It can be difficult at times when the road is rocky to remember who you are

The part of me that has been continually questioning why I have the ability to run a 1:27 half marathon on a trail course that had some extreme and drastic inclines but could only finish a full marathon a few weeks later in 3:26 with a half broken body has been taking over my mind. While I should be focusing on my career, family, faith, and blessings, I am instead cramming my mind with running "whys".  This is not who I am, so why am I letting it control me? Because I'm a foolish human caught up in the value of the world.

One of the most challenging things for me in life is being humble, and standing on the sideline supporting the most important man in my life taught me a bit of humility yesterday.

Things are not always about me.
Life doesn't happen on my timing.
Good things come to those who wait...and those who believe.

I believe.


  1. Such a beautiful reminder that we are so much MORE than just runners. Spectating is tough for me as well. Inevitably there is a desire to be out there running and competing.

  2. I can totally relate to this. I suffer from runner jealousy all the time. I can swing from thinking I'm awesome, to taking 3 days off of running and seeing some chic on the street and thinking I am a slow couch-potato. If you learn how to fully trash this mental stupidity, let me know....

  3. Excellent post! Watching is difficult. Encouraging & inspiring words, thanks!

  4. I feel your pain as I myself, have been battling my injury from a race last weekend. Sometimes you just have to get over the hump and remind yourself constantly of what your capable of and know that there is something bigger and better always waiting on the other side if we are patient.

  5. Britt, I can feel your pain. i've been there too and it is so hard, SO HARD, sometimes to seperate the runner from the person inside. You are totally HUMAN and normal..doesn't mean that these feelings we have (and yes I've had all that you describe here), are OKAY....but it is NORMAL. I love you. I know you are going to get your day.....instead of focussing on what didn't go right this year, focus on what did...b/c darlin' SO much went AWESOME this year! you are an incredible RUNNER, but your journey is unique and it will unfold in it's time. I think you are an inspiration! don't let this beat you up anymore..... try to release it and embrace all the amazing things you've accomplished this year! I know it's WAY easier said than done:(. I wish I was closer b/c I would take you out to starbucks and spend the evening filling you with word of encouragement and love! hang in there chickee! some day when you are 80yrs will look back on ALL Of this...with fondness....even the hard stuff. xxx

  6. Oh, I think this is so normal. I have not watched one race when I did not feel jealous I was not racing. Even NYC today! You can be supportive and wish you could have raced, all at the same time.

    As far as your marathon, it will take some time to put it behind. In 2010 I ran a 1:31 HM 4 weeks before Boston, which predicted a 3:13 marathon for me. I only tried for a 3:20, but managed only a 3:40. I was so bummed seemed so unfair. But then I got my 3:20 6 months later. Even now, my HM PR puts me at at a 3:06 marathon, but I did not run that in October.

    Do you think you peaked too early, or were too tired/beat up? This is probably what happened to me at Boston 2010. Maybe try a shorter training cycle? Regardless, you are one fast determined runner and you will succeed in the marathon, I have no doubt!

  7. You are so honest and self aware, Britt. You do inspire us! Definitely a reminder that running can be all consuming, but it cannot be your everything.

  8. I hate that marathons or (any other race) is a measure of our ability on that specific day on a specific hour in those weather conditions. Had a race been one week earlier or later there could have been a different outcome. I think sometimes we just need to remember how thankful we are for the ability and not get too discouraged when the "race" goes less than ideal (at lease thats what I tell myself before every race) You have a great perspective on life. :)

  9. Oh Britt. Great perspective. Great job of expressing yourself. I tell you I can totally feel this post. You are not alone as any competitive mind can easily get wrapped up in the "whys".

    Good things sure do come to those who wait....and those who believe. I would stop running today if I didn't believe this! Many many good things have come to you this year Britt. Many amazing things....You PR'ed in darn near every distance! You're just a youngin' who will shatter this marathon TIME and TIME again in the next few years.

    SUCH a well written post as always:) Congrats to D on his race and lucky man to have such a special woman to call his wife!

    OK-excited to see you whoop it up on this 5K!

  10. We can all definitely question ourself at times but you are an amazing runner!! Just wait until you PR in the marathon and it will be so much sweeter because of how touch Chicago was this year.

  11. Well said! And such a good reminder to me that running doesn't define me. I recently had to take almost a month off for medical reasons and I REALLY struggled with inner emotions. I would literally be driving down the street, see someone out for a run, and feel almost angry inside. Thankfully I am back to running, but your post has reminded me that I really should "deal" with some of these thought processes...

  12. OH GIRL!! Thank you for opening up about this because I am sure 99% of us have felt this way or will in the future. For me it wasn't the race (it was a race last year) that I was so upset about but all of the HARD HARD work that I put into it and then didn't reach my goal. You gave your all and it is hard to not see you reach what you know you are capable. PS your half trail....can I have your autograph! Thank you for your comment, you made my day!