I am in a constant state of searching for motivational quotes, pictures or experiences. This is not because I feel unmotivated but because I am banking them for when there is a need. Or possibly so that I have them to draw on towards the end of a scorching hot race where it looks like I’ve just come off a swim rather than a run.
Many people who are just getting on the fitness/running train think that it’s easy for those of us who have been doing this for a long time. They possibly think that marathon #5 is a cake walk in comparison to marathon #1. Or the 20th half marathon will be easy because 19 have come before. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Yes, we’ve done it before but life, and training, is different each and every day. Part of being successful with fitness and running is being flexible and putting in the time/miles no matter what. And a race is never easy unless you just aren’t trying. Sometimes I get a little snippy when I hear somebody at a race say, “that was easy”. After I heard this at a race last year, I spontaneously turned and looked at the lady and said, “well, you should have run harder”. Not my best moment, I agree. I realize that I REALLY need to think before I speak. However, she looked at me and said, “you’re right, I should have, I will next time”.
So if it’s easy, then it probably wasn’t worth your time, $$ or effort. If you are taking the easy route then you may never get where you are going and you will certainly never maximize your potential.
Not maximizing our potential is possibly one of the greatest fears of those of us with a few more miles under our belts. We work hard to see results but have to be realistic that we will eventually age out and have to readjust our focus and goals. So while you may be just jumping on the fitness train, we are running against time trying to be the best we can be before we start sliding in the opposite direction. So no, this marathon is NOT easier because I have more experience. In fact, it will be harder. Expectations are higher. Goals are higher. The fear of not maximizing potential will be higher.
I urge you not to settle, not to accept the limitations put upon you but to keep searching and keep reaching and keep moving forward to maximize your potential. Every day counts.
Stay Motivated, Amanda – TooTallFritz
Agreed! This was a fantastic post, and perfect for me. I am in constant search for something more. That may be a better garden this year, a better weekend spent with less arguing, a better, faster, stronger run…but always ALWAYS looking to improve.
Why not strive for greatness?
Great post. I totally agree! I feel more pressure racing now because I’ve done them in the past. Just finishing used to be good enough. Not anymore.
Ah…this is the first time I may take issue and take a different perspective than you! I don’t feel one has to necessarily always work from a philosophy that “maximizes” potential cause the only way I can interpret maximizing potential is to run for maximum performance, and that is not everyone’s cup of tea. I like to view this as just do the best you can on any given race, or at times in your training, but most of all, enjoy it. If one is to be a runner, then one has to enjoy what they are doing. If they don’t like to run at “maximum” ability, nothing wrong with that.
I would concur with you that if someone ran a 5k and said it “was easy,” then ya, you better run faster the next time, cause a 5k should never be easy! Your right that just cause ya ran marathons in the past doesn’t make the next one easier. They are all difficult endeavors. All the running marathons in the past does is just give one more experience to recognize when things aren’t going according to plan and make reasonable adjustments.
Although I might run hard in a 5k, I doubt I am ever running them at my “maximum potential” cause let’s face it….I know myself….and I don’t enjoy running in that 100% HR-max or “Red-Zone” and just more happy to run at 90% HR max tops (save for the sprint to the finish line), and better yet, 80-85% HR max over half and marathon distance. And….that’s hard enough to pull-off!
So, I will speak for you in a way, and postulate what you really mean is not to waste one’s abilities or to be afraid to test or push the limits. Would that be a better way of putting it? You don’t have to run till “you puke your guts out” or feel your legs burning and doing everything ya can to just make it to the finish line in blistering speed. You can simply run to within your limits (and your goals too) and find the balance between pushing your limits and enjoying the run! That’s gonna vary widely for every runner.
Don’t pay attention so much to what runners say at the end of the race….just listen and pay homage that they did it too…along with you.
As someone always says to me, “The older you get, the faster you once were.” But, I add, when you slow-down, doesn’t mean the “relative” intensity isn’t the same! All based on HRmax!
So…just run whatever feels good to you, the individual, at the moment! Find the Zen of running!
Beautifully stated, and I can so relate. I am constantly wrestling with wanting to challenge myself and fearing not being able to rise to the challenge I’ve chosen.
I also seek out motivational quotes as inspiration and have taken to creating a document folder on my laptop where I can “bank” them to draw on later.
I feel the same way. I want to be completely spent at the end of a race.