My dad has this saying: “The excellent is the enemy of the good.” And lately I feel like the phrase was coined with running in mind.
When you first start running it’s hard, physically and mentally – but in other ways, it’s almost easy, because practically everything you do constitutes a personal record. Slowly you build up your mileage and your speed, and before you know it you’re regularly knocking back ten miles and isn’t that amazing?!
|In the immortal words of Strong Bad:
YES I’M AWESOME
And then you run your first race, and no matter what the length or how long it takes you, you just finished your first race, and isn’t that amazing?
And then you run your first half marathon and it doesn’t matter what your time is, really, because the fact that you made it to the finish line means that you’ve just ticked off another box in your list of accomplishments.
But once you’ve established the basics – once you’ve run the race, run your longest, run your fastest in your life – the progress stalls. Speed stops climbing; even decreases. Bodily effects are not as apparent. Suddenly it gets harder and harder to pull out a new personal record. And it is at that point that the good training we do every week no longer feels like enough. It is no longer good enough to be simply good because we are accustomed to being excellent.
I fear that’s where I feel I’m hanging out right now. I have ticked off some of the standard accomplishments – half marathon completed, BETTER half marathon completed, twenty miles run… now what? Well, now the never-ending struggle to improve, and it’s not happening fast enough for me because I do not want to be only good. But it seems that “good” is my hangout spot right now.
So. I don’t want to say I’ve hit a wall, because I don’t think it’s that bad, but I am feel unexcellent. Remarkably specific, no? Anyone got tips on overcoming this exciting little problem of mine?
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