Gawking at Fast Runners: We all have doubts, but you can choose whether to let them stand in your way or not

“Those who can’t do, teach,” they say and I’ll add, “Those who can’t run can obsess.”I jest, but if I’m not going to be able to get my fix of miles for now (thank you, right foot, if I could I’d just lop you off, steal someone else’s foot and reattach!) I’ll have to vicariously get them from others. I’ll start a donation pile, feel free to leave a few of your’s in the can as you leave. 😉

sunset runner

Ahh, I can dream of some sunset runs. 😉

Back on track, if you’re a running geek fan we’ve got some pretty fun weeks coming up. This Sunday will is the Carlsbad 5000 in California, April then ushers in both the Boston Marathon and the London Marathon.
serious runner
The Carlsbad 5000 has quite the history as time and time again its fast coarse has berthed many 5k road World Records, they don’t call it ‘The World’s Fastest 5k’ for nothing. The current Women’s 5k record is from Carlsbad in 2006, 14:46 by Meseret Defar. This year Tirunesh Dibaba who, with a 14:51 at the 2005 Carlsbad once held the joint 5k World Record with Paula Radcliffe, will be going back for a visit and a race. You can read some more about her HERE from Competitor and HERE from Running Times, but for those who don’t know Dibaba launched herself into the distance running spotlight while still in her teens…girl is crazy fast, in her first Carlsbad appearance in 2002 she was 16 and ran a 15:19. Not too shabby, just a 4:55 mile average. 😉 She’s been laying a bit low these past years and dealing with ongoing injuries, I think we can all relate to that.

shalane flanagan

Photo Credit: Thomas Boyd/The Oregonian


Speaking of some more crazy fast women here is an article on Shalane Flanagan about her recent win in the Lisban Half Marathon with a time of 1:08:52. I think the two best parts are 1) that she is wearing a Kara shirt and 2) this quote upon finding out that at the press conference she was placed head of the table and declared a clear favorite going in, “I thought they were on crack.” Flanagan goes on, “When I saw the start list, I was wondering if I should have entered the race. I was wondering what I’d gotten myself into. A lot of the women on the start list had PRs (personal records) that were a minute to a minute and a half faster than mine.”

I like this quote because it shows that we ALL have doubts no matter how fantastic we are, what are previous accomplishments may be, and despite the podiums others may place us on. Yes, the possibility still remains we may come up short of our goals, or be beat on a given day but that is a good thing as it motivates us to keep going, keep pushing ourselves, and never settle.

Obviously later going on to victory in Flanagan’s case proves that she doesn’t let the voices of doubts psyche her out. We ALL have race day nerves,but it’s a matter of channeling those jitters into a positive direction and using them to our own advance. Use the excitement to give you the ability to raise the bar on race day, give you that extra kick, where you area able to really dig down deep and bring it. How bad do you want to achieve that goal?

track runners

You'll win some, you'll lose some...keep trying.

In running, racing, and in life, we all have the doubts…the moments where we may be thinking that whoever thinks we can do something must “be on crack” but that’s okay. Let them snort the white stuff, but perhaps take a shot yourself and go for it…at least try. Even if you fail you’ll have learned something and you could end up winning after all. **Disclaimer, I am obviously joking on the snorting crack here, folks…my drug of choice is exercise…mmk! 😉

Quick reminder that my Road ID giveaway ends tomorrow! Don’t forget to enter. 🙂

1) Are you racing this weekend? If so, let’s hear it! If you’re not, what do you have planned?

2) Is there a time you didn’t think you belonged somewhere or where you were in over your head? How did you deal with that?
I often say that the saying, “Fake it ’til you make it” applies in these cases…just roll with it and pretend like you belong even if you don’t think you do!

3) How do you handle pre-race nerves or anxiety? How do you handle the same kind of nerves or doubts in other areas of your life? (ie: interviews, meeting people, etc)

4) When you were 16 what were you doing, did you take part in sports? If you were a runner what do you think your 5k times were like?
I ran, but I had yet to even run ONE mile in 4:55…I don’t recall exactly my 5k PR at the time, probably around 17:30-ish??

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10 thoughts on “Gawking at Fast Runners: We all have doubts, but you can choose whether to let them stand in your way or not

  1. So true!! Even the elites are human. Doubt is a part of being human – anyone trying to do more with their life (in any aspect) than they currently are will probably experience doubt!! I know when my coach told me I had an OT marathon in me 4-8 years down the line, I pretty much thought the same thing as Shalane – “Umm this woman is on crack”. hahaha. I actually think that’s the main reason having a coach is so important for anyone with big goals – sometimes we really do need another person to believe in us and to show us what we’re capable of. My college coach would have me run workouts with the senior girls, and before it started I would be like “did you make a mistake? cuz I should be running with the other freshmen…” But hey lo and behold, I finished the workout. And if it’d been up to me, I would never have joined with the senior girls and never would’ve lived up to the potential I did. And even if you are working solo and coachless – Okay, so you have doubt. It’s nothing but a feeling that you create in your mind. And what’ve you got to lose by telling it to STFU for a workout or two?

    • i completely agree that having a coach is IMMENSELY beneficial for so many reasons and one in particular is like u said, to push u when u don’t think u are able to achieve something. 🙂

  2. I love the fact that it doesn’t matter how quickly you end up at the finish line, everyone has the same little voices in their head at the starting line 🙂
    I usually just take a deep breath and talk to my sister about whatever is on my mind when I need to deal with some nerves. Oh, and a hug from Mum never goes astray!
    I think it’s also great to reflect on all the things that you have achieved already. Once you can see that you have been successful in a similar task, or something requiring the same effort, then you will have a little more faith in your ability in the current task.
    No races until May for this chickpea. Then my sister and I are doing the Mother’s Day Classic (May here in Aus.) 8km, and Mum and Dad are doing the 4km walk! I think it’s a nice way to start Mother’s Day, and it raises money for breast cancer research.
    I hope your foot is better soon Cait 🙁 If I had a spare I would Fed-Ex it to you, but sadly, that is not the case.
    I’ll make sure I run doubly hard tomorrow morning for both of us 🙂

  3. No racing just training.
    haha that happens all the time! Not just in sports and then I feel super awkward, but then I pretend I belong there… And then I do!
    I “shake out” my pre race anxiety. I literally just shake my body to get all the nerves out or jump up and down or some other such nonsense.
    At 16 I had just started getting into xc after like 10 years of soccer. And in high school I think my lowest 5k time was around 27 minutes.

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  5. I love that sha-sha (that’s my cute little pet name for shalene) is wearing that top, and I want one of my own! Gotta love this girls brutal honesty, we all experience this no matter who we are or how fast or slow we are running.

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