Kill Some Stress, Run Faster, Be Happier

The last few days my Adobe was acting up, legit like a two year old heck bent on crippling me. I couldn’t finish work that NEEDED to be done, I cursed the computer and slammed some fists. It had turned ME into a toddler. Hot mess.

Stress. Frustration. Anxiety. We can’t avoid it in life and we can’t avoid it in running either. There are ALWAYS going to be things totally out of our control. My tantrum wasn’t going to solve the computer issues, and neither is the wildest of fits going to cure a stress fracture. Sometimes sh*t just sucks but you NEED to deal.
stress fractures suck
In the moment that can feel impossible but our fast-paced lives have gotten to a point where the stress, anxiety, and frustrations churning through us are destroying us. Making us sick. Clearly even if you’re not on the verge of a stress induced heart-attack or breakdown, I dare say everyone and anyone has some sh*t going on that they would do well to unburden themselves with.

What do I mean by unburdening? You most likely can’t take away or change every situation, you can’t make money float down upon you or force so-and-so to get back to you with a quote that you NEED because your article deadline is hours away.

Unburdening can be more like shifting how YOU are dealing with the situation. Adjust and learn to let go. I’m sum it up:

Do EVERY single thing you can to control the situation and make it work how you’d like it to…from there, heed to the ‘que sera, sera’.


You get hurt, injuries come with the territory in running. Do what you can to reduce your risk but you can’t avoid them. Here are your three steps:
1) Throw your dang tantrum. You deserve it. But put a time limit on your baby breakdown. Ten minutes, a day max.
2) Get proactive. Shift to problem-solver mode (logic and reason side of the brain, move out of emotional/reactive side). Come up with a cross training and rehab routine.
3) Do it. Move through that routine and ONLY take it a day at a time. Don’t dwell on XXX weeks or months. Look at your rehab like taking your medicine…spoon full of sugar that crap down. ;)

Bad Race or Workout

Also comes with the territory in running. Ironically the steps are eerily the same as above:
1) Mild upset is allowed. You deserve to be disappointed and that’s the same feeling that will motivate you to work harder next time. But don’t be a pouter, don’t be one of those jerks who ruins everyone else’s workout/race/day/etc. Cry on the inside like a champ. Haha.
2) Get proactive. Learn anything you can from the experience, is there a reason it was bad? Reassess your training if need be.
3) Move on. Keep on trucking. Some days your legs just don’t show up for whatever reason. Learn what you can the move forward.
missing legs
Never let a bad workout or race turn you into a pessimist. That kind of perspective is what kills peoples’ passion and could ruin your love of running. No one wants that.

All that stress and anxiety [psst...don't get too nervous before races either, here's my post on that.] only makes things more of an uphill battle for you. So don’t make things worse on yourself. Unburden that sh*t.

Ironically, the more balanced and less stress you put on yourself in running the better you end up performing. There’s a little thing called over-thinking, My Friends.

Back to life because 99.9% of us aren’t running for our jobs. Which means our jobs and life events are brining us the most stress. [that extra stress will effect our running if you're also wanting to run better you'll do well to unburden some life stress...logic holds there. Haha] But far too many of us let things that shouldn’t stress us out THAT much, well, stress us out THAT much.

I challenge you to let go of some little things. Lots of those things include wondering what someone else thinks about you OR complaining about someone else. A tip there, years ago I adopted the thing of not saying anything about someone else that I wouldn’t just say right to them. I’m a straight-shooter so rather than complain, isn’t it better to just go to the source and [strategically] say whatever you need to? Problem solved there.

Now for the curveballs and bigger things life will deal you often, we’ll circle back to what I suggested we do in running. Hey, like I say EVERYTHING circles back to running, right?! ;)
1) Baby tantrums. You can be entitled to a fist pound on the laptop but put a time limit on yourself.
2) Proactive mode. Do EVERYTHING you can to set yourself for the best outcome.
3) Move the heck on. You can’t control lots of things in life, namely other people. So…”let it go.” ;)
Stress makes you unhappy, it will also make your running harder. All the more reason to unburden some of that crap!

1) What is one little thing you’re going to unburden yourself with TODAY?
2) How do you handle BIG life stress?
3) Do you consider yourself a highly stressed and anxious person?

Run Better, Erase Your Doubts

Shhhh…I’ll tell you a secret. Every runner has doubts. It’s just human nature. EVERYONE has that little voice in their head that’s willing to be insecure.
doubt and branches

The thing is though, while you can’t control the presence of doubts, you CAN control if you decide to listen to them.

Don’t. You’ll run better when you tell your doubts to shut the h*ll up.

TRUST in your abilities. Trust in yourself…have confidence.

It’s a sick irony that some of the most capable, amazingly talented people (and runners) are held back by one little thing…

trust yourself don't doubt
An inner self-critic robs you of your confidence, it steals your achievements, it cripples you, it institutes your limits. Quite often with us type-A runners, we can turn into our own worst enemies.

That should make you PISSED, get mad as h*ll!! Turn that rage AGAINST the inner critic. Use that fiery anger to erase your doubts and instead…


Related Reads:
Underestimate Me: Confidence is malleable, believe in yourself through it all

Runners, Get Your Confidence On: Workouts to build the confidence you need to race your best

#epicfailWIN: Why failures rock and shouldn’t steal your confidence

Combat Excuses and Run Mentally Tough Even When Things Suck

1) Finish this sentence: “Today I will be confident. I will erase the doubt that I _______________”

#epicfailWIN: Why failures rock

Runners can never, ever fear ‘failure’. In fact, failures are NOT a bad thing. To fail means that you set a high enough goal. You stepped outside your comfort zone, you DREAMED you could achieve something great.

Failures are often the most powerful learning tools. Bad race, horrendous workout…you have to not only experience them you have to FORCE yourself to get through them. Soak up the experience, actually feel how much that suckiness that was.

Take those sucky feelings and channel them into:

#epicfailWIN picture

Confidence, you say? Yes, confidence.

A runner who pushes through when things really suck should be brimming with confidence. It’s way too easy to run an amazing workout when your legs feel like gold. To have a phenomenal race when it happens to be one of those ‘magic days’. Magic days are the exception, legs that feel like they’re running on clouds are the rarity.

To grit out a workout and keep your mind IN THE RACE when things are tough, that is mental toughness. The same goes for obstacles and challenges you didn’t expect, sudden curve balls that really test you. Get through them, keep moving forward. Those experiences, those trials, the hard times, even when you put in your best effort and the clock is brutally honest…THOSE are necessary to build a strong runner.

You survive knowing you still put in your best and never mentally gave up when things get tough, and that should give you the most confidence in the world. Those should make you think, “Look, I got through it and stayed tough when I felt like crap. Just imagine how well I’m going to run when my body and my legs feel GREAT.”

Redefine failure in your mind. After a bad workout or race, yes, you are allowed to be miffed, to be peeved. But channel all of that into a productive mindset. Rather than think as a defeatist, use the burning embers of anger as fuel for motivation and determination. Then look for any lessons you can learn from the race. (Did you go out too fast…again?? Wise up! haha)

Then COME BACK. The only time a failure SHOULD make you embarassed is if it’s the end of your road. You give up and stop your story right there.

I want you to now share with me YOUR epic fails turned epic wins. Share your stories about an obstacle you faced, overcame, and came out a stronger runner and person because of it. Tell me also about your epic fail of a race, and either tell me how you came back later to make it a ‘redemption race’ epic win…OR…if you just had this epic fail tell me how you’re going to use that in a way to reach an epic win.

You can blog about, post a picture, make some artage (you know how much I’d really love that!) and then tweet me @caitlinchock with the hashtag #epicfailWIN and a link to your epic fail win moment/story/picture/etc.

So, Runner Friends, embrace your failures because they make you stronger.

1) You know what to do, get to gather your epic fail win moment…I can’t wait to hear all about them! #epicfailWIN

A Runner’s Starting Line Confidence

Sometimes a runner’s already won the race before the gun’s even goes off. Questions. Doubts. Insecurities. None of these belong at the starting line; starting line of a race or a workout. A runner needs confidence. NEEDS it… no amount of physical endurance, speed, or fitness can make up for it.

How one steps to the line is what separates the GAMERS from the runners who perform at about the level they do in workouts, and then harriers who self-implode.
runners confidence
Confidence is a tricky one, it’s a mental factor of running and training. Once shaken, a runner’s confidence can be quite difficult to fully restore. Injuries, off days, strings of bad races, all of these plant seeds of doubt. Doubt is like a monster that, once you feed it, it grows exponentially in size. It’s a voracious monster that will eat a runner whole. Step to the starting line enveloped in that ugly monster and you might as well not even wait for the gun to crack. You’re already a dead runner ‘running’.

By the time you step to the starting line, there is NOTHING you can change about the past. Stop any questions of, “Should I have done…?”, “Did I do enough…?”, etc. You can’t do it, so no use worrying about it.

Don’t let that scare you off, if you’ve got some doubts, that’s only natural. And if you’re currently fighting from falling into the pit with that ugly doubting monster, THERE IS still hope for you yet. It works two ways. You CAN restore your confidence. You CAN still step to the line a gamer. It just takes some work and shifting your thinking.

Usually doubts start from one of two places:

1) An Event: Events would be after injuries, poor performances, etc…it starts with a legitimate reason to question if your fitness is off and snowballs. Usually the first race or workouts back after an injury a runner naturally goes in with a little more trepidation. You need some solid performances under you belt to steamroll that confidence train back.
To help BOOST that train, remember that your talent and fitness never goes away. Your first race back may not be your PR, but trust in the process, trust in your dedication, and trust that you’re only going to improve from here.

2) Anxiety and Stress: Anxiety and stress tend to spike around pre-race time. I wrote whole posts HERE and HERE on how to use those nerves to your advantage. If you let too much pressure, internal and external, load you up, it’s like running with a weight vest. To help unload that pressure, usually it takes the runner looking within THEMSELVES and finding that passion and love for running that brought them to the sport. If they can get back the excitement and joy for just running, eventually the times, workouts, and races will get back on track.

Ironically, the LESS you think about races and workouts, typically the better you’ll do.

Remember that NO race is the last race in the world. Yes, it can be a Championship race or a PR you’ve been wanting to pop FOREVER…but know that tomorrow will always come and another race will too.

1) Where do you draw your confidence from before a race?
2) How do you use a race day atmosphere to BOOST your performance compared to regular workouts?
3) Have you ever had a time when your confidence was shaken, how did you get it back?

Endorphins: Picture a world that much sweeter

Trust me, there is something special about those endorphins…more powerful than even speed goggles. EVERYTHING just looks and feels better with a brain full of post-run endorphins. Those problems feel just a smidgen less monstrously terrible, food tastes better, even that neighbor you hate is slightly more tolerable. The world is just a better place after you’ve got your run on.

Now, certainly endorphins have a shelf-life…gosh, dang it! The answer though is simple…get up, run, get your endorphin shot, go to bed, repeat.
life is better on endorphins
Living the life of a runner is like being in one of those revolving doors. It’s not a stagnate state, it’s ALWAYS moving. Tomorrow wipes the slate clean, and you have to start that run all over again. Some people could see that as a negative, “Dangit, I worked by butt off yesterday but when I go to bed I’ve gotta get up and do it all over again.”

Wiped clean, but not erased. Let’s look at the many positives of living in the running revolving door:

* Injures pass: Stuck in the middle of an injury it kinda feels like that door is stalling out…maybe it’s broken and you’re trapped in injury purgatory FOREVER. But time passes, injuries heal, and eventually you get back to your runs. Then savor them.
* Training accumulates: When tomorrow wipes the slate clean, it HARDLY erases all that hard work put in. This is the beauty of training cycles, the runs and hard workouts build upon the next, so that revolving door is more like an escalator. Riiiiide it, baby. BUT…it only goes up if you stay consistent in moving through those doors, you have to be consistent with your running and putting in the work.
* Bad races are wiped away: There will always be days that bring you bad races and horrible workouts. Can’t avoid them, the good news is you can LEARN from every off performance and after that, shake off the crappy run and get moving towards the next AWESOME run.
* ALWAYS another opportunity: Perhaps the most wonderful and motivating part of the revolving door is that there is ALWAYS another run, race, day, workout, waiting. So even in the most down times of your running, take a shower and set your sights on tomorrow. And the tomorrow after that…and just keep running.

So if you’re reading this in brilliant HI-DEF, magni-color vision…you must have gotten back from your run. If the world is looking a little grey, though, you know what you need to do…

1) List another benefit of tomorrow always ‘wiping’ away yesterday.
2) Name another major perk of endorphins?
3) Last lesson you learned from a bad day?

Turning a Craptastic Run or Race Around: It’s possible, here’s one trick!

Today’s run started out like crap. You know the feeling, your legs are wobbling around herky-jerky style and in your mind you feel like a fish out of water. You think, “Good gracious, it’s like these things have never run a step in their lives before!”

Oh the ‘beautiful’ first mile of the not-as-young-as-they-used-to-be runner. It’s almost like you can hear the creaks and pops while the body is cracking off the rust, akin to the running Tin Man. ;)
blurry runner
But you warm us runners up and thanks to the TRUE beauty of muscle memory the fish fins transform back into your actual running legs. Then though, there are just those days. The legs warm up but they still feel like a load of junk, much heavier than they ought to feel.

It happens, all part of the game, and on days like that you just put in the effort. Remember that ‘meh’ runs happen to even the best runners in the world, then look forward to the next run.

HERE is where things get interesting and we can pull a little actual science into this running businesses. Because there ARE ways to turn a heinously ‘meh’, craptastic run around…now not always, yes, craptastic runs will always exist, but if that first mile is particularly heinous don’t lose all hope yet!

animals to run
Super Science Stuff…but not in sciencey lingo

* Two Energy Systems: Distance runners work primarily off of their endurance, cardiovascular system, for the majority of their miles. Easy runs, warming up, cooling-down, even longer distance intervals and races. You get the gist, we’re not out there putting in 100 meter repeats and taxing that anaerobic system.
* Gear Shift: Sometimes us distance runners get ‘stuck’ in a certain pace; get conditioned to that ‘easy’ run pace too much and you can wind up in a rut. When this happens that ‘easy’ pace doesn’t feel as ‘easy’ as it should. Now it sounds counterintuitive but to bust OUT of that rut, sometimes all you need to do is toss in a change of pace.
* Bust the Funk: If you’re thinking, “Running easy feels hard, no way in heck running faster is even possible at this point!”…bear with me. Toss in some strides, a few relaxed surges, then settle back into your easy pace. The gear-shift will have tapped into that other energy system for a bit and two things will happen:
1) The shift caused your muscles to work in a different way, giving a little ‘break’ to the endurance-heavy system. Little breaks feel good, right, those muscles will appreciate letting the other energy system do a little work.
2) Settling BACK into easy pace will feel, well, easier. This is thanks to switching gears but also that easy pace really IS relatively easier than the faster surges.

KA-BAM!! Better run!

It’s funny that sometimes the answer to turning a really craptastic run around is to just play around with the pace, but it’s true. I did the exact thing on my run today and ended up NOT feeling like a fish stuck on the shore. Flip. Flop.

Give it a shot. There are also TWO very important times to remember that a change of pace can leave you feeling like you’ve got much fresher, faster legs:

1) Warming up before a race: Legs can feel like crap during the slow warm-up, bust off some of that sluggishness with strides, and miraculously you’ll feel bouncy after the gun goes off.
2) The Beginning of a Race: Sometimes the beginning of a race can still feel harder than it should, but DON’T give up right away, or use that as an excuse to not put in the effort. Try the same change of pace trick and bust out of the funk.

Keep on running, Runners, hopefully less craptastically! ;)

1) Have you ever tried surges or strides mid-run to bust out of a rut?
2) Have you ever had a race where the beginning you thought you’d run horribly but your legs starting feeling better later on?
3) What is one trick you use to get through craptastic runs when they happen?

3 Things Every Runner Needs to Be Told, and Then Re-Told (Repeatedly)

Not that us distance runners are necessarily forgetful, but there are some thing we tend to lose sight going about our routines. Hopefully it’s not showering altogether…but totally no judgement if you’re still sitting in this morning’s runner clothes. ;)

So just in case your distance runner logic is a tad skewed and you need someone else to remind you of these things…

1) “That’ll do, Pig.”

Sorry I could NOT resist the Babe reference, every time I hear ‘that’ll do’ my mind finishes it with Pig. For all those who don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m not calling you guys pigs, I really mean “That’ll do, Runner.” Distance runners are NOTORIOUSLY the hardest on themselves, it’s that kind of type-A personality trait that can push us to be the best or be our own worst enemy.
running in circles
Every now and again a runner needs to hear that they did a good job. That they HAVE worked hard enough, that they ARE mentally tough enough. All of that. Here is one reason why I always recommend runners have a [GOOD!] coach, to get that outside perspective. After a crummy race, rather than instantly jumping to, “Dang, I SUCKED! I must have been a mental weenie today…ugh.” Just stop it and be productive, “Okay, that was rough. Did I give it my all? Can I learn anything from this to do better next time? Take those answers and do with them what you will. But treat your runnerself with some kindness, mmmmk?

2) “This injury WILL end.”

In the midst of an injury it’s way too easy to jump straight to cataclysmic-mode, “I’m going to be injured FOREVER!!! FFFOOOORRREEEEVER!!!” [How many movie references can I sneak in here, right?] It can be hard to even imagine a day where you won’t be in pain. But…

…every injury WILL eventually get better. It will take time, but it will heal. So stay productive and do your cross-training but ALSO look into the source of your injury. Most often they come about because of a muscle imbalance, weakness, or compensation issue; the actual injury is merely a symptom of that. Correct the source during that time so you don’t have to wind up with the same injury again and again.
runner in forest
3) “You love to run.”

Bam…way to many people wind up burned out just because they have sucked the love and joy out of their running. Don’t worry, that passion can come back, but if you find yourself dreading your runs, what the heck is the point of that?! Even professional distance runners preserve their passion for running.

Running is way too ‘punishing’ a sport to force down anyone’s throat. If you’re not having fun with it, ask yourself why you’re doing it? Get the joy back in your running, and here’s my post on THAT. [Being burned out is different than those 'meh' days when your motivation is in a for beating that HERE.]

BONUS!! Look at me, I’m just so giving. ;) 4) Consistency trumps all.
There really is no secret to success or getting better at running. It comes from being consistent. Yes, speed workouts will make you faster, but there is no magic bullet…running hinges on consistently putting in the work. You gotta want it, right?!

1) Can you name my second movie reference?
2) What’s something you feel every runner needs to be told, and re-told again and again?
3) How do you preserve the passion with your running?

Combat Excuses and Run Mentally Tough Even When Things Suck

It’s ‘easy’ to run fast when everything is going right. Ideal conditions, you’re hitting perfect splits, the legs have POP. The thing is though, the real test of a runner and their mental toughness is how they respond to all the other days.

There will workouts in heat, wind, and rain. Runs where, for whatever reason your legs just don’t ‘show up’…they are flat. Other times you’ll be left gutting out a really tough workout but forced to run it solo. But you can’t take those things as EXCUSES. FACTORS, certainly, perhaps you’ll have to adjust the workout, but don’t start looking for a cop-out.
running shoes
See, your mind is an expert manipulator. It’s already looking for ANY kind of excuse, viable reason to tell you to stop this silly running, ease up, slow down, cut yourself some slack. A runner’s constantly working against that sort of ingrained human trait, to push past the limits the mind is imposing on the body.

A runner must combat the voices of doubt and complaining already…think of it like a basal level of white noise in the background that you must ignore just to get out the door and running the first few steps. Hard workouts up the ante, taking that constant background chatter and giving it a megaphone; you’ve got to not only ignore it but COMBAT it by telling it to, “Shut the h*** up!” Gearing yourself up to run hard takes extra mental reserves, through the course of the workout the amount of positive self-talk escalates as you tire, as the pain REALLY sets in.

Running that hard workout when things are all falling into place, the momentum of hitting the splits and you’re clicking, is infinitely easier than when even ONE thing is off. (ex: it’s hot out) That single ‘off-factor’ and your mind JUMPS on the opportunity for a cop-out, “Just cut yourself some slack, I mean it’s hot out.”

Ease up and that quickly can morph into this the next hard workout: “Just cut yourself some slack, your legs just feel flat today. It’s not your fault…just ease up today and next time when your legs feel really good we’ll go hard…deal?”

See, that slippery, manipulative brain of yours works fast. You can’t wait for that ‘perfect’ day for a few reasons:

1) PERFECT: Those fan-freaking-tasting workouts are the anomaly, wait around for them and they darn well may never come.
2) VICIOUS CYCLE: Start giving in to that whining brain every time the pain sets in and things get tough and it’s the snowball effect. Soon you’ll be pulling out every time you have a hangnail on your pinkie toe.

Bad workouts and horrible races happen, they actually make you a TOUGHER runner because if you can mentally get through them, stay strong and still give it all you had for the day, you’ll prove something very important to yourself:

I can run when it sucks. I can run better when it doesn’t suck…but I CAN run when things are really sucky.

Those mental battles, where you win, build confidence. You need that. Conversely, take too many of those excuses to not still give it your all out there running and you get used to it. Getting used to that is like the kiss of death for a runner…it’s like a fatal virus. Because running hurts, despite how much we must deny it to ourselves for the sake of actually doing it.
tough runner
You have to be tough to be a runner. The TOUGH runners are the ones who battle through even when the splits are off, they get stuck in no-man’s land during a race, and they’re doing a hard workout by themselves.

Some of the workouts you should be most proud of may have been where you were running horribly off pace, but you got through it. You were TOUGH. Next time, when the legs do show up, the times will come but you’ll have the extra confidence of knowing you can run hard when things suck.

1) Weather is certainly something to FACTOR into your workouts of course and adjust the times. How do you plan to adjust due to the elements and conditions outside of your control?

2) How do you handle the workouts where your legs just don’t show up for the day? What kind of positive self-talk do you turn to?

3) Share a workout or race that you are proud of for your mental toughness, maybe a part of the story the actual numbers can’t fully recount.

best running shirts

Runners Managing Emotions: When the human in you is being tested

Running can be emotional. Ask the injured runner how it feels to be on the elliptical stationed behind the row of treadmills and you’re putting yourself at risk for a major @$$ whooping. ;)
injured runner
On the contrast, approach the runner who, physically spent after crossing the line after a new PR is miraculously able to overcome full lactic acid overload and jump around like a giddy school girl.

Something about all those endorphins coursing through a runner’s veins can sure bring out the emotions. Running just makes everything else feel more ‘real’.

‘Normal people’ can’t quite understand the unique ecstasy experienced after a run that was just ‘on.’ Conversely, ‘normals’ can’t wrap their heads around why a bad run can put you in such a crappy mood. “It’s just a run, right?” they ask scratching their heads. But it’s not…it’s more.

At least it FEELS like more. Running isn’t most of our jobs, it doesn’t make us billionaires, it won’t snuggle us late at night (but we can spoon with our Nike running shoes), but dang-it it sure brings a nice sense of purpose to things.

Running is black and white. It’s a constant when all other things may feel totally off the wall chaotic. It’s about working towards something, watching progress, seeing hard work PAY OFF. Not in the monetary sense, the worth of miles is, as MasterCard can tell us, ‘Priceless.’
keep running
I often say running keeps me sane. It’s reliable. You can always count on the run being there, it’s YOU that has to show up.

Injuries are unavoidable, as are set-backs, but eventually the run will be there for you. It’s like the welcome mat that never gets tossed out.

Dealing with the emotional side of running is what tests the HUMAN in us. Struggling with an injury is the greatest test of a runner’s will. But you CAN get thorough it. Just as you CAN persevere through the ‘low’ points in your running career. The sh*tty workouts and despicable races. They have their place…they teach us lessons.

Savor the euphoric moments running will grant you, they are free of charge (well, unless you count the INSANE amount races seem to cost these days!) but more rewarding than anything those green presidents can buy you.

Remember those moments to get you through the brutal stretches of injury rehabbing. With everything, keep your perspective.

Running can sure bring out some strong emotions, like the pregnant women who instantly tear up at a sappy commercial…a runner can’t help but feel moved to cheer like mad, be pumped up on adrenaline, riding the high of motivation upon watching an inspirational feat of a fellow runner. [Heck, it's even okay for you boys to admit that's not just your allergies. ;) ]
Post on the MENTAL survival through an injury.

Post on how being PATIENT with your running wins out.

Post on the highs and lows of running and keeping things in check.
1) Share one of the happiest moments running has brought you.

2) Share one of the lower moments, how did you stay proactive and positive that you WOULD be running again.

3) What’s one of the most inspiring things you’ve seen or heard another runner do that helped motivate you?

best running shirts

Running For YOUR Epic

If you’re going to do something, why not make it epic? This quote has been running through my mind lately; 1) I’m working on a pretty exciting project, stay tuned for details and 2) It also has to do with THIS cartoon and the story behind it..sorry, Mo, I stole your word! ;)

But back to the quote, and going for epic. Perhaps I should edit it to say: “If you’re going to do something, why not TRY and make it epic.”
peacock runner
Because the truth of the matter is you very well may not wind up making it all the way to epic. I’m not being pessimistic, just realistic. Some people would argue that quote is setting people up for disappointment, “If I’m never going to run in the Olympics, be the best in the world, or set a World Record, then where is the point in all this training?”

True, most people won’t ever set a National or World Record, they won’t come home with a Gold Medal. But the thing is, I’ll guarantee you that you’ll run and set a Personal Record at some point…probably more.

Insert obligatory eye-roll here. But let me continue. The people who don’t at least TRY for epic really are just afraid to step out of their comfort zone. Their comfort zone is safe, it ensure they won’t really fail, it also ensure they probably really won’t excel…they’ll just be nice, safe, *gasp* mediocre. Now, mediocre is totally OKAY, nothing wrong with it at all. But the thing is, if you’re NOT okay with mediocre, you’re always welcomed to TRY for epic.

Running is awesome because it is a sport where anyone can improve with hard work, grit, determination, and self-motivation. The feelings of PR’s and knowing you pushed yourself to new limits are indescribably self-fulfilling. The feeling of KILLING it in a track workout or race are, in a word, epic.

Why not shoot for epic?

Define epic…it is greatness, it is awesomeness, it is rewarding, it is awes-freaking-tastic. But all of those can be different for different people. You see, epic doesn’t have to be defined as setting a World Record or being a total flop of a failure. YOUR epic may be realizing that you much stronger, faster, fitter, mentally stronger than your ‘mind’ told you that you were.
keep running
Quite honestly, you may wind up short along the way. A goal you don’t hit, eventually you will set your last PR…*single tear*. When you hit the climax, what the heck happens if you DON’T hit what, in your mind, was your ‘epic’?

You would be allowed to be disappointed. But I GUARANTEE you that you’re much higher up on the ‘epic scale’ than when you started. Running and training your @$$ off, you maybe didn’t hit the pinnacle you wanted, but dang-nam-it you improved.

You didn’t sit at mediocre. You TRIED.

If you’re going to do something, give it your all. If you truly want it, believe in it, and you find it rewarding…TRY for epic.

What holds most people back? Ultimately fear. Right behind it a lack of motivation…lol.

But I think fear is the root of it. Fear of the work it would take. Fear of failure. Fear you’re not good enough. Fear you’re not as good as you think you are…aha…that one!

That brings up the question: Would you rather stay at mediocre but live with the assumption that if you DID try then you would be awesome OR go out on a limb and try, then be faced with the reality that you didn’t quite measure up? Going with the first one will keep you in the safety bubble of mediocre.
track runner
Don’t let insecurities, fear, failures, hard work, REALLY hard work [umm, trust me, track workouts need a whole new word for REALLY. HARD. WORK.], and set-backs rob you from trying for YOUR epic.

Be different, test yourself, push yourself, be unique, FIND YOUR epic. Hell, go run. ;)

1) Define what ‘epic’ would be for you? Pick a goal, it doesn’t necessarily have to be running related.

2) Define what falling short of that epic would mean to you?
Sure it sucks, but we CAN cope with sucky.

3) What has been something that’s held you back from getting to your epic, or holding you back from TRYING for your epic?

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