6'0 tall, former athlete, mother of 3, struggling to keep up on the RUN of daily life.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gift or Curse?

Inspired by a Bloggy buddies former ring tone I Googled "Fraggle Rock Quotes." I found this AWESOME picture and the dialogue below.. (FYI I wore my BRIGHT orange Nike shirt and Tempo shorts...I looked a lot like Red in the upper left)
Wembley: "Maybe its a gift...a special talent that I alone possess"

Red: "Maybe its a curse. A special weeeeeirdness you alone are stuck with"

Today on the Hal Higdon 5K training plan is a 2 miler...a 2 miler SLOW to prepare for the race on Saturday. So what do I do? I think....."I should run the 2 miles as fast as I can!!" SLOW= PR ASAP. UGH!! If I could only quiet the competitiveness inside and ENJOY a leisurely taper-style run.

I WANTED to do two sub 7 minute miles, for confidence going into the race. I got one out of the 3 miles. Yes I did 3 miles, WHY? The one mile that I HIT was 6:51!!! I quickly realized mid-mile that I was doing more harm than good to my legs.

So I wonder....is this competitive gene I have a GIFT or a CURSE? A TALENT or a Weeeeeirdness? I know 333% that I have benefited many times over from being self-motivated. But I sometimes wonder if I lose the JOURNEY because I am so focused on the DESTINATION.

I don't plan on changing, I am who I am. What I would like to do is find a BALANCE....and let myself run SLOW and enjoy the view.


Marlene said...

Yeah, first comment! :)

Marlene said...

(sorry about that... hahaha)

That's a great quote and so true. Sometimes it's hard not to dwell on the destination or the goal, but it seems to be paying off for you, so carry on. :)

Alisa said...

I am torn by this question too. I wonder if that's why I enjoy Tri's so much right now. I don't really know what's "good" whereas I know my marathon times weren't "good." Sometimes running without techie stuff helps me get back to the roots. No Garmin, no ipod just me and the road.

Competitiveness is great for motivation but for me too much of a good thing sucks the fun out of it.

No Longer Using said...

i think competitiveness is a gift. look at all it has done in your favor so far!!! i think the curse is that it forces us to SEEK balance since it doestn' come naturally and i will argue that isn't a curse at all, but something to work on and be aware of. i totally agree with you tho, i am also too focused on finish lines and destinations. i am also looking for the balance :) sometimes it is forced on me when i am tired and my legs are heavy. :) take it as it comes!

oh-- you NEED to take a trip to VT!! Ben and Jerry's factory, nuff said. they have a flavor graveyard, too, for all the retired flavors, heh.

busyrunningmama said...

I soooo wish we didnt live on opposite sides of the U.S., if you came to run with me, I'd slow ya down for sure, haha!! I am very competitive in races but I am also very structured and love a plan. So when I have a training plan, I try so hard to stick to it exactly! I think this might be a curse too sometimes, because I forget to listen to my body and just do what the paper says! Yikes! Yes, balance is good! Listen to your body but remember that Mr. Higdon might just know what he is talking about :0) Good luck in your race Saturday! I know you'll do great ( Mrs. 1st place)!!!

Jennifer P said...

Oddly enough I feel just as competitive preggers as non preggers. I couldn't find my off switch for this pregnancy I guess.

I think forcing yourself to go slow would be harder than going fast. Let me know how it works out.

Jennifer P said...

Oh, and I LOVE the light sabre shirt. Too cute.

Marci said...

I think competiveness is natural for us runners. I try to make sure I am most competitive myself, and that I always try to enjoy myself by reminding myself I am doing this also for health and enjoyment. I love your competitive spirit Mel, so keep it up!

Jama said...

I am the same way, it's hard to go slow when you want to push yourself.

fancy nancy said...

I am definitely a destination person...often times I get there and feel sad that I have missed the journey! I have found myself continually reminding myself with my daughter to slow down and enjoy each day.

I hear you on the competitive thing too! Before I could run after having a c-section, I would go for a walk with the baby and race other walkers!!! I just can't help it! It is something that makes me me....definitely a gift!!!

Melanie Tait said...

Hey Mel - I think it's awesome how you give each run your all - isn't that what makes a champion? :)

IzzyBubbles said...

Whew, I am relieved - for a second there I thought maybe you were implying that I was weird. I personally prefer to think that I'm gifted. :-P

I'm more of a "journey" type person - but I think I've just decided that lately because I suck as a runner. If I was anywhere near capable of winning anything I'd be out there totally overdoing it. I've also seen my two best running friends deal with stress fractures so I think that makes me more aware of the importance of not always going 333%.

IzzyBubbles said...

ps - better to look like Red than like Boober. :)

Anonymous said...

I know it can't be me, because I have never said it- but Fraggle Rock is MY ring tone too!!!

5 Miles Past Empty said...

I must say, you are very competitive and that is not bad! As long as you still have fun! When it stopes being fun and you start to feel pressure then what is it all for?

I think you will be able to enjoy a slow two mile run with experience, maybe? I learned it really is important to give yourself a break, slow down and let your legs rest. I only remember this from high school x-country where we would peak with 10-13 miles in the middle of the week mid season and be doing 1 mile hill repeats at 7 min and under (painful! and to think I just emailed my old x-country coach begging for some of our old workouts!). but in the weeks before state we would do serious tapers, S-L-O-W down, let your legs rest and be ready for that big race!!!

What it boils down to, I think, is for you to have faith in your training and know that this last few days, like you said, can do more harm than good.

You got this! You will do awesome!! You are ready! And your competitive nature will power you to the finish!

sorry, hope this wasnt too much!

Native Stone Company, Inc. said...

Ha! I'm the same way! (Only not nearly as fast as you!) I go back and forth asking this question.
Don't change who you are at all! People don't get ahead by staying in the norm!