Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Make No Assumptions

Assumptions can be surprisingly powerful in our day to day dealings. Of course, assumptions are always about someone/something outside of ourselves. We don't assume anything about ourselves, we just know, because, well, we can read our own minds. But we make all sorts of assumptions about those around us. It can be very detrimental. 

The lesson of my last race was: Make no assumptions
When I show up to a race I do what most people probably do, scan the sea of fellow runners and try to eyeball the competition. I’ve seen her at races before. That lady looks fast. Dang, she’s ripped! I was 100% guilty of this at the beginning of the 5k I ran last weekend. I spotted a tall, slender woman in racing flats who looked speedy, and another lady with chiseled, buff looking legs. Yikes. 

And we all bowed to the giant acorn.

The gun went off and I went out hard, ready for the flat course. I quickly passed the tall, slender woman. Hm, didn’t expect that. The super buff lady was still ahead of me, but I was slowly reeling her in. Mile 1 went by: 5:56.

During mile two, I caught up with buff lady and I sat behind her. Uh oh, I don’t want to get ahead of myself /her and blow up in mile 3.  I was assuming that she was faster me. Then, the oxygen-deprived mid-race epiphany struck. Why does she have to be faster than me?? Because she looks ripped and I look average-ish? Why am I not pushing myself as hard as I can? And with that, I crept up next to her and cruised on passed. Mile 2: 6:09

The last mile was fueled by a combination of fear that buff lady would have a mad kick and come run me down, and the determination to run an aggressive 3rd mile since I knew I was in PR territory. The final source of my motivation is always unwavering. Do you want all your hard work to be for naught? You are training your tail off to jog a 5k? Let’s bring on the pain and see what these legs can do!!! Mile 3: 5:58 

And with that, a hefty PR (18:40) and a mental barrier hurdled.

Make no assumptions and run your own race!

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