I can be the queen of being tough on myself.
I should have run that mile faster. I could have done an extra mile. I have finished marathons feeling disappointed that I ran 26.2 miles, but not fast enough.
Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be able to run.
Last week, my cousin Katie passed away. Katie was born with cerebral palsy and was in a wheelchair her entire life. She was unable to stand, much less run. At her funeral, friends and family (and there was a ton of both) remembered her smile, her always-polished nails and the way people knew her everywhere she went. No one said her life was any less meaningful because she could not walk.
Athletes are driven by competition with others and themselves. But sometimes, itís worth taking a step back and remembering that running is one part of a much bigger picture. Chances are Iím the only one who cares if I missed or made every split at a track workout. And I will bet that my obituary never says anything about whether or not I ever qualify for the Boston Marathon. And thatís the way I would want it.
All too often, I pick out how I could have run better or why my efforts were not good enough. While I donít plan to stop competing with others or myself when I race and train, this weekend was a good reminder for me to take it easy on myself occasionally and to be thankful for every opportunity I have to run.
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