Tag Archives: run for god

#getyourPR or #getsomeoneelseaPR? 

Yesterday I ran the Honor Connor 5K for the 2nd time. I was comparing my 2015 & 2016 performances this morning and had a major epiphany re: my running (and my coaching in general).

In 2015, I coached a Run for God 5K Challenge class at my church; Honor Connor was our goal 5K. My only personal goal for the race was to finish quickly enough to go back out on the course and run in with each of my classmates, which I got to do (with the exception of speedy Phil, who finished a few minutes before me and was probably the most joyful runner on the course).  A couple of my runners won AG awards, which made me so incredibly proud.  It was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed every minute – I didn’t PR and I didn’t AG place but I didn’t care, because it wasn’t about me.

Due to scheduling conflicts (Girls on the Run, my Big Sur marathon training), I was unable to coach a spring R4G class this year. I ended up running Honor Connor alone as a baseline run for the Sub-30 Club #getyourPR project, which is an 8 week initiative to set and crush time goals in the 1mi, 5K, 5mi or 10K distances.   I tried to run by feel rather than aiming to hit a particular pace, but I still found myself obsessing over time as I ran.

I was 3 seconds faster than last year’s run on the same course, but I was 5:21 off my 5K PR. Nothing was necessarily “wrong” with my run, other than me feeling slow and vaguely unhappy. There was no joy or pride in my performance.

Finally to the point of this post: it hit me this morning that I enjoy running so much more when I am helping someone else reach their goals. Probably 75-80% of the races I run are at someone else’s pace, whether I am running with my best running friend, cheering on my GOTR girls or R4G folks, meeting a new friend on a course and helping them finish or pacing a group. When it’s my turn to aim for a pace above my current personal ability, that’s when the wheels fall off of the most important part of running: the sheer joy of it.

And if I think about it, this applies to my coaching in derby and in personal training as well. I’d rather help someone else achieve their goals than try to reach my own. I’ve long said I’m a better coach than I am an athlete, and yet I need to have a certain level of fitness as an athlete to keep up with the skaters and runners that I coach.

So what’s the solution?  Do I find a running coach/pacer for myself so that I have someone who will be proud of me (which is very motivating for me as a people-pleaser), since I clearly have a hard time being proud of myself?  Do I scrap the idea of aiming for a PR for awhile in order to preserve/regain the joy of running, even if that means not working toward pacing faster groups because I have limited myself?

Maybe I’m still burnt out and recovering from Big Sur Marathon. I feel like this running ennui is the state I’ve been in since Dallas Marathon in 2014, though – I went from that injury-tainted 26.2 debut to the letdown of Cowtown Marathon 2015 (canceled due to an ice storm so I ran it on a treadmill) to the highs and lows of checking my #1 bucket list race off my list a month ago, with a subgoal in 2015 of running 12 half marathons in 12 months (I ended up running 13 + the treadmill marathon).

Perhaps the solution would be to just stop running for awhile and concentrate on strength-training and kickboxing, but I don’t know if that would help or hurt me since I have self-identified as a runner since I was 7 years old. I just want to find my way back to that mindset I had when I was 7, when the sheer joy of running across a field full of cows and sunflowers was the only thing that mattered.

That’s enough self-absorbed navel-gazing for one day. I’d rather be writing meal plans and workout programs for other people.

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Run for God @ the Honor Connor 5K

Race report, Proud Coach edition:

FUMC Hurst FIT Class, Spring 2015

FUMC Hurst FIT Class, Spring 2015

For 12 weeks, I led a paired fellowship class @ our church called FIT: The 5K Challenge, using the Run for God 5K book as a guide for our discussions and training. It was a diverse group that enjoyed a lot of insightful conversations and there were moments of epiphany and growth for all involved, especially me.  Our group ended the session together by running our target race, the Honor Connor 5K & Smile Mile. We had 13 runners total – most were running their first or second race ever.

The start was delayed 2 hours, thanks to heavy rain/lightning/flooding. When we finally got to run, the humidity was pretty intense & there was standing water on many sections of the courses. None of us let the conditions deter us from enjoying our races!

Both my mile & 5K groups did an amazing job – two of my women placed in their age group (2nd & 3rd in the same AG). One of my gentleman was initially listed as placing 2nd in his, but a recalculation bumped him – he would’ve been first in the next AG if he’d been a few months older. As he put it, “I’m not too slow for my age, I’m too young for my speed.” 😀 He was just ahead of me the entire time & finished right in front of me – watching his joy throughout the race (he is a former runner who took some time off & has used this class to return to running) was better than running my own race (which was still a lot of fun – good course & great support).

I want to be the lady next to me when I grow up.

I want to be the lady next to me when I grow up. She was so cool. I made her race me in the last 20 steps.

I finished my 5K, then went back out & ran in each of my remaining students – I got them just to the line so they could cross on their own, then turned back to run down the course to find the next one. After my 3rd time coming down the home stretch, a few little girls on the curb asked, “how many times are you gonna run this race?” When I explained what I was doing, they cheered “go pink lady!” and repeated it on the rest of my return trips. I may have that printed on the back of my coach shirt for next session.

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I had secretly ordered medals for everyone in our group, and the shock & joy on their faces as they received them brought tears to my eyes several times. I also cried as I crossed the line with each of them. I’m a sap.

medals

I’ve run about fifty 5Ks, but this one was one of the best race experiences I’ve ever had. To see my little group achieve their goal was sweeter than any award I could receive. I can’t wait to do another one of these classes in the fall!

I want to be as cool as Kim when I grow up. This lady rocks.

Kim rocks!