“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”

Trains, planes, and automobiles has been the story of my life the past few weeks.  I had originally started this blog almost two weeks ago, only getting the chance now to actually sit down and write it entirely.  This past weekend I traveled to Mt. Sac Relays with all intentions of running in the 10k in addition to balancing my coaching responsibilities.  Going into the race I had many hesitations about being able to live up to my own expectations, especially since I hadn’t raced a 10k on the track in three years.  Without going too far into the details of the weekend, I ended up having to take on a bit more responsibilities causing more stress than normal the days leading into the race.  One of my athletes said to me the other day, “I am not a needy girlfriend but I am a needy athlete.”   As an athlete, you need to have some amount of selfishness in getting yourself ready on the starting line.  As a coach you worry about keeping your athletes ready in so many ways to be confident on the starting line.  All in all, when I stepped to the line I had used up all my energy and focus, leaving very little for the race and I DNF’d.

I think one of the toughest parts was walking away from the race, trying to put a smile on my face for my athletes, making sure they knew they were ready to run fast;  while I was trying not to worry too much about what everyone else thought.  Furthermore, I am pretty strongly against making dropping out of races a habit, unless injury or extenuating circumstances.  When the going gets tough quitting seems to be the easy excuse in todays society.  Luckily, my girls didn’t watch to closely because they had three huge PR’s that night which I am so proud of!

As runners we are our harshest critics and own worst enemies.   Insecurities are magnified by the fear of failure.  Sometimes I think I think I can worry more about what other people may think about my race, like “wow she really stinks, what is she doing out there?!”  Although, most runners have all shared in their own periods of ups and downs.  I am  really grateful for those that have been so supportive and understanding of the balance I’m learning to manage right now.  Lynn Jennings says it best “Every athlete has doubts.  Elite runners in particular are insecure people.  You need someone to affirm that what you are doing is right.”  For now, I’m going to pick my ego off the floor and trust those around me that keep pushing me to find my own success.

-T.S.