anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

Push Yourself

Today's original running goal was to build on the 35-minute run of a couple of days ago and do 40-minute run. In light of the time and distance that I ended up running, it seems like I need to set more challenging--that is, realistically challenging--goals for myself...because I ended up running for an hour and over a distance of 10.23km.

My target for the half-marathon was 2 hours 30 minutes. Now I'm thinking it's a bit of a cop-out target, meaning it does not pose an actual challenge, one that corresponds to my ability; and so by setting the bar lower than it should be, I get to say that I have achieved my aim even if I actually end up under-achieving. I would not be able to say the same if I set my target at, say, 2 hours 15 minutes (which I think I ought to do), and end up finishing beyond that. It is a soft target; it gives me a way out of feeling like I have failed if I don't achieve the target, and simultaneously, gives me a free pass to feeling like I have achieved a goal because the target, simply put, is too easy.

I realised after today's run that the most stubborn and formidable person standing in the way of my achieving things is me. It is the voice in my head that says I can't do this, can't do that; it is my biggest stumbling block because it is an integral part of me and so I believe it. There is something very revealing about individual sports--tennis, running. It reveals who you are as a person when push comes to shove and the only thing that stands in the way of your running the extra 5 or 10 minutes, your chasing down a shot that seems too far from reach, is the voice that says 'I can't do this'. So much of what we do starts from the mind; and I realised this today when I thought back to all the runs that I have done in Singapore and Cambridge since the 10k race that I did almost a year ago, and the reason why, until a couple of days ago when I started training for the half-marathon, none of them had gone past the 30-minute mark. It was because I was too permissive with myself, with my laziness, with my lack of determination to push through my default inclination to stroll down the path of least resistance. And so I believed myself when I thought about how tired I was after a paltry 15 minutes and stopped the run 10 minutes later--and the biggest problem wasn't the physical exhaustion. No, the biggest problem was the mindset that I was in right from the get-go; a permissive mindset, emblazoned with the useless words 'just try your best' which is really a euphemism for 'I am too lazy to push, so I'll just give in to the laziness now and say that I did all that I could later when I inevitably do not do a proper run'.

Of course, there is another factor that causes me to set the bar low: fear of failure. I am afraid to set a realistic, challenging target because I am afraid of not achieving it. And failure is not an option because the point of setting targets and goals is to achieve them; the point is not to fall short. The point is to push myself, to prove the point to myself that I can do something that I set my mind to. And since achievements are so hard to come by academically/professionally, I need these small achievements, these small victories, as reminders of the strength of my will and determination.

So the point of the half-marathon is not to finish it. That, to me, is a given. The point is to finish it within a certain time...and if subsequent runs go as well as today's, I might just revise it to 2 hours and 15 minutes.


The run felt good today. I felt some menstrual cramps coming on around the 15-minute mark, which usually happens when I run a day or two before my period; but for some reason, they went away after a while. I don't know if it was because I forced myself not to think about it when I felt them; possibly, right?

The only issue that I had was that it was chilly and I was wearing only a t-shirt and shorts. I was a bit afraid of catching a cold again which almost made me stop at 45 minutes. But I was feeling pretty good--not too out of breath, running in a steady rhythm and pace, and I wanted to push myself to run for an hour.

And so I did. Felt like I could collapse a minute or two after I stopped, but I'm not feeling that tired right now, and certainly not more tired than I did yesterday after almost 3 hours of tennis. Maybe I am more fit than I think I am.

I shall do a short-ish run in the morning. I am rather concerned about the timing of the half-marathon: 4.30am! I'm not sure how I will fare in the morning, and so I will find out tomorrow. I'll just do an easy 30-minute one and see how that goes. If I feel good during the run, I'll extend it. If I feel like shit, I'll just finish the 30 minutes and take it from there.

I should follow a training plan of sorts, right? Honestly, I can't be arsed right now, but I will see how it goes tomorrow morning and take it from there.
Tags: running

  • Nighttime Robbery

    His ghost is a thief in the night. It sneaks out from the shadows Slips into my mind. I see his face in the darkness of my attempted sleep I see the…

  • Chasing Fantasies

    I am feeling really down at the moment. I was archiving some old entries and came across a Walt Whitman poem that I posted. Reading it made me feel a…

  • (no subject)

    I forgot to write this in the previous entry. One of the most beautiful moments of my life is in the morning, when I'm awaken from medium-sleep by…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.