Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Secret Weapon

Stories are powerful tools. I know when I learn something as a part of a story, it stays with me much longer than if I am told a single, isolated fact. Stories we tell ourselves about ourselves are powerful tools, too.

My husband recently finished reading the Andre Agassi biography and Agassi's story reminded him of an article he had read awhile back about becoming a great runner. You decide on your weapon - whether it's not getting tired on hills or reeling people in - and you believe in that ability and work hard to hone that weapon at every practice.  

My husband has a story to describe what makes him a good runner. It's his own personal story so I'm not going to share all the details here, but one aspect of it is pace. My husband is one of those runners who can gauge his pace without needing a watch. It's a game we play when we run together and he's crazy accurate.

He's encouraged me to find my secret weapon and tell myself my own story. I'm doing short, sweet runs right now but as I prepare to begin training for the 2013 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run I'm trying to identify what my weapon as a runner is. 

Things I know about myself as a runner:
  • I'm a happy runner. I don't grumble or moan about it. I like to run and I have fun while running. 
  • I'm good at following a schedule. If my schedule says run two miles at race pace, I do it. If it's a rest day, I rest. I don't like to cut workouts short or sneak in an extra run if the schedule doesn't call for it.
The 5K portion of my first triathlon in 13 years.
Gotta work on that heel strike.

But neither of those are weapons, they just describe me as a runner. I can't turn on a smile in a race and know that it will help me reach my goal. (But I do smile when racing!) Knowing I've done all the workouts I was supposed to gives me confidence while racing, but it's not a 'weapon' I can use in a race. So I'm still working to identify and develop my weapon - but I'd love to know if you have a weapon that you count on during races!