Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Does It Really Matter?

If you were participating in an Olympic event, would you be happy just to be there?  Would you walk away disappointed if you didn't bring home a medal?  Would you be disappointed if that medal wasn't a gold one?  Would you be disappointed if you only brought home ONE gold medal?

My one and only "silver medal" for winning 2nd place in my age group. Would I like to earn more? Of course so!

I thought about this as we were watching some young Olympians just miss placing for a medal. I would console them from my couch by saying  It's okay, you made it to the Olympics, that is something to be proud of whether you bring home a medal or not.  The other day Marcia mentioned that Olympians that do not place should at least get a participation medal.  I would have to agree with this. They were among the best athletes in the world to make it to the Olympics, they should walk away with something at least.

Okay, so enough about the Olympics. Everyone wants to do their best and if they think they are capable of more (ie earning more than one gold) than of course they will be disappointed because, well, they expect more from themselves.

When I was doing my 10K run on the trail the other week, I happened to look down at my watch and see that it hit my PR time for my best 10K race.  However, on this particular day, I had one more mile left to run. WTH???  I'm really slowing down.  10K race time are often used for corral placement at larger races and I have been milking my sub 60 minute 10K for all it was worth. I often wonder if I will be able to get a time like that again in a 10K race.   Part of me doubts it because it has been a struggle lately for me to break 30 minutes in a 5K race. I mean I can do it, but it's tough and I can't imagine keeping that pace for essentially what would be TWO 5K races in a row!   But then again part of me thinks I've already reached that goal of a sub 60 10K, whats it matter if I do it again or not?  (I related this to the Olympian winning a gold medal and then being disappointed because he doesn't have more).  I need to just be proud that I reached that goal at one point in my running and if it doesn't happen anymore, o well. Does it really matter?



Another distance that is a monkey on my back so to speak is the dreaded marathon.  As you know, marathon number one was run when I was severely injured and marathon number two was run uninjured (but exhausted after mile 20).  And as much as I am proud of this race, there was a lousy 3 minutes that kept me from missing my #1 time goal.  I did have other goals that I did reach during that 26.2 miles though so that made missing my time a little bit easier to swallow.  Part of me has the urge to run another marathon just to see if I can do it.  But a part of me knows how HARD and time consuming marathon training  is.  Again, I tell myself that I am one of one percent of people who ever complete a marathon and my time wasn't that bad so does it really matter?   -M

So now you hopefully understand why I related this to the Olympics.   When you have reached  a goal, do you keep trying to reach it over and over again?   What happens when you keep missing it?

Deb's word of the day is Plethora so I thought this post would fit perfectly with her theme.

34 comments:

  1. If it's important to you, then I think it matters! But missing your time goal by 3 minutes, especially with a distance like the marathon, had to hurt! I feel ya!

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    1. It is definitely something that I still think about!

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  2. I think what's important to one person could be irrelevant to another. Running is such a personal endeavor. Some people thrive on running daily (even if their body desperately needs a break), others thrive on constantly PR'ing (even though they are getting a bit older with each attempt). And others just love running, whether they can go a longer distance or not. If you're still thinking about those 3 minutes.....maybe it would be worth another go? ;-)

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    1. I think I may do another marathon one day, Maybe!!

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  3. I struggle with wondering if I will ever hit times I used to hit! I go back and forth between telling myself I did it once, and even if I never do it again, that doesn't take away the fact that I DID do it. It seems like this whole past year was me trying to reach goals that I wasn't able to get. Sucks. But life is long, maybe there is still time left for us if we buckle down and keep trying!

    Olypians getting participation medals? NO!!! It's the Olympics! They are big boys and girls. Plus I am sure they get all kinds of cool swag that commemorates the AWESOME achievement of simply making the team.

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    1. To be fair to myself, I haven't actually "raced" a 10K since my PR days so maybe I just suck at training runs and can pull it off during a race. That seems to be what happens to me during 5ks...haha.

      I do hope the Olympians at least get a certificate or something to commemorate their time and achievement.

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  4. Everyone is different. I think if I was competitive enough to get to the Olympics, I'd definitely be disappointed if I didn't get a medal.

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    1. But then again just making it to the Olympics is such a big deal!

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  5. I'd say it matters, but don't let it take away from your joy of finishing and accomplishing some pretty awesome things. You can also change your goals and that's ok too!

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    1. You are absolutely right! I am proud that I have been joyful of every race I've finished regardless of time!

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  6. I think everybody's different in this respect. Personally I like medals because looking at them brings back acute memories of a particular race. Others don't care. As far as PRs go, I am very aware of what paces I need to approach mine. Sure it'd be great to be able to run like that again. But when the rubber hits the road, I just don't want it enough to work that hard, lose the weight, run that volume, etc. I feel like my cup has already runneth over with what I have achieved running-wise and now I run for joy, to experience new places, friendships, etc.

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  7. I go through phases where my current times really matter to me and other times I just don't really care. I am happy to be out there. I think it depends on how much time and energy I feel that I have put into that particular training or race.

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  8. I think goals are so good to have - something to reach... but I've become a lot kinder to myself when I dont reach it. Years ago, it would RUINNNNNNN my day, weeks even... now, its like, meh - oh well. Move on. So I may not hit physical goals but I'm making mental goals :)

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    1. I have never left it ruin my day or my race. I've always been able to see the positive!

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  9. This is such a difficult question, and so personal. I don't have time goals for most of my races but for the ones where I do have time goals, I am upset if I miss them (unless it's due to external factors I can't control like weather) and would definitely want to try again. But I also try to make sure any time goals are a realistic reflection of my current fitness levels.

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    1. That is an excellent point. Goals should be set appropriately!

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  10. I'm conflicted on this...on one hand, I want to be the best runner I can be, run, train, place, and just get better. and on the other hand, I don't want to get up before the sun, some days I just want to laydown and take a nap, on some days, I couldn't be paid to do one more interval training. I like to run and race just to say I did it, chasing PRs is way stressful for me.

    I don't think Olympians should get participating medals, they are competing against the best of the world, if they don't win, then they still get to go home and say that they competed against the best of the world! and to me, That sounds like an amazing experience!

    Do you think there is another marathon in your future? What would convince you to do another marathon?

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    1. I know that I can never dedicate my whole life to running nor would I want to so I know I will only get so far with it only running 3 days a week or so and I'm okay with that. I would like to do another marathon but I can't tell you when that will ever be!

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  11. I try really hard to tell myself that running is more about completion of the distance rather than my time. There are so many factors that affect my time. But of course I still get caught up in it a lot. I want to do my best every time but it's not always possible!

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    1. Since I have reached my time goals I should be able to just concentrate on the completion aspect but I still always think in my head what my time should be..lol

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  12. Oh man, missing your time goal in a marathon by only three minutes is a bummer, and I'd definitely be tempted to try it again. My hubby missed qualifying for Boston by eight seconds one year!

    Thanks for linking up!

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  13. I read an article about a lady that ran the marathon in the Olympics. While she didn't even come close to placing she said she had an amazing time. She was so excited to start out with her heroes and waited for one of her countrywoman so that the three from her country could finish together. So I think if it's something that's fun it's good to try again. If not then it was a great race and you were not injured which is the best part.

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  14. Great story! I hope to do another marathon someday for fun and then maybe another one for time! Wow, that would be 2 more marathons! We'll see!

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  15. It matters if you feel it should matter. There is always going to be a day when each of us have to realize a PR is a thing of the past and niw age group rankngs are better goals to go after. When we hit that and when we know we've peaked is an individual decision. But if you know your capable then go for it push it train for it and do all you can to get it.
    Even if you don't hit your goal. The personal satisfaction of knowing you couldn't of trained harder to get is will likely be reward enough in the long run.
    Onto the Olympics well I actually love that they don't get participation medals. I think those are more of a society thing. They were there that is better bragging rights than any medal handed to everyone atleast I would think so.But an interesting question to ask one if I ever meet another!

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  16. If I was an Olympian, I would be disappointed to not get a medal. After all, that is what they train their whole life for.

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  17. World records and personal bests serve similar purposes: To elevate out effort, in part, to become great. Or achieve greater greatness. They're also elusive. They require ideal conditions and a little bit of luck. What I've found is that there's also an invisible sliding scale that takes into account our age and health.

    I'm not a hardcore runner. I'm starting the couch to 5K for the third time. I have exactly two 5Ks to compare. A younger me competed in those. I want to try and top my PR in my next race; however, it's more important to me to improve upon the times I'll have at the end of the couch to 5K. I'm a smarter runner, but an older runner. I have to compete against that, and not the young gazelle (okay, rhino) I was before.

    Missing a goal, then, just means it wasn't my day. I'll try again. I've noticed my girls will fight and play hard for medals in soccer tournaments; they'll pose for pics, relish the moment, but the medal is quickly forgotten. The accomplishment remains.

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  18. I had very similar thoughts last weekend when I had to switch from a half marathon to 5k race. Part of me was so disappointed to not be able to run the half but part of me also wondered does it really matter? I prefer racing 5ks and 10ks so why do I even push myself to run half marathons. And I totes hear you on the marathon thing. While I would love to earn a BQ, I know the training that would have to be done to get one ... and then I'd also have to train for another marathon, Boston! :) Great post!

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  19. I would be upset with missing the mark by 3 mins too-- but you are showing up each and every day and putting in the time and effort! I think we as runners sometimes think we need to constantly be "better than the last time" but staying injury free throughout your training means so much too--celebrate that!!

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  20. I think that anyone who is goal driven would be upset by missing their goal (and as a former competitive equestrian, I know this so well). That said, I think that Olympians are perfectionists to another level. I do love that so many of them were so happy and grateful for their performances and placing.

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  21. Once I hit a goal I make a new one, so yes I'm constantly trying to achieve new ones!

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  22. I think about this all the time seeing Olympians with the rings tattooed on their bodies ... I'm not sure I would do that unless I won a medal (and really probably never because I'm scared of needles). I can so relate to your thoughts around your goals and my intentions for running over the years has changed dramatically. I'm in marathon training right now and cannot wait until it's over!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.