Now you may be wondering, ‘Why do her parents always come to her races..isn’t she, um, married or something?’ Well, I am not married but will be in September…however Derick and I don’t often go to eachothers races. If we can drive and it is convenient (or we both race) then we go together. But, the one ‘limiting’ factor is simply expenses. It is expensive enough (especially triathlons!) for one of us to fly to a race, much less the other one to support! It’d be great to have him at my races, but I totally understand our situation and I think the time away is good. Also, being around my mom and dad really relaxes me. They are just the coolest parents, and we can talk about anything…they are very go with the flow (except when we eat at an expensive restaurant, dad…) and understanding of the ‘needs’ when I race (ie. having to sit around the whole day prior…however, we do always hit up a nice dinner and glass of wine or beer even the night before the race!).
Anyway, moving on…we all got in safely and enjoyed a relaxing Friday night. I actually posted a full race story on my website, so I will let you visit that to find out all about it. In short, I won the race and was very happy with it. My ‘goal’ was to race this one smart, I have been hauling ass at the start of every race lately and paying for it significantly by mid-race. And it is no fun, because I am gasping for air as well…I know this ‘is racing’, however I wanted to really control the front end and race within myself this time. I accomplished this, as I ran a 1:20 and felt very good right at/around that 6-min pace. There was some drama that unfolded upon the finish which you can read about in the race story, but there was one very cool thing about this race that happened once I returned home. I received an email from the girl (girl! she is young, only a sopohomore in college! geez do I feel old…) who had gotten second place, in a very respectable time of 1:24. She simply emailed me to say ‘Congrats’ and ask me a few questions about race recovery. She also happens to be at University of Illinois, my alma mater, which made it a bit more of a common bond. Upon a few emails back and forth, she sounds like a really great girl and a hell of a runner for sure. She ended one email with saying to me, “Women like you inspire me to keep setting higher goals and sticking to it 🙂 Keep on throwin‘ it down!” That is just so cool to me that I can ‘inspire’ her like that.
I don’t think of myself as much for inspiration, I just go do what I do and work very hard. But I know what it is like to be inspired by something. I think we all are in small ways we may not even realize sometimes…we hear something about someone, we see something in a news report, someone who has raised money for a charity or has started an organization…and without realizing it, any type of ‘admiration’ is really a form of inspiration. What really struck me in what she said was ‘keep setting higher goals’. If there is one single thing that keeps me going, it is just that. Setting higher and higher goals. Will I reach them? I sure hope so. But if they are very high, I may not. I know that. But the process of working towards them sure is amazing. And I have to (we have to) learn to separate our identities from if we do or do not attain these goals. That can be tough…putting it all on the line leaves us vulnerable, open to criticism and of course failure. But without trying, without putting it all on the line, we never know what we are capable of doing.
I could go on forever but in a nutshell, it left me with a great feeling to have ‘inspired’ this girl. In all reality she should be inspiring me, she is young and extremely talented. And in a way, she does! She has a great attitude towards life and is not afraid to set high ‘limits’ for herself. The way I see it, we cannot ever achieve great things if we do not risk failing…and failing is really only in the eye of the beholder, because anytime I fail to meet a goal, I use it as a stepping stone towards the next attempt. …Thanks for reading my rant for today. 🙂 And don’t be afraid to get out there and LIVE!