I want to start this post off by saying how much I truly love being a part of the blogging community. Everybody is so supportive and friendly and I love the sense of community that there is.
I first started blogging about a year ago after I had my third surgery in as many years. I was officially done swimming competitively and felt pretty lost with my life. I had always been defined as a swimmer but all of a sudden I could no longer compete. At this time I made a bucket list of all the things that I wanted to do since I didn't really have any commitments anymore. I specifically remember thinking about putting an Ironman on my list but then decided that it would be too hard and took it off my list.
After I started reading running blogs, though, I started thinking that running a marathon or completing an Ironman were no longer out of the question. I was reading about people like Page and Aron who were gearing up to run their first Boston Marathon, and people like Emily who was training for her first Ironman. I was constantly reading about ordinary people doing extraordinary things and this made me aspire to be like them. All of a sudden I found myself thinking about what it would be like to run a marathon.
I took this inspiration and decided to sign up for my first half marathon. I loved that I was doing that required training and was considered an endurance event. And as much as I truly loved every moment of running my first, and even second, half marathon I felt like I wasn't a true runner or endurance athlete yet. So many people were doing more than I was and reading their blogs only reminded me of that.
After I ran the Rock N' Roll USA Half Marathon a few weeks ago I was trying to decide what I wanted to do next in terms of running. I knew I wanted to focus on completing my first triathlon but I felt pressure to do more. I am a pretty strong swimmer, and even though I have done some road races I still do not consider myself a strong runner. I spent hours trying to come up with some training plan that would enable me to complete a fast triathlon.
After a few very stressful days, though, I realized that it really doesn't matter how fast I complete anything. Of course I love reading about super speedy runners and triathletes but they also have a lot more experience than I do. I was putting so much pressure on myself to perform at a level that was comparable to my favorite bloggers. But that just isn't realistic.
I am making a pledge to myself to spend the rest of this training cycle solely focusing on myself. No more comparing myself to others. No more telling myself that I am not an athlete. Just because I am not the fastest doesn't mean that I am not doing something amazing. It is so easy to get caught up in what everyone around you is doing but that is not going to help you at all.
I often forget that I have been running for less than a year. I am not expected by anyone to go run a BQ marathon with such little running experience. I fell in love with running last year because it came with no pressure and because I truly enjoyed it. I think it is great that Page is training for her first Ironman and Aron is running her first 50 mile ultramarathon this weekend but that is them. I need to focus on making myself proud and doing the things that push my limits.