This year - and especially this track season - has flown by.
I have four weeks left of track. Two regular meets - and one Conference meet.
Leading up to this, I have put in miles and miles of running. I have been doing two-adays regularly (swimming in the mornings and practice in the afternoons). I have been eating healthy and getting adequate sleep. I have been lifting and planking and icing and stretching and everything in between.
I want to succeed. I want to be fast. I want to win.
But more importantly, I want to reap what I have sown.
I had a crazy revelation the other day - one that most athletes have probably already had. For some reason, however,
it took me awhile to grasp this concept.
If I do not compete on race day, all the hard work I have done is for nothing.
Meaning - it doesn't matter how many two-a-days I do or how I perform in practice if I don't perform on race day.
I have realized that my success is not going to happen on accident.
When I get on the starting line, I have to choose to compete. Choose to race. Choose to push through the pain.
These are not the faces of people who settle - they are hurting.
But it's worth it!
I raced a 1500 this past weekend - a race that I previously did not consider to be my ascetic. I am a distance runner through and through, and I thought the 1500 was too short a race. After a great conversation with my coach, however, I toed the line motivated to win - and I did. I pr'd by 9 seconds, and I surprised myself greatly. I didn't settle. I raced.
I have worked too long and too hard to settle during races. And that's what I have been doing this whole year.
If I give everything I have and I still don't win, that's okay. I know that the talent I have isn't mine anyway. I know that I don't run for my glory.
But if I don't give everything I have... if I settle... I am wasting an opportunity to reap the benefits of all of the hard work I've done.
I think I finally get it.