Feeling Guilty?

Do you ever find yourself in a conversation and it quickly turns to the topic of fitness goals? You know the one. When someone starts talking about the recent marathon they signed up for or the obstacle course challenge they are training for.

Lately the conversations around Virginia Beach have been discussions about the Shamrock Sportsfest weekend. The Shamrock features the 8k, 1/2 marathon, and the full marathon. This event is put on by J & A Racing and is an event that Virginia Beach and runners alike look forward to every year.

The moment the conversation gets pointed to me, I start to cringe. I know the question coming next and I start to feel guilty about the lack of miles I’m committed to or training for. “What race are you running?” Most years my answer has been “the 8k.” I could instantly see the lack of enthusiasm come over their face.

For 15 years I ran the 8k with my dad without fail. It’s our tradition and I have mentioned it in this blog many times before. Last year I felt the need to accomplish the 1/2 marathon. I had completed several other 1/2’s before, but had not run the Shamrock 1/2. So that’s what I did. It was one of my worst 1/2 marathon times ever at just over 2:30. It was also one of my favorite races. No matter the time, I seemed to feel quite satisfied with myself and the goal of completing it.

Last year I noticed that when I answered the dreaded question with my answer of “the 1/2”, I seemed to get more respect. What is the obsession everyone has with other peoples goals? Was this in my head? Was I imagining it? And why did I need to impress others withy fitness goals? These goals are for me after all. My goals still were deliberate. My goals, as did theirs, involved training and preparing.

I made a decision several years ago to stop asking people about what time they ran their event in. It seems to take away from the fact that the person ran at all. 3 miles, 5 miles, 30 minutes, or 4 hours. The point is this, they prepared, trained and performed. And that is the true accomplishment. Unless you are competing for an Olympic Time Trial, or qualifying for Boston, be happy with the goal you chose and the race you do complete!!!! Guilt free!!!

This year I had a hard time deciding what race to do. This is my favorite 1/2 marathon course to run, but I decided to run the 8k. I am also deciding at this moment to answer the question next time with conviction and intent. “Yea, that’s right, the 8k!” I will still be training hard and fast. And will be celebrating my run in the beer tent with the rest of you all!

Be guilt free and Shamrock On
Jess

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