You Need to Find Your Motif

After reading Lee’s post about having a running identity crisis, it made me think about a conversation I had with the Cross Country/ Track coach from the school I work at.  We were talking about how I ran the 5k and it felt like crap, and how my marathon felt sooo amazing! He said to me, “You are all over the place! You need to find a race motif.” My issue is this, I LOVE to race.  So in all honesty I don’t really care what the distance is, as long as I get to compete, than I’m happy.  The problem is, that it makes PRing and training difficult.  But I knew he was right, I have to find a motif.

I started running in 7th grade when the idea of a 5k seemed impossible.  I ran the 100, 200, and 400 and the 400 seemed like a marathon. By the end of high-school, I was running cross country, the 100, 200, 400, and 800.  At the point I couldn’t imagine running and further… that was until I got to college where I no longer seen the 100 and 200, and the 400, 800, and 1500 became the norm, in addition to cross country.  It was in college that I found the love of the distance run.  I loved the long runs of cross country and the idea of a marathon seemed like something I wanted to do “someday”.  I didn’t do a whole lot of racing after college, just running for the love of it.  After I had Ella, I started getting back into the racing scene and now I’m hooked.  It started with the 5k and just this year I started loving the half marathon.  The half marathon became an obsession as I chased 1:30 (and still haven’t caught it).  And somehow in the middle of chasing that dream, I managed to qualify for Boston. The idea of Boston has been on my mind for a long time but it seemed almost impossible and I think that my 20 something self just wasn’t ready for it.  In January, one of my goals for the year was to qualify for Boston. I made a motivational wall  and everything… I knew I’d get there eventually, but I figure it wouldn’t be until October.  The day I qualified for for Boston,  I realized that I AM a distance runner and there WILL be many more BQs in my future (at least I hope so).

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After my marathon Michael sent me these pics
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While I have had some success in the 5k, it’s just too fast for me.  I love that it’s short and sweet, But I just don’t have the time to put in the speed work in order to compete the way I would like to.. I just love the half marathon and marathon distance.  I love that it allows you to make mistakes or have one or two bad miles.  They are by no means easy distances, but for some reason over the last few months, I’ve grown to love them.  My 12 year old self would probably not even recognize me now, but I would tell her to keep working hard because she will be running for a long time.  I’ve been a runner for almost 20 years! That’s pretty amazing!

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I’m a marathoner… “it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon”

I’m not sure if I’m ready to say good bye to the 5k, but I am definitely ready to get a few more marathons under my belt and maybe even run Boston once or twice:)


11 thoughts on “You Need to Find Your Motif

  1. I totally understand, I have none of your natural sprinting ability but I do find I can’t go fast enough to be competitive in the 5k so I’m not inclined to race them but the half and full are not only more enjoyable for me, but I can be more competitive which in turn makes them 100x even more enjoyable.

    1. Thank you! It’s been a long road.. I can’t believe I can say I’ve been running for 20 years! But in those 20 years I’ve learned a lot and that is what is really the most important… that you learn (and keep on learning).

  2. Love this post!!! And soooo glad that you appear to have found your niche too 🙂 I admire your natural ability with the longer distancrs. I guess we’ll just have distance running success on both ends of the spectrum from the 5K to 26.2 lol and it’s funny that you did 200’s in school my specialty was 200’s and 400’s 🙂

    1. Thanks for the inspiration;) Can you believe how far you have come since HS? I LOVED the 400 and I actually went to states for it in 2000. I don’t know if I will fully give up on my 5ks but I think there will be WAY less in my future… I think we both know that I could never fully get rid of them;)

      1. I know right! I loved 200’s but felt like I was being murdered in the 400 haha lol 😉 oh I know you’ll have 5K’s in your future still after all you’re racing junkie and a 5K is a quick fix 😉

  3. I have been struggling with this so much! I love racing too so like you said, I really don’t care about the distance, but I do want to work on my longer distance speed more so once I’m through with the next couple of 5Ks I’m signed up for, I’ll be focusing more on that for my fall marathon. I just giggled at the previous comment about a 5K being a quick fix…haha it really is. 🙂

  4. yay marathons!!! yay boston!!!!

    i feel very compelled by the marathon distance. i haven’t always been a runner, i never did track or cross country. i didn’t even run more than what we had to do to warm up for basketball…but i’m drawn to the marathon because there are so many different variables to tinker with. i always walk away from a race wondering what i could have done differently. and so i get sucked back in. i qualified for boston (just barely) and dream of one day doing it again. hopefully i’ll see you there some time… 🙂

    1. You know something a BQ is a BQ.. You WILL qualify again bc you are awesome… There’s just something special about the marathon that draws me in…. I love that you get it! I can’t wait until the fall for marathon number 2💋

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