That’s enough criticism, Eileen

I really need to cut myself some slack, especially with this whole running thing. I saw a shirt on Cafe Press that sums up how I should be feeling:

As an aside, there’s another shirt that sums up my general feeling about running, only because the Space Coast Half doesn’t seem all that far away (especially with that damned counter on their website):

Anyway, I didn’t beat my personal record this morning. But you know what? I ran today, and I can truly say I did my best. I paced myself in the beginning, held myself back when my breathing was erratic, let myself push harder when the road was running slightly downhill and I felt good, and sprinted the last 15 seconds of my half-hour run.

So I only ran 2.5 miles in that half hour. Okay. But three weeks ago, I was recovering from a fairly new injury. I think I’m allowed to cut myself some slack and ease back to where I was. Rome didn’t become an empire overnight, after all.

So instead of criticizing berating myself, I’m going to celebrate some of this morning’s wins:

  • I did not hit the snooze button (or worse, turn off my alarm) and go back to sleep.
  • I did not complain either time I ran up the blasted hill. (I waited until after I turned the corner and started running downhill the second time before jeering it).
  • I didn’t beg for a walking reprieve until I had almost reached 2 miles, and by then it was easy to tell myself to just suck it up.
  • I didn’t look at the timer to see how much longer I needed to run until after the 2-mile mark.
  • I only had to struggle to catch my breath once, and that was because I had stopped focusing on my breathing for a bit.
  • I found enough energy to sprint the last few seconds of my run and didn’t collapse in exhaustion afterwards.
  • I didn’t hurt myself or feel any pain during my run (or even afterwards).

Again, it wasn’t my best run ever, but it was a really good run, far better than I thought I could have done in January when I started this whole thing. And at the end of the day, that’s what really counts.

After all, I’m only competing against myself, and there’s no rule that says I have to top my best every time I lace up my shoes.

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