"When I do the best I can with what I have, then I have won my race." Jay Foonberg

Weekly Running Log

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Psychological or Personal??

I read an article in my last issue of Running Journal and must say that it is probably the best written article I've read in years. Of course, it is geared to running but can be applied to any area of your life. Maybe that's why I enjoyed it so much. Without further ado, you can read the article below.

Winning is Personal
By Richard Ferguson, Ph.D.

"Running is the most primeval of all physical activities. Pre-historic man ran simply to survive through hunting and gathering, as well as fleeing from predators. For early man success through running simply meant living to see the sun rise on another day.

Today, success is certainly defined in a much different way. Unfortunately, in the sports world success is too often associated with winning and to most laymen, winning means finishing first. But do you really have to finish first to be a successful runner? I would say most certainly not.
Success is far too often associated with some particular outcome, such as a championship, trophy, or medal. For some, success may mean having great wealth, fame, or a position of power. All of these definitions of success are really external in their nature. By external I mean these things are what others, or society usually expect. Too often we have to look to other people to let us know if we are a success.

Even when we are successful according to the external norms of society, it may never be enough. If we don’t continue to better our previous levels and do more and more, then we may no longer feel successful. What a pity! So many people are walking around having accomplished great things, and are continuing to do great things, yet they feel like utter miserable failures.

I see this so often in runners. They run well, but for some reason, are never happy with what they’ve accomplished. No matter how they run, they view themselves as failures. While setting high standards is a must to achieving your potential, standards that are set too high and by external others can lead to constant feelings of inadequacy and frustration.

Runners need to find a definition of success, which is personal and internal. A definition of success which they set, not one set by some running shoe advertisement, or local running statistics maniac who seems to know everyone’s times and places from races during the last half century. In all reality success is a very subjective feeling. Success is really about how YOU feel about what you’re doing. No one else can really define success for YOU.

Many individuals often look to some end product in defining their success as runners. A performance time, event run, or place in a race, are usually used as a measure of success. But running is a process; a long-term process in which about 99 percent is preparation and training, while only about one percent is performance or racing. Yet we judge our success so much on the one percent. What about the journey of running itself? Don’t we feel success just by being out on the road or trail? I would hope all of us feel a great deal of success simply by being runners. Too often we forget the joys and pleasures that present themselves in our daily run. Maybe it’s time we “stop and smell the roses,” both literally and figuratively, as we run.

The act of running and moving is a joy in, and of itself. To feel successful you really don’t need a race, a clock, or a measured distance. My wife, Jill, has won a number of Master’s titles in very competitive races, yet she has not run a race in many, many years. Why? She really doesn’t like to race, but she loves to run. I guess that’s why she still runs 30 or so miles every week for the sheer pleasure of it. Is Jill not successful because she no longer races? I would say Jill is very successful in running because she loves to run and she is very happy about her running, much happier in fact than when she was dealing with expectations about race performances.

All of us have different goals for our running. No matter what the goal is, when we reach them we have a success story! This July thousands of runners will make the trek down Peachtree Street in Atlanta for the Peachtree Road Race. Only one runner will be first, so are the others losers? No way! For many on July 4, there will be feelings of success that will be unmatched in their entire lifetimes. Goals will be reached and runners will feel good about their accomplishments.

I know so many runners who always finish in the back quarter of every race, yet they absolutely love to run and participate in races. Are they losers because they finish at the tail end of the field? No way! If they have met their own personal goal then they are successful. I guess the thing that makes running so unique is really the personal nature of the sport. Sure, you often compete against other people, but you always have some type of competition going on with yourself and your own personal, internal goals. The challenge may lie in just getting out the door each day or it may lie in trying to reach that marathon PR.

So set some personal goals and go after them! Don’t worry about other people and their goals or what goals they think you should set. Other people can’t set goals for you. Only you can decide what you want to accomplish! This is one of the basic premises of goal setting strategy.

Whatever your goal may be, when you reach it feel good about what you’ve done. Enjoy the feelings of success! Don’t let others rain on your parade. When you reach a personal goal you deserve to feel good. Even though another runner may not understand your goals, then that’s OK. Winning is a personal thing! Enjoy your personal wins!"

Now, I say, just what can you add to this?? Find your "place", set your goals and

Run 4 It

1 comment:

Mudrunner said...

Thanks for sharing with such a great posts, it gives us more ideas and information. Looking forward for more updates.

2017 Races

  • 12/10/17...MS Coast Half
  • 12/09/17...MS Coast 5k
  • 11/25/17...Kaiser Half
  • 11/18/17...Wild Turkey Trot 5k
  • 11/11/17...Rotary Oyster 5k
  • 10/14/17...Shrimp Festival 10k
  • 02/18/17...Sea Turtle Half
  • 02/04/17...Double Bridge 15k
  • 01/29/17...Big Beach Half

2017 Bike Rides

  • 10/01/17...Southern Magnolia Ride [25.85]
  • 05/13/17...Good Life Ride [26]


  • MS Coast Double Down...5k & Half
  • Run The Beach...3 Half's

2017 Goals

  • Back-to-Back Races [Done]
  • 3 Half Marathons [Done +1]
  • 1,000 Miles-No
  • First Half Marathon Series [3 Done]
  • Work on core/strength 2-3 times a week-No
  • Lose 25 pounds-No
  • NEVER give up! YES!!
  • Control/Eliminate refined sugars-Good

2016 Races

  • 10/15/16...Shrimp Festival 5k
  • 05/30/16...Fiesta Five Flags 5k
  • 03/19/16...Azalea Trail 10k
  • 03/13/16...St. Pat's Leprechaun 5k
  • 03/05/16...Bay to Breakfast 12k...1st trail race
  • 02/20/16...Sea Turtle Half
  • 02/13/16...Double Bridge 15k

2016 Goals

  • Run 1,000 miles-Done
  • Bike 300 miles
  • Half Marathon-Done
  • Eat fruit daily
  • Push through the hard times-Done
  • Cut back on refined sugar

2015 Races

  • 12/19/15...Make It To The Line 4 Miler
  • 11/21/15...Wild Turkey Trot 5k
  • 11/14/15...Oyster 5k
  • 10/10/15...Shrimp Festival 5k
  • 05/30/15...PHind a Cure-W/D
  • 05/02/15...Fiesta Five Flags 5k
  • 04/18/15...Zydeco 5k - W/D
  • 04/??/15...Virtual Remember the Fallen 5k
  • 04/??/15...Virtual Boston Strong 5k
  • 04/11/15...Magnolia 5k
  • 03/28/15...Azalea Trail 10k
  • 03/07/15...Circle K 5k
  • 03/01/15...Gulf Coast Lulu's 10k
  • 02/28/15...Sweetheart 5k
  • 02/07/15...Double Bridge 15k

2015 Goals

  • 1 Half Marathon
  • Eat fruit daily
  • Overlook past failures
  • Push through the hard times/things

2014 Races

  • 12/06/14...St. Jude's Half Marathon
  • 08/16/14...Pinky 5k Virtual
  • 08/15/14...Howl @ the Moon 10k Virtual
  • 02/15/14...Sweetheart 5k
  • 02/01/14...Double Bridge 15k

2014 Goals

  • 1 Half Marathon
  • 700 Running Miles
  • Strengthen my Upper Body
  • Recuperate, Recover, Renew
  • Get active in WW
  • Eat Fruit Daily
  • Start Clean Eating
  • Begin Eliminating Sugar from Diet

2013 Races

11-30-13...Stennis 5k
11-23-13...Turkey Trot 5k
11-08-13...Run For The Kids Virtual Half [St. Jude's]
10-12-13...Shrimp Festival 5k
09-22-13...Talladega Half
07-04-13...Wesson 2 Miles
06-29-13...Emz Liverpalooza 5k
05-18-13...Pursuit of Fun 5k
04-20-13..Warrior Dash
04-07-13...Gulf Coast Half-Pensacola
03-23-13...Azalea Trail 10k
03-10-13...Leprechaun 5k
02-24-13...NOLA Marathon
02-02-13...Double Bridge 15k-Pensacola
01-13-13....Gulf Coast Half-Lulu's

2013 Goals

  • 3 Half Marathons-Done-Plus 1
  • 1 Marathon-Done
  • 1000 Running Miles-No, due to RC Tendonitis & Broken Shoulder
  • Eat fruit daily-A little aggressive but better
  • Maintain weight in 130's-Did NOT happen!

2012 Races

12-08-12...FloraBama Jingle Bell 5k
11-24-12...Jingle Bell 10k
11-17-12...Turkey Trot 5k
10-27-12...Jazz Half
10-20-12...OS Rotary 5k
10-13-12...Race for Grace 5k
09-29-12...5k For Katlyn
07-04-12...Wesson 2 Mile
04-15-12...Gulf Coast Half...[Withdrew-bronchitis]
04-14-12...Diversity Dash 5k
03-24-12...Azalea Trail 10k
03-03-12...MS50 20k...[Withdrew-bronchitis]
02-25-12...Kids Need Heroes 5k
02-11-12...Sweetheart 5k
02-04-12..Double Bridge 15k
01-14-12...Pensacola Half

2012 Goals

  • 1 Full Marathon-Marine Corp filled up
  • 3 Half Marathons-2 Down-Sick had to drop 2
  • 20 Miles-Wkly Mileage-Bronchitis kept me from this
  • Cross Training 2x Week-Poor Commitment
  • Weekly Weights W/O-Again Poor Commitment

2011 Races

  • 11-26-11...Kaiser Half
  • 11-19-11...Turkey Trot 5k
  • 11-11-11...Thumbs Up for Bill 5k
  • 11-05-11...Senior Bowl 10k
  • 10-22-11...Running the Streets 5k
  • 10-15-11...Shrimp Festival 10k
  • 10-08-11...Mullet Run 5k
  • 09-24-11...Waiting for a Cure 8k
  • 09-05-11...Labor Your Legs 5k
  • 07-04-11...Wesson 2 Miles
  • 06-04-11...Bay Fest 5k
  • 05-14-11...Stargazer 5k
  • 04-30-11...Fiesta 5 Flags 5k
  • 04-16-11...St. Benedict's 5k
  • 04-10-11...Gulf Coast Half
  • 03-26-11...Azalea Trail 10k
  • 03-19-11...St. Patrick's 5k
  • 03-05-11...Eco 5k
  • 02-13-11...Mardi Gras Marathon

Secrets to Running a 5k

Here is an excellent site for those who have thought about running a 5k race but just hadn't made that move yet. There's tips, directions and even a section on what to wear. If you have never run a race, you are missing out on a lot of fun. You will have support from most everyone you meet. Now for the site...click here to change your life and get started!

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