Not great.

That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I ask myself how my goal chasing is coming along. And you know what’s fucked up about that? My life is actually awesome. I have lots of goals, and I’m killing it on most of em. Just not with her: the siren who moves crowds to her feet, who flies across mondo tracks and exerts herself to bursting.

That negative gut response “not great” is the result of a die hard habit of identifying my life through running first. That may seem weird to some people, but running is my first love, the epicenter of so much of what I have in my life, and the energy that ties it all together. And, you know what, I like it that way. Running isn’t something flippant. For me it’s the way.

And the fact is, running has been a struggle since my race in November. Weird heel pain. Eight false starts, a dissonant chorus of solutions, and the mental strain of being self-coached through trepidatious times. Getting better requires so much focus that I have to consciously make an effort to zoom out enough to see the big picture of my life from time to time. I can’t imagine getting out of this pit without a chain of arms. Which, luckily, I have.

When I don't have momentum in my training, it is really hard to write in my Journal. I skipped a full 3 weeks and buried it under my bed. But two weeks ago I picked it back up. The quotes are motivating me again. I'm seeing them from the perspective of a blank slate.

When I don’t have momentum in my training, it is really hard to write in my Journal. I skipped a full 3 weeks and buried it under my bed. But two weeks ago I picked it back up. The quotes are motivating me again. I’m seeing them from the perspective of a blank slate.

My specific goals were to qualify for Nationals in the 5k and get a World Standard of 15:20. Now, I don’t know about that. Maybe this will clear up, maybe I’ll run fast late in the summer. Maybe not. I’m back to a place I’ve been several times before in my career. So far gone in fitness and preparation, so many months off course, that I’ve let go. Not given up, but let go. Some would call it hitting rock bottom, but for me it is returning to a blank slate. And every single time I get here I’m reminded that all I want is to be able to run for the love of it. Fuck the world standard. I’ll take six easy pain free miles. And the funny thing is, historically, that realization is usually the moment things start to turn around.

The broad goal, the most important one I set for 2015, was that this would be the year I take chances. So, how am I doing? I’ve taken the scary responsibility of coaching others, asked for help with my running, loved deeply, taken action on injustice, stepped into a more full expression of myself, and took steps to communicate my needs better. I spoke at a conference for the first time, and just bought my tickets to New York for the Shorty Awards because, well, you don’t get to go up against Kevin Durant for an award very often. I’ve set up my life to take chances every single day. And who knows, things with my racing still might work out. The sun still pulls the planets, even when you can’t see it.

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