Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Under Pressure

After my meltdown at the National Marathon, I've been rethinking how I want to go about my season. I can't exactly "turn off" but I can certainly tune out and retool.

I've been thinking back on my days as a youth athlete and as a student. And I figured out, I've never done very well under pressure. I was always good at homework, but cracked when it was time for a test. My final couple of quarters in college was a nightmare. I had a final project that was not going well and if I failed, there would be no graduation. I didn't eat for, like, a month. I itched all over from the inside out, yet there was nothing medically wrong with me.

I don't handle pressure very well.

In the last couple of years with the growth of social media, my presence online has grown too. This blog became something my family checked in on to having many, many followers and many, many lurkers. I've got a bajillion friends on Facebook, all of whom I "know" and then another bajillion followers on Twitter, most of whom I have no idea who they are. Throw into that being on a competitive team with sponsors and my anxiety level is through the roof. I feel like I have to be on all the time.

I can't take that kind of pressure.

So I've needed to change some things. 2011 is about finishing what I started. Let me repeat that: Finishing what I started. I'm not doing any races because my team, my sponsors, my coach, my husband, etc. want me to. This is all for me. I have tweaked my racing schedule but the only people who know that are me, my coach, and Dave. My 2011 schedule has been taken down from this blog. And I'm not going to talk about upcoming races on Facebook or Twitter. The only time I will talk about a race will be after it happens. I want to feel a little more anonymous when I show up for a race.

I want to love racing again. I want to have fun with my racing. I want to feel like I'm racing for me. I want to finish what I started.


11 comments:

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I get being too hard on yourself, trust me I do. I am the same way, I dont recognize the postives like I should, but instead the mind is consumed with the negatives.

What I have learned this year and I am glad I learned this early this season, is to "dummy it down" its just swimming, biking, and running for a long, long time and making sure I meet the cutoff. Breaking the race down in 3 categories and then break down each catergory, its all about the finishline, the only numbers that matter is 2 hours, 20 minutes, 5:30pm and 11:59:59pm, that is it.

Colleen said...

I understand... and I'm sorry that I didn't get to read this blog before I commented on twitter. I wasn't trying to call you out or anything... just saying have fun - and race YOUR race (and say hi to Tracy and Jim while you're there). It makes me sad that we won't know what you are racing because we can't give you words of encouragement the day before or send you positive thoughts throughout the race, but you have to approach them in a way that's best for you. :) And we'll still keep an eye out for you guys at races...

Maybe you'll surprise us and be there!

Caratunk Girl said...

I actually love the idea of not posting the schedule or talking about a race until it is over. Once I announce it, suddenly it changes it somehow. Anyway, I get it. I am not making a race schedule for 2012 on purpose for similar reasons.

mhutto said...

I hope your new found focus will help alleviate some of your stress. Training and racing should always be about you! Know that your Trakkers teammates will support you whenever you need us!

Betsy said...

Good for you! I think I've blogged about the pressure and why I do this too. I read a quote recently about racing your shadown and I've tried to keep that in my mind...that I do this for me and doing my best is all that matters.

BTW - I am following you as RidleyMama on twitter so I'm no longer one of the strangers :)

Jennifer Harrison said...

GOOD for you, Meredith! No one knows my races for each year either - unless I announce them - I like it that way!! :))

Michelle said...

Sounds like a good plan! Good luck in your racing and training!

a runners' life said...

That's a great plan to have and certainty takes the pressure off. I do something similar if I'm planning a race that is tougher than normal which allows me to back out if I'm not physically or mentally ready.
Good luck with all your races this year :)

Velma said...

Sounds like you made a great decision. This should be fun :) I find it is helpful to tune out for a while if you need it. Good luck

Andrea said...

Good for YOU!

We: your supporters, fans and followers could have given you this advice, but YOU needed it come to the realization on your own.

This is YOUR life and YOU get to set the rules and boundaries.

Hoping you find that spark again!!:)

Maddalena said...

lovely!