Sunday, August 14, 2011

Not Apologizing

"I like to hear about your good runs, I would say 90% of training you read about only focus on the negative, your posts are a breath of fresh air."  - Big Daddy Diesel

Why do we apologize for our successes?  We obviously shouldn't arrogantly brag about our accomplishments, or ignorantly boast of victories.  But why do we beat ourselves down to the point where it's more "acceptable" to report on failed runs, and poor training habits ... than write about getting up every morning, just as tired as everyone else, and kicking our workout in the teeth?

I guess I just always want to be an encouragement and a constant reminder that good runs and successful training don't "just happen".  Sure, we all have various degrees of natural born speed and athleticism.  But there is no replacement for working your butt off!  One of my favorite lines from a song right now is from the group Hollywood Undead and the song "Undead" ... "What you think I just got lucky - didn't work for this sh--?"  One of my pet-peeves is when people say something like, "Oh, but you're thin and just naturally fast ... so it's easy for you!"  Do you have any idea how much that minimizes and disrespects all of the torture I put my body through?  That really pisses me off!

Hopefully you'll never hear me brag about a finishing time or performance.  There are so many things that have to "line-up" and "go right" to be successful in our sport ... not to mention a little good fortune from time-to-time.  But you will NEVER hear me apologize for the amount of work I put in. It's just how I was raised.  It's my goal to OUT-WORK EVERYONE.  And if I can make that happen ... good runs happen!

Another wise comment that BDD always leaves for me before every race is "Enjoy the reward of your hard work!"  I love that!  The successful marathons and races are the fruit of our seemingly endless labor.  500 crunches a week mean no stomach problems late in a race.  6 minutes of planks every day keep me straight as an arrow with good posture at mile 25.  93 miles in 8 days builds a certain toughness.  2 gym leg workouts help eliminate injury.  Speed training until I almost puke teaches my heart to withstand lengthy elevated pounding.  And good long PR-paced training runs hammer home what it will feel like on race day.

It's not luck.  It's not simply good genes.  It's not being any different than anyone else.  It's just simply making the commitment everyday to push myself to the limit ... and then push a little more.  Because over the years I have learned that if I leave everything on the training course ... there WILL be a reward.

Oh by the way, today's training run ... 23 miles at 7:44/pace ... 5 seconds off marathon PR ... average heart race of only 154.  Cruise-control Homie!  I'm comin' Sioux Falls ... and I'm bringing the "A Game".
... be great today!


  1. Amen brother,... Amen!!

    I truly believe that it's the commitment to yourself to be better that determines your outcome. I may not be at your level, but for me to get to where I am today took a lot of determination from my part. I am where I am because of me. I worked hard for this and I am proud of it.

    ...... and I'm not done yet! :)

  2. Jim! I thought of you during my half-marathon yesterday. I can't remember what mile or how I was feeling (I think it may have been around mile 10 when I started to feel it and fatigue a bit), but I PR'd the race and at that moment I just thought, "I AM being great today!" :) Thanks for the motivation!

  3. Well said my friend. I constantly get the "It's in your genes". Yeah it might be but I also work my ass off.

    Good things to come to you in this next marathon! You should check out I think you would really like it. It is great to track workouts and learn from elite runners that continue to be successful.

  4. You aren't lucky... you're talented. Very, very talented and we all know you work hard for that! :)

  5. Love this! Totally agree. We make our own luck. :)

  6. Great post. Never apologize for your successes due to your hard work.

  7. Nice post! I don't think I've ever posted anything negative about a run or race. I always enjoy what I get out of it, even a bad run will have something good to learn. Sometimes just how to handle the next bad one better. I love and enjoy running so much i can't write anything negative of what it throws at me.

  8. Same idea ..........different topic. I got really upset when a heavy colleague said to a not heavy colleague..."You are so lucky, you can eat what you want." I spoke up for her and said, "She cannot eat what she wants, she is careful and she exercises all the time." Way to diminish the effort this person make in looking good.

  9. "Oh, but you're thin and just naturally fast ... so it's easy for you!"

    Yup. That statement totally undermines all of the hard work you do. Like 23 mile "training runs". You are a very determined and amazing athlete.

  10. Very nice.

    Love how your heart rate stays so low - impressive!

  11. You ARE inspiring. I hope I've never implied that your success has come easily or without hard work. I know the truth.

    I try to document both good and difficult workouts because for me that's the reality of my training. I don't always nail it, but I'm getting better at nailing it more often and on days when I don't feel it. That's where the hard work comes in. Like you said: Races and those golden days? Those are the rewards!

  12. I love this! Thanks so much for writing down what i've been thinking for a long time. No apologies for PRs/fast races because it's a result of hard work day in and day out!

    Needed to hear that today, so thank you.

  13. Great post!

    You are an inspiration to me. I vow to "be great" today. :)

  14. Great post!

    I've said it before I think but you are the most dedicated and fit person that I either know in person or follow the blog of. So this has nothing to do with luck. You work hard and have the right to be successful in what you do.

    I think the reason that I and many other people say "good luck" prior to races is that I think a certain amount of race success is luck - the weather, how your body feels that day, etc. Though being as prepared as possible for a race helps to make your race as successful as possible.

    I believe that most professional athletes have some genetic edge when they are born - but they also fully maximize that edge with hard work.

    And I wish I could talk about successes in post, but if you are injured unfortunately you can't talk about much success.

  15. OMG dude I was just thinking that today about how hard we work to get to where we are. There is no magic pill to make us faster or lose weight or F'N SMILE all day long.

    We work to get here and that is why we are happy why those that are miserable are just that....miserable and they try to bring everybody else down there with them.

    I for one will not let that happen to me and I will smile until I die and I will die doing what I love and that is training and racing. No Apologies for it.

    Keep up the great work and keep being an inspiration.

  16. I could always tell by your mileage that you have some great work ethic, Jim!

    Try not to leave your lunch on the road in the speed work though :)


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