Blogger self comparison

(Only the fourth time I’ve started typing this post… lets hope Firefox doesn’t kill the page like Chrome did)

Alright guys and dolls, I’m going to skip the typical food post tonight in favor of something a little more serious. When Ange first posted about Blogs and the Social Comparison Trap last year (already a year? it can’t be) I completely blew it off as something I never do. Well I realized tonight that I’ve been doing it for awhile.

I’ve been a little bummed about how slow I run compared to so many of the popular bloggers I follow. Running more than a mile at 9:00/mi? Not for a long time to come! But I knew that they must have started just as slow as I am so I managed to push it to the back of my mind.

And then in January so many of them ran the Disney marathon and have me wanting to run a full marathon next year, even though for so many years my mother and I would shake our heads about an old friend who is now a marathoner (many times over and running an ultra next weekend!).

Now, these blogs have given me a lot of inspiration. It is because of thesm that I began running and its become a pretty big part of my life. It was reading about the Disney Princess half marathon on Gina’s blog that I was inspired to try for a half. In fact it sounded like so much fun that I couldn’t wait for registration to open, worried that all of the slots would fill up and I wouldn’t be able to do it (I’d clearly never registered for a race before).

For the record that race is three weeks and two days away.

I was so psyched last weekend, after an easy training week, to get back on track with longer runs, knowing I’m reaching the climax of my training. Looking forward to running for an hour and a half with someone who probably knows me best, every weekend.

And then yesterday, before my seven mile tempo run my back started hurting and I just couldn’t twist quite right to get it to pop and settle back to being pain free. So sometime over the course of the morning the muscles around that spot tightened up and knotted up, and before I knew it I was walking back from class, not quite able to keep a grimace from my face because of the pain at every jarring step. I still held out hope, knowing that there was snow in today’s forecast so I couldn’t put it off a day. But when there was still some pain when I tried running a few steps with Ollie I decided to play it safe. I figured that on a run that long my muscles were bound to tense up even farther either out of stress or an attempt to protect the injury. So I spent the evening with a tennis ball between my back and the back of my chair and with a heating pad. There’s seven miles gone from the week.

Today it did indeed snow. It’s a friggin’ winter wonderland out there. Snow that Georgia usually only sees once every ten years or so. They were calling for up to four inches and I think we’re about there at this point. I contemplated running when I got home, and probably could have, but my mom mentioned that the pavements were starting to get slick over in Atlanta so I chickened out. It was only two miles to miss, but I haven’t actually completed my weekly mileage in quite awhile. It’s rained or I’ve been sleeping poorly. One reason or another I skipped out on a lot of my two milers.

So I’m down a total of nine miles this week. Not a big deal in the long run, I’ll still be able to run the race, but it may be even slower than originally planned. Or I may have to take walk breaks. While either of those would be frustrating on their own, knowing that I’d have to come back here and report back that I had to take walk breaks would somehow feel like failure and having to broadcast that failure for the whole world to read. I am beyond frustrated at this point.

I’m going to have to sit down and tweak my training plan a bit, and at this point I don’t know what this is going to do to the rest of my weekly totals. I was supposed to run 20 miles this week (another disappointment, missing that nice round number) and you can read anywhere that increasing by more than 10% a week increases your risk for injury. So I probably shouldn’t jump into next week’s 21 after last week’s 12 (a built in easy week) and the previous week’s 16 (I missed my final 2). I guess I can just keep skipping my Friday two milers and cut down my Thursday runs a little.

But getting this close to the big day I am really, really disappointed in myself for not following the plan as close as I should have. For setting myself up to not be able to run the best race I could have. For potentially setting myself up for failure. My father’s an architect. I inherited his perfectionist tendencies. And his tendency towards procrastination.

I know that running 13 miles in itself is impressive. And I know that I’m already doing the things that used to awe me about the running bloggers I read. I’m still having to convince myself that I am officially a runner. I was never a jock. Never an athlete. I always used to say that I got the interest in learning, my middle brother got the artistic genes, and my youngest brother got the athletic genes. But I am a runner. I’ve run for an hour and a half, for fuck’s sake, and didn’t even notice the time passing (good company will do that). It just hasn’t sunk in that it was really me doing it. That I am doing it. That this is me. I’m one of those running bloggers. Maybe once I have the finisher’s medal on my wall it will finally hit me. Maybe it never will.

In any case, tonight it really hit how closely I’ve been comparing myself to these other bloggers. The thought even crossed my mind that I don’t want to try to meet anyone while in Orlando because they’re so much *better* than I am. I can’t measure up. I’m too lame. I think I’ve kind of built them up as almost celebrities in my mind. I mean hundreds of people comment on a single post, they get thousands of page views a day. They’ve made it big time. And I’m fighting against the feeling that I can’t live up and its a disappointment to myself.

So that’s where I am tonight (the fact that I ate a ton of sweets today isn’t really helping) and maybe why I haven’t been posting as much as I should lately (homework being a very convenient excuse). But so that this post isn’t completely depressing here are some puppy pics, just for you guys (okay, and everyone following me on buzz and everyone I’m friends with on facebook, but you know…):

Surprise snuggles! I turned around a found them spooning. So cute!


Ollie’s first snow:



1 Comment

  1. Awesome Blog, Mate! I am essentially an disney princess nut and am always on the prowl for new and interesting sites and info about interesting princess related stuff that I might add to my daughter’s collection… which is what led me here. Any who how i just wanted to check in as I certainly plan on visiting again! Cheers

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