REAL LIFE RUNNERS PODCAST: EPISODE #268 – That Finish Line Feeling (Transcript)
ANGIE: Hey, everybody! Thank you so much for joining us today in episode # 268 of the Real Life Runners podcast.
So in watching a race, you can usually see one of two people. You see ones that practically or actually collapse as they cross the finish line and the ones that cross with a smile on their face and their arms up in the air.
Today, we wanna talk about these two runners and help you understand which one you want to be and how your starting line feelings actually have a really big effect on that finish line feeling.
KEVIN: Yeah, I I've gotta say I've been both of these runners.
KEVIN: I've definitely been the, the arms up. I've got a picture of me crossing a finish line with my arms in the air.
KEVIN: and I have a solid memory of falling across the finish line. Actually. I don't really have a memory of that finish line. I remember the finishing straight away. And then I remember waking up at the tent where my coach had somehow dragged me to the tent.
ANGIE: Oh, it was like, Level of collapse.
KEVIN: Yeah. Well, there was some like heat exhaustion going on in that there was a lot of, it was like high school cross country.
KEVIN: Really hot day. I remember heading down the finish, the finishing straight away. And then my next memory is my coach shoving a bag of ice down my shorts.
ANGIE: Wow. Well, there's that? so,
KEVIN: so welcome to episode 268.
ANGIE: There we are. So before we jump too far into the episode, just a quick reminder that if you are listening to this episode on the day that it's released, which is Thursday, August 25th, the doors of the Real Life Runner's training academy are open today only. Okay. Today is the last day you can sign up. So, if the academy is something that you've been thinking about signing up for, and you've been wanting to join our academy, and learn how to train in a way that's right for you. Learn how to create a personalized plan so that you can get out of that frustration of not making progress that you want and move into that space of becoming a real life runner, someone that is in charge of their running and their life. This is for you head over to the website, real life runners.com/ flo slash academy, to find out more information, you'll get all the details of everything that's included in the program. You get lifetime access to the training academy with one purchase. Like this is not like an ongoing membership type thing anymore. Okay. We've changed the way that we've structured everything in the program. So it's a one time purchase. You purchase that program, you have lifetime access for that. And then you also, as a bonus, get three months of coaching included with that. Okay. So head over to the website, real life runners.com/academy to check out all the details so you can make the decision that's right for you.
KEVIN: Yeah, that's an excellent, excellent program. I feel like we may mention it a couple of times throughout this podcast, cuz well, you know, we are our own sponsor so it's what we got.
ANGIE: Yeah. And that's like something else, actually. I'm glad that you brought that up, you know like you guys, we don't, um, bring on ads even though we've been approached by sponsors many different times before, because one, one of the main reasons is because we don't really like ads when we listen to podcasts. And so we didn't really wanna do that to our listeners as well. So, one of the ways that you can support us is number one, joining the academy. Okay. Joining one of our coaching programs um, but you could also support us for free by just sharing the podcast with a friend, you know, leaving us a review on iTunes. Like we mentioned, at the end of every episode, just by helping us to grow the podcast and reach more people, that's one way that you can really show your appreciation for all of the free content that we put out for you on a weekly basis. Okay. Cuz we put a lot of thought and effort into these episodes. So, if you find them helpful. Sharing them is a great way for you to thank us for those efforts. So,
KEVIN: is a solid minute worth of effort that you have to put forth. And so we would very much appreciate that. Thank you.
ANGIE: Oh, I thought you meant a solid minute that we put forth. You made for them to go share the effort of when
KEVIN: sharing may not be as long, but the,
ANGIE: like, it takes us longer than a minute to prepare.
KEVIN: No, but to go through and like do the whole, like it, or leave a review there's process involved in the thing it does. It takes about a minute.
ANGIE: Yeah, it does. It's not that long. Don't think it's like a process that you can't figure out. Like it's a very easy process to do.
KEVIN: Of course you can figure it out. We're talking distance runners here. You guys got this. You guys are smart. All right. So let's get into, into this episode here.
There are two very clear visuals and, and
ANGIE: I've never collapsed across the finish line. You have not the closest thing I've come to. Collapsing mm-hmm is pulling. I had to pull up. This was like so disappointing for me too. I had to pull up probably what would you say? Like a hundred meters to 200 meters, maybe 200 meters before the end of a 5k. When I was pregnant mm-hmm and throw up on the side of the road. And then I ended up crossing that finish line and hitting the exact same time as my current PR
KEVIN: about 400 meters from the finish line.
ANGIE: Was it that far away?
KEVIN: Yeah. Okay. Either. Cause we had to like get into the school and weave through the parking lot. Okay.
ANGIE: But even so, yeah, you know, with 400 meters left, I had to like, stop, take the time to throw up and then keep running. And then I ended up like hitting the exact same time that I had already hit in my previous race and I was like, gosh, darn it. Right. Like if I hadn't have pulled over and thrown up I would've been able to PR that day.
KEVIN: Yeah. You were close to the finish line. No one likes pulling up that close to the finish line. No. Remember that one race that I was at the finish line and I like, my vision went all white, so I like, I peeled off to the side cause I couldn't see the finish line anymore like I, my vision just went
ANGIE: that's scary.
ANGIE: Oh then there was the other time that I peeled off right after the finish line I went through up. Yeah. That's that's much more prefer.
KEVIN: Well, yeah, except for the other people standing there. It's, it's not no one enjoys that.
ANGIE: I know one of our, so we, we coach a high school cross country team for anybody that doesn't know and one of our brand new freshman runners came up to us this week. I just wanna tell this short story, cuz it's funny.
KEVIN: Please do.
ANGIE: So do you know that one where I'm going with this?
KEVIN: No, I have no idea that I wanna know this one.
ANGIE: Okay. So she came up to me because somehow she had overheard people talking about like throwing up and
KEVIN: oh, I get, I overheard part of this conversation.
ANGIE: And so she comes up to me and she's like, um, Coach. And I'm like, yeah. And she's like, is there a lot of throwing up at races? and I was like, what do you mean? You know? And she's like, I really don't like throw up like, I, I am one of those people that like, when other people throw up, I throw up and it just like, I can't see it happening. I'm like, oh wait so are you afraid of throwing up or are you afraid of seeing other people throw up? And she's like that one? She's like, I, I cannot see people and I just was like this seems like a really big deal she's like, it is I'm like, would you reconsider your spot on the cross country team? I might. And I was like, okay, I might. Okay. And I said, well, I'm not gonna lie to you. It does happen every now and then. But like, it's not a normal occasion. It's not something that you will see, like on an every everyday basis, she was like, okay, good like, she was so concerned about it.
KEVIN: You worked the finish line, you gotta wear a poncho just in case it's like, like you're at a Gallagher show.
ANGIE: Something just happens. Yeah, so that was kind of funny, but, um, okay. So going back to those two visuals that we talked about in the intro, like, you know, sometimes you see people just kind of collapse as they cross that finish line, or they cross the finish line, knees auto our hands automatically go to the knees or they just kind of fall over on the side. Maybe they're not like collapsing as they cross the finish line, but as soon as they get, you know, through that shoot, they're just like, boom, dead on the grass. Right.
KEVIN: They're done.
ANGIE: They're done. And then you see those other runners that kind of like run through the finish line with a big smile on their face when their arms in the air. And they just like kind of casually walk through the finish line. Right.
KEVIN: You've seen people jump across the finish line.
ANGIE: Yep, yep. To get those like finish line jumping feature,
KEVIN: finish line jump that, that seems like a lot of energy to still have the finish line.
ANGIE: A lot of energy, especially like in like a marathon or like a half marathon.
KEVIN: See people like highfiving others, like down the whole and like major marathons. You see people on the long finish line straightaway like Boston, that's a long straightaway down towards the finish line. People are highfiving fans all the way down the whole straightaway. Like that's a lot of energy that you're still going off of this. That's awesome.
ANGIE: It is. And so, you know, the question is like, which one of these would you rather be? Right? Because you, you can kind of look at it two different ways, right. That person, that kind of collapses at the finish line that kind of like leaves it all out on the course, you know, like they gave it their all, and then you look at the other person you're like, yeah, but that person looks like very like happy and proud and joyful, like which one of those would I rather be right? Because one could argue that like the person that collapses across the finish line could also be like happy with themselves.
ANGIE: Like, or they could be like totally done. Right. And then the person that kind of crosses with that smile on their face, what are they actually thinking? Right. Like, are they actually happy with their performance? Are they just kind of putting their arms in there as just like a picture moment? Right. And so even though these are kind of what we see visually Kevin, and I wanna kind of take it one step deeper in this episode. And kind of say, okay, that's what we see, but what happens five minutes after the race? And what about 30 minutes after the race? And we still think that it pretty much comes down to two different types of runners and those are exactly what we wanna talk about today.
KEVIN: Right? Not exactly the runner with the hands in the air versus the runner hands on their knees. But
ANGIE: I mean, those are two like visuals that we can use to kind of, um, you know, describe them.
ANGIE: But, you could really be either de like, regardless of what your external looks like,
KEVIN: Right? Yeah. Yes. Your external versus your internal thought and that's, you know, what we love to do on the podcast is take just a little bit deeper than this and figure out what's actually underneath the surface cause there's what other people might see. But what are, what are the thoughts that you're telling yourself? How are you actually feeling on an emotional level. Physical? You just finished a race. Probably pretty exhausted. Even the person that's like high fiving people at the finish line watch, 'em like 10 seconds after the finish line. That was all the energy I had. They were using the crowd to propel themselves across the line. They're still pretty physically spent. Yeah. Some of them are able to walk through and, you know, go get a bagel in 17 bananas afterwards, but that's, you know, you ran a 5k if you're eating 17 bananas um, but both of these runners then have to, you know, have some thoughts about the race they're going to, once they've finished their snacks, have some thoughts about like, how did that race actually go? Like, how are they actually feeling, not my thighs or my hamstring, my calf, whatever it is, but how do I think that race went for me.
ANGIE: Right. And so the two categories that we wanna talk about today are the unsatisfied runner and the joyful runner. Okay.
And let's dig into, uh, runner one, which is the unsatisfied runner.
Okay. So again, regardless if you're the person that is on the ground or the one that has your arms in the air, as you cross the line, what's actually happening underneath. So the unsatisfied runner is the person that finishes the race, just feeling unsatisfied and feeling maybe even a little disappointed in themselves.
Mm-hmm, maybe a lot disappointed in themselves. Right. They feel like they could have pushed more. They could have gotten that better time. Right? Like maybe you were feeling good throughout the course of the race. And then kind of as the race went on, depending on how long it was, of course you kind of saw the time on, on your watch. Kind of getting away from you, you know, you weren't hitting those paces and then by the time you cross that finish line, and it's not the time that you want on the clock, you are like, oh, like you cross the finish line and there's that just immediate sense of disappointment, right? Like you might throw your hands up in the air just for the photo, but underneath you're really feeling, just kind of discouraged and disappointed, right? Like, and a lot of times when you connect with these people, right after the race, they're already talking about the next race, right? Like they're already thinking about like this one wasn't good enough. Like, you feel like it's not enough. Like you didn't do enough to get the result that you wanted and so you're already trying to think ahead to the next race.
KEVIN: A lot of times what happens, especially if you talk a longer race, like half marathon or marathon people kind of know the paces, like I should be hitting this at the mile, the two mile or three mile, and they can start seeing if they're staying on pace or if they start falling off of pace.
KEVIN: Um, and they've actually done some studies on this, the difference between men and women, as women start falling off of pace, they're able to adjust their goals better than men are. Whereas men are like, I'm falling off of pace and so this is terrible and they go down this negative spiral mm-hmm and so sure they may fi cross the finish line and then just be able to casually walk through the finish line but inside the wrecked mm-hmm like, it might not be hands on the knees kind of wrecked because they could have gone faster, but they threw in the towel mentally, like an hour ago. Mm-hmm and so there's this just, there's a definitely a level of disappointment. Yeah. They're thinking about the next race, because they were already upset with this race
ANGIE: before they even finish
KEVIN: with miles to go from the finish line.
KEVIN: Or, you know, depending on, on the race, it could be like near the finish line, they were already disappointed. You can see the clock click over to that PR that you were really aiming for. And you're like, well, I'm not getting the PR in this race. Mm-hmm I guess I still have to cross the finish line, but this was a waste of my time and there, it wasn't, it wasn't at all, but that's a lot of the mental connection that this runner's making is what was any of, what was the point of all of it? Yeah, because they're tied, they're tied so much to the, to the number
ANGIE: they're tied so much to the number. Yeah. So, you know, if this is you or, you know, someone that, you know, a lot of times what happens, like the mistakes that we see that can like lead to that feeling of like disappointment and dissatissfaction is that people that feel that way are often not connected to the goal, like not connected in the right way to the goal or they're connected too much to that goal. Right. Mm-hmm yeah. Like the it's kind, it can go one of two ways. Like I think that a lot of times people will just kind of pick a goal just because, right. Like, so. um, let's talk about like, not being connected to the goal first, right? Yeah. So, you know, people that choose a goal based on what their friends are doing, like, okay, well, my friend's running this half marathon and he wanted me to run it with him so I guess I'll run it with him. Right. So you don't have that personal connection to the goal yourself, you're just kind of doing it because your friend wanted you to.
KEVIN: That's tough, tough training for half marathon.
ANGIE: Well, it's hard to push yourself to that point, right?
KEVIN: It's hard to fake it through a half marathon.
KEVIN: Like that's a, that's a lot of miles. That's a lot of time out there. And if it doesn't mean that much to you, mm-hmm, eventually it's gonna get to a point where it's really physically difficult and then you have to check in mentally. And if mentally you weren't that connected to the goal in the first place when it's physically difficult and you go to like try and grit it out and, and dig in. You're like, ah, yeah, I don't, I don't really care. Yeah. So that, that's a tough one.
ANGIE: That is a tough one. Um, or on the opposite end, maybe your friend has been running for like 10 years and this is like your first half marathon and you see your friend, like just kind of nice jogging easily through this, and you are just struggling. Right. And you start comparing yourself cause you're like, well, I thought I was in like pretty good shape and I thought I was like, as in as good of a shape as my friend, or I could keep up with my friend, um, or someone that you might even think that you're in better shape, then right but maybe they're a runner and you're not like maybe you, you know, go to CrossFit or you like to do other things and then all of a sudden, you decide to sign up for this race. Right? Sure. Like, and so, um, you start comparing yourself. You're like, why am I struggling so much? Even if you, you are a runner, right? Um, we tend to often fall into this comparison trap. And when we don't have that personal connection to the goal, but yet we compare when we're not hitting the goal, then that can like lead to a whole mess psychologically as well.
KEVIN: Right? Because you you've got this number that you've arbitrarily decided is important to you but at the same time, it's, it's not that important to you. So it's this weird disconnect inside of your head that you end up disappointed and just kind of confused at the finish line about like, I'm disappointed, but also I don't really care about this because you're hardly considering yourself a runner. But then you look at the clock and you're like, well, I mean, I'm not, I don't consider myself much of a runner, but I should be able to beat these people. Yeah. Like I, I consider myself a fit person.
ANGIE: Right. I, and so when, like someone that seems like they're 20 years older than you is beating you across the line, that can be a little defeating sometimes.
ANGIE: Right? Um, the other thing about it, you know, like if we look at the opposite side of it is like caring too much about the goal. Right? Caring too much about the number on the clock as the one and only goal that matters in that race. Yeah. Right. Like we put so much importance on that number that we are completely unable to kind of appreciate and acknowledge all of the other good things that could have happened in that race just because we didn't get that number.
KEVIN: Yeah. So I I've heard a lot of people talk about this one about like, you have to care about a goal, but you can't care too much. It's like holding an egg. If, if you're not holding it enough where you, you drop the egg, you've got scrambled eggs but if you hold that egg too tightly, you also have scrambled eggs. So like your goal, you gotta, you have to be able to protect it. It has to be important and, and valuable to you. Mm-hmm . But if you cling it too tightly, you just, you, you can't ever actually get there because you've you've squished it.
ANGIE: Yeah, exactly.
KEVIN: So, you know, the, the, the goal needs to matter. It needs to be something that, that connects to you more than just like an arbitrary number. Mm-hmm . If you have this number, you gotta go another step farther and be like, why does that arbitrary number mean something to you?
KEVIN: because there might be, there might be a reason that that matters to you in your head. It's not arbitrary. There's something that it says about you and then, okay. Go even one step beyond that. If hitting this number says that fast enough for whatever reason, why is that number the fast enough thing, figure out where that thing is maybe you get to a more deep connection to your goal and that'll help you definitely help you gain some satisfaction. But the, the next step beyond that is even going farther than the goal, the actual, what is the number on the clock say, being able to appreciate the whole trip of the last several months of your running journey of not just, okay did I get a time? Did I not get a time? But look at how far I've come over these last few months. Mm-hmm and a lot of runners, they crossed the finish line they were so focused on that goal that they didn't have any time to look back and appreciate the journey that they've been on. Right. To see any of the little wins along the way.
ANGIE: Right. And, and that's like one of the other big mistakes that we see a lot of people making, like the people that end up finishing races, feeling unsatisfied, feeling disappointed is that they, they weren't connected to the journey during the whole process, like they just had that goal and they just kind of like they, when, during the process of training they all they thought about was finishing that race, right? And achieving that goal, they didn't kind of appreciate the journey along the way and so by connecting to both the goal and the journey, you can appreciate that actually all of the gold is in the journey to get to that race, to get to that goal, the goal and that race. We like to call that just the celebration lap, right? The victory lap that actually gets to celebrate all of the hard work that you've put in over the past couple months or past couple of years, depending on how long your buildup has been towards that race. Right? So a lot of times when people cross finish lines, feeling unsatisfied or feeling disappointed, they are not connected to that journey and they haven't been able to see or acknowledge their wins along the way. Right. Maybe this was the first time they've ever completed a half marathon and for some reason they had it in their head they wanted to run that half marathon in under two hours
ANGIE: And they didn't right. When you are so focused on a number goal, a lot of times what happens if you don't achieve that goal is like they fail to recognize, Hey, I just finished my first half marathon.
ANGIE: like, that is a huge win that needs to be celebrated, right? Regardless of whatever that time is on the clock. And sometimes when we're too connected to that number, we just kind failed to acknowledge some of the other amazing things that kind of happened along the way.
KEVIN: Yeah, I think, um, I, I just had a story. I was gonna tell him this. Oh, I think I've, I've told this on the podcast before, but it was my first boss. Uh, when I, I first started selling, running shoes out in California. His wife ran a marathon, but at the time her husband was racing marathons all the time. Like he ended up running over a hundred marathons in his career, but he was also the coach of some of the elite women in the country. So her like friend group, her running friend group was her husband who was really high caliber and all these women who were national or international caliber runners so she ran her first marathon. In, I think a little over four hours maybe.
ANGIE: No, I think, I think you told me that she broke four.
KEVIN: Okay. So a little under four hours.
ANGIE: Yeah. I think she broke four
KEVIN: and she refused to tell anybody. Yeah. Because compared to her peer group, which was like, you know, national caliber women, she, she was way behind them because she was an hour behind them.
KEVIN: But that was, you have to look at like the group of people around you and be like, well, of course it was an hour behind them.
KEVIN: To her, she didn't wanna share that experience with the other people personally, it was this weird sort of disconnect in her head because she was personally really satisfied with what she had done. She had this like, super moment of pride because she had run a marathon and yet also didn't wanna celebrate it with anybody around her.
KEVIN: Because celebrating that, I ran a marathon was going to inevitably lead to the question of, oh, how fast were you? And she didn't wanna say that number.
KEVIN: So it was this weird, like very private celebration. I think sometimes when you see people crossing the finish line and they're like going through the, the final mile or quarter mile or whatever it's and they're high fiving people inside, they're really appreciating that celebration victory lap.
KEVIN: And they're trying to bring everybody to the party. Yeah. Like I'm having a party right now and everybody on the sidelines, you are all invited high five. Let's go for it. Yeah. Sometimes that's the joy that you get to see and that that's amazing to watch.
ANGIE: Yeah. Because you know, one of the ways for you to not. Feel unsatisfied is to be able to celebrate yourself, right? And celebrate the journey that you've been on to get you to that line. Even if it's a 5k, a 10 K a half marathon, a marathon, it doesn't matter what distance that is. You set out to achieve a goal to complete a race. Maybe you had a time in mind, maybe you didn't and you did it, right? Like you crossed the finish line. And not everyone can say that. A lot of people start out on journeys, they don't get very far. They never end up crossing those finish lines and you did. And I think that so many times we wanna like downplay that and we don't wanna just acknowledge, well, well, yeah, I finished, but right.
Have you ever thought that like, yeah, I finished, but.. It wasn't very fast. It was slow. I was, you know, at the back of the pack, like I literally have a friend who was the very last finisher in a marathon, excuse me, and she, to this day says it was one of the best experiences of her life because everyone waited for her, like the whole staff that was there, waited to greet her as she crossed the finish line and she felt so supported and loved at that time. It was amazing. All right. So if you guys noticed some weird pauses in the recording, or you noticed some changes in my voice, I am getting over a bit of a cold here so, bear with me. I'm doing my best here. Not to just like have a coughing fit so,
KEVIN: so if there may be some awkward pauses in the, there might in the recording, please, please keep up with us.
ANGIE: It's all. It's all good. Right? It'll be fine. So if you have ever crossed the finish line and then felt that like immediate wave of like disappointment, this, you, you could be in this category of the unsatisfied runner or maybe you were, and maybe you're not anymore. Right. Or maybe you were in one race, but not in the other race. Right. If you've ever like Kevin's boss's wife, not wanted to tell someone else your race time, because you weren't proud of it. That's possibly, you know, a sign that you could be in this category, or if you've ever hid running from people in your life, because you thought you were too slow or you were worried about what they might think or say about you, that could all show you that, you know, maybe there is some level of dissatisfaction with your running. And what we wanna do is kind of help you recognize that, that it could be because you are either not connected to your goal, you're too connected to your goal, or you're not connected to the journey, or you're just not able to celebrate and acknowledge your wins along the way. And by starting to shift some of that, you can hopefully be runner number two, which is the joyful runner that we wanna talk about now.
KEVIN: Right before, before we jump into that, just one last thing on that have you ever hid the running from people in your life because you don't want the follow up questions, right? Because you don't want the, just thinking of telling somebody that, you know, you're running a half marathon, mm-hmm, the judgment that you think that they might put on you? Yeah. Of like, if I tell somebody I'm gonna run a marathon, are they gonna look, look at me like I'm nuts. Mm-hmm are they gonna look at me? Like you don't seem like the kind of person who should be running a marathon.
ANGIE: I don't believe that you can do it right.
KEVIN: Like, if you're already questioning whether you can do it yourself, you don't need the friends coming in and also questioning that. Look, if you can celebrate your wins along the way you can accomplish whatever you want. It's great if you have supportive people around you, okay. It's really helpful if you've got some running community around you that can build you up and support you. And sure. You may have friends that don't understand the whole running thing that you do. Mm-hmm so whatever the race is, 5k 10 K marathon, whatever the distance is, they might look at you like you're nuts, regardless of how fit you are, they're like, but you have to get up at like five in the morning to do training runs. And are you really gonna run for three hours on this, on every weekend building up for this thing? It, it all sounds nuts. They're gonna throw all this negative at you, but if you, if it means something to you, if you're connected to that goal of getting across that finish line of proving to yourself that you're capable of doing this thing, mm-hmm , then you don't need to be worried about what anybody is saying, right, because it, it matters to you, but it is also super helpful if you have some people around you that are in fact in your corner.
ANGIE: Well, and I think that that's one of the reasons that you don't wanna tell people though, because you already are doubting yourself. And so you think that if you tell other people, if they also, you know, doubt that right or express their doubts or their concerns, or they start to question what you're doing. That's gonna make you question yourself even more.
KEVIN: It just provides validity to the questions you already have of yourself.
ANGIE: Yeah. And that maybe that would scare you away from your goal.
KEVIN: Yeah. Fair enough.
ANGIE: Or from that race that you wanna do.
KEVIN: Fair enough. So there's, there's lots of issues with that disappointed that unsatisfied runner, hopefully we can start moving people into a different one and it's not hands near versus hands in the knees unsatisfied versus the joyful runner. That one who really is. And it's just, it's a lot of the opposites of the, of the first runner that runner who is really truly motivated by their goal. Like we said before, they're not so tied into number on a clock. Their goal may, may be related to a number on a clock, but it may be different than that. Mm-hmm, like there's a lot, uh, to be said for the joyful runner of the process oriented goal. Like, are you putting in the work that puts you in the best position to lead to the results? Like a few years ago I ran a marathon. I trained really, really well for it and then showed up on the day of the marathon and it was, it was still dark the, it was like an hour away from the sun going up is when I put my phone in the, like the check bag and, and sent it off, I checked the weather before I got rid of my, my phone. And it was like 80 degrees and the humidity was in the eighties also. So, it was like, it was a double eight, it was brutal. It was so hot that day. And so, there was certainly a time goal that I wanted, but at the same time, I knew that I had put in the work to show up as best as possible on that day. Even if that time goal may slip away from me as the temperature kept getting hotter and hotter
ANGIE: and very, very hot.
KEVIN: Oh, my word. It was hot that day.
ANGIE: Yeah. That hot, that race was ridiculous. Going back to that joyful runner, they are someone that feels motivated by their goals. Right. They set goals. It's important for us to set big goals that encourage us to grow. And then also those small goals along the way to celebrate our steps to get there. Like it's really important to have both of those.
KEVIN: Right? The double goal mm-hmm big goals are great, big goals, help guide you and, and really get you up and motivated of driving for something that seems almost beyond yourself, but if you only have that goal that seems beyond yourself, sometimes there are days that you're gonna wake up and be like, it's too big, I can't do it. Yeah. I can't do it today. Or day upon day that if you're not making steady progress towards that, it's it gets a little exhausting. It gets a little bit like, well, I, I can't reach that. So the small goals of being like, okay, This is what I'd like to get over the course of year, two years, five years, like something big, but you can't just aim for a goal five years from now. It's really hard to stay on track with that. So the small goals along the way that give you a chance to celebrate, like you don't just have to celebrate the big one, celebrate the small ones along the way. Celebrate those wins. It keeps you going. It keeps you moving forward beyond keeping you on track. Like it keeps everything happy and exciting.
ANGIE: Yeah. And I think that that's one of the big characteristics of the joyful runner, right? Is that they set goals first of all. And they use those goals as like a direction mm-hmm right. The goal is not the be all end all the goal is the direction that we know that we're going into. Right. And that's really how we like to see goals and how we like to teach goals here at real life runners. It is important to have goals. Okay. We are not saying that you should not be connected to a number that the number is, is completely irrelevant. I mean, it kind of is right, but numbers are really great tools for us to use as runners because they're very easy to see and to track, to see if we're making progress. Right?
KEVIN: They're hard to get away from as a runner.
ANGIE: They're hard to get away from. But, um, unless you just like to go out and run and you don't race ever, right? Like otherwise you just you're gonna see numbers, right. Regardless of, um, whether or not you wear a watch or not, you're gonna see numbers when you cross the finish line. So, by using those numbers and by setting those goals, we can then know the direction that we want to go and that helps us to feel more satisfied with our journey to get there as well, right? And being able to set those small goals along the way also helps us to feel more satisfied with those journey, because with that journey, because we're constantly checking in with ourselves. We set these little checkpoints along the way so that we know, okay, am I actually making progress towards that bigger goal? Or am I have I gotten a little off track? Do I need to adjust? Do I need to modify, do I, am I still enjoying this journey? Am I still having fun with this training plan? Because if you start, you know, not enjoying it anymore, that's a good indication of like, okay, maybe it's time to kind of reassess some things and see if this is where the direction that I still wanna keep going in.
KEVIN: Right? Like that might be a time to totally reassess whether the big goal is something that you still enjoy. Mm-hmm um, or maybe just things came up in your life. Like, there's something he said for a training plan, runners love having some organization of a plan in front of them and you could theoretically lay out every workout for the next year. But what, what about when things come up?
KEVIN: because you can't plan for all of life for the next year, so, well,
ANGIE: not only that, but you wanna base what you're, how you're training based on how you're progressing. Yes. Right. So if you set up your training plan in, um, January and you're for the entire year and in November, you're like, well, I should, in November, I theoretically should be at this point in time.
ANGIE: So that's the workout I'm gonna be doing. And then obviously you get to November and that's not where you are, even though in your best estimate. Like, you know, because life happened. Um, you got sick along the way, you know, your kid, something happened with your kid and your training got derailed. Like you went on vacation that wasn't planned. You had a work trip that was scheduled at the last minute, things pop up. And that's why it's important for us to work in those smaller cycles and then stack those training cycles on top of each other so that we can get to those bigger goals.
KEVIN: Yeah. Or, you know, what, if things start actually spinning towards the positive.
KEVIN: What if you plan out the, the 12 months and three months in you're ahead of scheduling. Yeah. That doesn't mean that you just
ANGIE: you're faster than you thought you were going to be.
KEVIN: Right. You might wanna adjust and be like, oh man, I've really adapted well to this particular type of training. Mm-hmm I wanna focus a little bit more on that and then supplement some of the weak, weak areas that, that have shown up over the last three months. These small goals help you check in. We've done this with time trails on our Cross Country team. Mm-hmm of, you know, a classic time draw that we do with our kids all the time is two by a mile. You know, they go pretty hard they take a short break, they go again.
ANGIE: Our five day challenge people all just did this
KEVIN: five day challenge people just did this right? Yeah. You can see so much of this like, did you fall off drastically on the second one? Was that a pacing issue? Did the take the first one too fast or are you just really lacking in endurance? Mm-hmm right. Were you able to just not ever quite push it the way that you thought, well, maybe you're lacking in some strengths and power components. Like you can really learn a lot based off of just a simple time trial along the way. And that allows you, maybe those time trials are racist that you sign up for.
KEVIN: Maybe you have a, a goal marathon at the end of a year, but you sign up for, uh, like some 10 Ks along the way, some five Ks along the way as checkpoints, just to see how your training's going. You could sign up for a longer race and say, all right. I'm gonna race this one and really enjoy it and realize that this is just checkpoint along the way. Cause ultimately every race, even the big goal race is still just a checkpoint along the way. Mm-hmm like, unless you've got a race that you're like, all right, once I finish that one, I am no longer a runner. Then they're all checkpoints along the way, because you're running journey, doesn't really reach the, the finish line
ANGIE: Mm-hmm , which takes us really well into our next point, which is the importance of longevity in your running.
ANGIE: How long do you wanna be able to run? Right. And I think that when we set very short term goals and we get very, very connected to these times in the clock and we're feeling unsatisfied, we have a hard time thinking about longevity. Whereas the joyful runner is very much connected to longevity in their running like they want to be able to run as long as they can for the rest of their lives, right? They, that includes setting goals. Feeling satisfaction with the journey acknowledging and celebrating their wins along the way and then also making decisions, making their short-term goals and their short-term decisions in alignment with their long-term goals and their long-term decisions. Right? Because a lot of times people end up training and they can overtrain. They can train too hard for like short term goals and they can sacrifice sleep, and they can sacrifice lots of other things. And I always like to just remind people, are you sacrificing your long term goal for your short-term goal, right? Like is your short term goal actually more important? And if you say no, then take a look at your actions. Are your actions supporting them? Right? Because if you are taking steps to really get super fast and you're trying to like plug in all of this training and your knees hurting and you're just pushing through it anyway, and you're just pushing harder just to try to get faster. What's actually gonna happen in the long term, right? Like, are you setting yourself up for success long term and how I importance is that longevity to you.
KEVIN: Right. If you're planning on running for years and years to come, setting goals is still important. At some point we're all gonna hit a point number wise, you know, we all can go with this statement that age is just a number, but at some point, your number on the clock goals are going to start being a little bit slower than they were the year prior to that, or five years prior to that. And we all have that. That doesn't mean that you should stop number goals. That doesn't mean that everything just becomes a fun run and all I'm doing is just getting across the finish line. Like that can totally be a goal. You can always have the, I am doing this just for the pure enjoyment and to get it across the finish line.
KEVIN: But you can also still have number goals along the way. You can have them, you just have to take a reasonable goal that does keep in, in mind the long term longevity of your being able to continue to run for years to come and not just break yourself down so much day upon day, that you can't actually run and progress year upon year.
ANGIE: Yeah. And so much of that too, is like the way that we choose to deal with ourselves mentally, right? Like, are you beating yourself up because you didn't achieve the number goal. And because there's only a certain amount of time that we're gonna be able to handle before we just break down, right? Like we cannot constantly beat ourselves up and expect to get faster. And I think that a lot of us sometimes think that this is what we should do. Right? Like I know that coming from like a, a sports background, like a team sports type of background, there are coaches. I mean, you, you see it even, you know, we, we coach cross country and there's football coaches that are running football practice at the same time as us that are like screaming at their players.
ANGIE: and so if you come from kind of that background where you had a coach that was hard on you and was telling you, you know, that you're not working hard enough or no pain, no gain these kinds of things. And so you come out of that with that, I need to push harder, I'm not doing enough to get better type of mentality. How is that translating into your running as well? Right? Like, are you too hard on yourself? Are you beating yourself up because you're not hitting the, that time on the clock? And if you constantly beat yourself up thinking that that's actually going to motivate you to do better, you're wrong, period. Okay. I actually had an athlete say this to me, one of our cross country runners, um, last week they're like, coach, you have to yell at me and I'm like, why? Like, because that's how I know that I'm doing a good job or that's how I know. That's, that's how I get motivated to work harder is by people yelling at me and I'm like, okay?
KEVIN: All right, let's discuss this.
ANGIE: So like in my head, I'm like, this is a very interesting conundrum because my athlete is telling me this. Right. Yep. And obviously I wanna be a good coach and I wanna be able to motivate my, my player. But is that something that I'm willing to do? And, and the answer is no, right. Like I want to show them that that's not how a coach has to be, right? Like that's may, maybe how they've had coaching in the past. Maybe other coaches have screamed at them and that have, have used fear to motivate them to push harder and work harder. But could I use something else, right? Like, can they be motivated by something else? Just because they've never experienced it before. Doesn't mean that that's not better. Maybe they'll respond better to my way of coaching. Who knows?
KEVIN: It's quite possible. Yeah. And if you look at longevity, forget the longevity of their, like they're running performance. Like if the only way that you can stay motivated in whatever difficult task you're doing is for someone to yell at you that you're not doing it well enough.
KEVIN: that is not setting up for long term success in, in any field in life. Really? Yes. Like it's just not right. So, um, I, I think that the, the turn on that of let's see if we can motivate you with something other than you're running really slowly, you've gotta pick it up, you look terrible out there. Like that none of those. Are helpful comments in the middle of a race. And there's certainly not helpful comments that just gets built into the brain of right. This is how I improve myself. Mm-hmm someone tells me I'm terrible. So I have to work harder.
ANGIE: Yeah. So ultimately what it comes down to is that we run because we want to feel a certain way. Really, if you think about it and you wanna kind of expand this a little bit, everything that we do in our life, every goal that we set for ourself, we set that goal and we want those things because of a way that it's going to make us feel. So, I want you guys to ask yourself, what is that for you? What is running? Like, how do you want running to make you feel. For some of us, it might be strong you know, I know that's one of my things like I love running because it makes me feel strong. When I hit a speed workout or when I finish a long run and I do something or, or I cross the finish line and I do something that, that I didn't think I was capable of, that feels amazing. I feel strong. I feel accomplished. I feel healthy. I feel fit. What is it for you that you want running to make you feel? Because once you get clear on that, then it's going to be much clearer for you of like, okay, this is what I wanna gain from running like I want running to make me feel strong. I want running to make me feel accomplished if I'm crossing lines and I'm just feeling like disappointment and unsatisfaction or dissatisfaction. I'm doing something wrong.
KEVIN: Yes, I understand.
ANGIE: Right. I am not getting the feeling that I wanna get here. So what do I need to do to change that? And one of the things I was like writing down this outline, I, and I just kind of thought of this and Kevin read it, he's like, oh, that's good. If you hate the journey, the destination will be no different. Okay. If you hate the journey, the destination will be no different because a lot of times we set goals thinking that once we accomplish that goal, we're gonna feel a certain way. We're gonna feel strong. We're gonna feel accomplished. But if we are not, excuse me, appreciating the journey along the way, I'm gonna hit pause for a second. If you're not enjoying the journey, that goal is not going to give you that feeling that you want magically just by crossing the finish line.
KEVIN: Yeah, a hundred percent. I, that, that line is so good. I wanna say it myself. If you hate the journey, the destination will be no different. The, the process has to be enjoyable. It's it's not just miles of misery, but then when I cross the finish line, I'm gonna magically feel like the finish line and, and a metal around your neck does not suddenly make the thing. Part of it is you want to be able to look back and appreciate everything that you've done. And if there's no appreciation for it, because all of it was miserable.
KEVIN: Then once you're at the finish line and you're looking back like the, the actual literal finish line of the race and, and then pondering back over the last few months of training. Yeah. If you're not satisfied with that, if you're not happy with that, if that wasn't joyful, if that wasn't anything positive to your life, how are you gonna be happy and wanting to show off your race medal? Like, Hey, look at this thing I got, I tortured myself for several months.
ANGIE: Right. Well, and that's what a lot of people do when they're like the one and done.
ANGIE: Right. Like the bucket list. Like I just did this to check this off my bucket list and that's it. Right. But I, I would argue that if you wanna be that joyful runner, that's crossing finish lines with your arms up in the air. We must enjoy the journey if we wanna be able to enjoy the destination. Because in reality, there is no final destination, right? Those of us that want to be able to run for the rest of our lives and have that longevity inner running, what is the final destination?
KEVIN: Yeah. I mean that you're right. There's not, there's not an actual finish line to running. I think there was final destination. I think they actually made that movie like five separate times.
ANGIE: There were so many of those.
KEVIN: There was definitely a final destination. I, I didn't watch. And a three they're scary. And I'm like scary. Yeah. I think I saw part of one. They're just, they're not, not very good. Um, this Angie coughing so much is just it's it's throwbacks to our honeymoon when she may possibly have had pneumonia. So it's
ANGIE: I have my doctor said I, I likely had walking pneumonia yes. On our honeymoon. Yes. So I do not have pneumonia right now.
KEVIN: No, you right now have a cough that, that podcasting is definitely not helping with.
ANGIE: So let's wrap it up.
KEVIN: All right. So the story that you wanted to mention here, which is a great story, there is a runner out there who is known as the hurricane.
ANGIE: She rocks. Okay. Her name I'm coming for you, Julia.
KEVIN: Her name is Julia Hawkins. Julia of the hurricane Hawkins. She,
ANGIE: I should get her on the podcast.
KEVIN: She picked up running at the spritely age of a hundred when one of her grandchildren suggested that she run the a hundred meters at the age of a hundred and try to do it in less than a hundred seconds.
KEVIN: That was, that was the suggestion.
ANGIE: That's so cool.
KEVIN: Is she blew it away. Um, at 105, she set the 105 plus age group record. She was disappointed SL briefly in her thing, but they, the post race interview shows that she's clearly run number two in this, her goal, which she was still setting time goals at the age of 105.
ANGIE: Which I love.
KEVIN: No one else in there is in her age category, like the other
ANGIE: she's the only one,
KEVIN: the only, the other people on the line were like, Seventies, 75 80. There are also age group people that were also chasing age group. Like world records. She set the world record in a minute and two seconds and she goes, well, it wasn't exactly what I was aiming for, but it was, it was windy, it was a little cold today, and I think that I gave it everything that I could have today.
ANGIE: I love that
KEVIN: Like that sums up exactly what, what you're aiming for here? Mm-hmm is yeah, I set a goal. Maybe I got it. Maybe I didn't, but she trains, she has like an active training regimen of, of running on certain days and going for like vigorous walks on other days and she's coming back. Um, the, the last article I found on her, there was a, a track meet in Florida that she was considering running to, that she was going to, once she hit 106, that is like, all right, I'm a year older, but I'm still going for the same goal, trying to break a minute for a hundred meters at a hundred, six years old, because
ANGIE: I love it.
KEVIN: There's no reason to not go for the goal. Why? Why not? Mm-hmm she enjoys all of it. Yeah. So that's a, that's an awesome, awesome destination she's going for.
ANGIE: Yeah. So if you guys want to be more joyful in your running, if you wanna learn how to connect to goals and set goals that are right for you and to personalize a plan to help you actually achieve those goals so that you know how to train with intention, how to build your running foundation and then how to optimize all of it for you, how to modify it and adjust it to make it more likely for you to achieve your goals. Come join the academy. Okay. If you are hearing this on Thursday, August 25th, the academy is open real life runners.com/academy. You can head over there and sign up. We would love to coach you and show you our three step signature process to help you achieve any running goal. Okay. You can truly achieve any running goal that you want to achieve when you have this step by step method and when you learn how to build a personalized plan that's right for you. And we would love to show you exactly how to do that and coach you through the whole process and be your support system and help you have that finish line feeling that you really desire. And so that you can stop feeling frustrated, you can stop feeling unsatisfied, you can stop feeling disappointed all the time and you can be crossing finish lines with joy on your face and a smile and your arms up in the air. And you can be excited to tell your family and friends about the things that you're accomplishing and you're running, and you can feel proud of yourself, and you can just feel this inner sense of peace of mind, knowing that you are doing all of this for you. And that's really what we love helping runners with. So, head over to runners.com/ academy today and get yourself signed up. As always, we appreciate you guys spending this time with us. Please share it with a friend, review it on iTunes. Those are great ways for you to support the podcast so that we can reach more people. And as always thank you for spending this time with us. We appreciate you. This has been the Real Life Runners podcast, episode number 268.
Now get out there and run your life.