Well, I dropped "elite" from my blog title just like I dropped it from my training logs. I'm not even sure what a word like that means. "Elite"-- who's elite? Obviously athletes like Kara Goucher, Deena Kastor. Perhaps the term should be reserved for those who perform in the top 5% in their sport.... which means, me, no I'm not elite.
But if you use another measure, I might fare better. Must you win a race to be elite? I've won a race-- two, actually, in the three years I've been running (Lake Tahoe Marathon and the San Francisco Half-- the first half, that is)... and yet, I still don't think that makes me elite even though those wins felt amazing and make me smile when I think of them.
And so, because of its hazy definition, I've dropped it from my list of goals. I don't want to be something I can't even define! Instead, I'm choosing to focus on being the best athlete I can be. I don't know if I will make the 2012 Olympic Trials in the Marathon. I've got one last shot at the 2011 California International Marathon in December-- the race I ran 2:47 in last year. It's not ideal-- that would give me a mere month before the Trials, but I would still get to go; I will not have failed.
I've come to realize, I haven't failed even if I don't make the cut this time around. I've overcome a serious injury and I've gained fitness in both swimming and cycling that I didn't have before. In outlining my race schedule, I pride myself on having an open water swim as well as a century ride in the mix. Those things have become joys-- just as running is slowly becoming a source of happiness-- for me.
Though not a complete re-lauch, my blog (and life) are shifting slightly-- instead of focusing on the unattainable "elite", it's all about achieving MY personal best. And that's pretty nifty.
Now: it's off to the track for 1,000 meter repeats.