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Stuff We Love: Type Two Fun

…which “occurs when a task is difficult at the time, but feels rewarding afterward, often because it challenges the practitioner to test their limits and grow,” as defined here.

Team BA ran the Carlsbad Half Marathon in January. It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution, really. It was more of a: “Hey, we both like running, and challenges, and hanging out, so let’s do it.”

Madison was happy with her performance. She felt strong until mile 10, when her fuel tank plummeted to empty all at once, with no warning. But she was on track to get her personal best time, and so for the last three miles her thought loop sounded something like: this feels horrible and impossibly hard, but I intellectually understand that I’ve trained and am physically able to keep this pace until the end; if I don’t, it’s a choice. And that’s not a choice I’m going to make. 

I, on the other hand, was frustrated by my performance and had to do some hard self-coaching and critical training review. I crunched the numbers. I saw that for races in the past in which I ran a certain number of miles in the four months preceding, I was very pleased with my times. When I ran 80% of those miles in that span, I was pretty happy with my times. When I ran under 65% of those miles, as I did this time around, the outcome was not good. And I shouldn’t be surprised with a subpar outcome.

But, believe it or not, we really would both classify the experience as fun. Engaging with the process of living through a whole variety of avenues can reveal new strengths, expose areas ripe for improvement, and help develop skills already in place that are serving you well.

And so: we discussed, we regrouped. I signed up for another half marathon in June with a revamped plan in place, backed by data and my desire to own my best performance (i.e.. not just go out there and do the middle-aged man shuffle). Madison is venturing into new territory with a long trail race later in the year, confident that her willpower (and, you know, training) will see her through.

In running and in writing and in editing and… Team BA wants to be thoughtful about what going all-in means, and then we want to do it.

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