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unsurewhentomoveon
When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/8/2013 10:31PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Struggled/plateaued for a couple of years now after a lot of success in college. Anyone out there stop running competitively after a couple of years of "scraping by" and try coming back a couple/few years down the line?

Unsure how long to go on without improvement before moving on with my life. Running has been such a huge part of my life and has helped me in so many ways but now it seems like it may be preventing me from meeting new people and finding other skills/jobs I may be good at. Anyone been in a similar situation? Would appreciate advice. Thanks.
A Duck
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/8/2013 11:14PM - in reply to unsurewhentomoveon Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
If you are thinking about moving on...it is time to move on.

Good Luck.
24 hours in a day
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/8/2013 11:32PM - in reply to A Duck Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

A Duck wrote:

If you are thinking about moving on...it is time to move on.

Good Luck.


False

Many stories about runners "giving it one more try" and making a huge breakthrough.

Even if you get a job, you can always just run 10 miles in the morning and 10 miles at night every day except one where you do a 20 miler. You could still be decent on that schedule.
Moments in Peace
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/8/2013 11:38PM - in reply to unsurewhentomoveon Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Terrible advice from A Duck (not surprising though).

If you are training hard, you are always going to be thinking of the other things you could be doing. It's like in a race, you think to quit, but you don't DNF because you had a bad thought.

You have a limit on what you can do physically. When you are 45 years old will you regret your decision not to pursue running? This is an individual thing. Some people love running a lot (I'm one of those people) so you may regret giving it up prematurely.


Maybe a change of scenery will help? Altitude location or something?

An example: Do you have interest in going to grad school? You could go to somewhere like NAU located in Flagstaff or just flat out move there to train.

You could always go and get a job and continue training at a high level, but you will have zero time for social life, etc.

Try to find a social group and jogging some recovery miles with them may open doors for you socially.

I know that running after college at a high level can be frustrating (I'm doing it), but I love pursing it and know that it I won't regret my decisions later in life.

Remember that all that some people have in life is money and that's sad. You have a passion for something and that is more than most people.
LMGTFY
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/8/2013 11:49PM - in reply to Moments in Peace Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Moments in Peace wrote:
Remember that all that some people have in life is money and that's sad. You have a passion for something and that is more than most people.


Well there are other options besides quitting running, selling your soul and working 100 hours a week to get rich. Plenty of other things out there to be passionate about too, if he's not totally feeling the running any more maybe he should try striking up another passion instead of spending the entirety of his youth on one single thing.
Moments in Peace
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/8/2013 11:56PM - in reply to LMGTFY Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
That's true, however as I mentioned, he has a physical window of time that he can run fast. This is human truth. He can work 100 hours a week when he's 35+ but he's not going to banging out 14:00 5ks or 1:05 half marathons when he's 36.

If you are passionate about running, take advantage of it while you can because once you hit a certain age the pursuit of high level running is over for 99% of people.
Running Alone
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/9/2013 1:08AM - in reply to Moments in Peace Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Unless he's Bernard Lagat.



Moments in Peace wrote:

That's true, however as I mentioned, he has a physical window of time that he can run fast. This is human truth. He can work 100 hours a week when he's 35+ but he's not going to banging out 14:00 5ks or 1:05 half marathons when he's 36.

unsurewhentomoveon
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/9/2013 7:40AM - in reply to Running Alone Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
thanks for the input... and I'm actually a she. Maybe that's what's making it harder for me. Seems there's even less women trying to do what I'm currently doing. I'm 23 and in the back of my mind I want to keep going for the 2016 Trials-- it's just hard to know if it's all worth it. I have a part-time job so I guess I'm better off than some. It's dealing with peers my own age looking at me like I'm crazy when I mention how much I run that wears on me. It's that "breakthrough" you mentioned that keeps me wanting to continue, though.
4890
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/9/2013 8:14AM - in reply to unsurewhentomoveon Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Marty Liquori in his book says this is a question you must ask yourself every August...as the American system/cycle runs from September to June. Once you commit -- you are in --- no looking back until after the long year is over.... then you decide again for the next yr/cycle....lot of soul searching to do in August ---do you want to stay in on or step off?...(this can be done as a 3 or 4 year cycle as opposed to a one yr -- if your goal is the Olympics.) Once you commit to say 2016 you're in, stay in, and after 2016 you decide....at some point you get off the merry go round but the beautiful thing is it's your choice....
A Duck
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/9/2013 8:34AM - in reply to unsurewhentomoveon Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
OP is a woman? You do realize for every 5 elite guys there is 1 elite woman, right? It should be easy for you to become 'elite' with the lack of relative competition...
iguess
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/9/2013 8:46AM - in reply to unsurewhentomoveon Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I don't understand why people treat running so black and white. You can put in some good training and have running be a serious "hobby" (I know letsrun loves calling everyone a hobbyjogger)but still move forward in other parts of your life. Suck it up and put in morning runs and try to enjoy afternoon workouts as a good break from the daily grind and should you decide to get any more serious you will already be in a good position.
Inthesameboat
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/9/2013 10:00AM - in reply to iguess Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You should move on when you don't find any more satisfaction or joy in it, when you know you can't get an better,when the costs are outweighing benefits, when you've exhausted all the options as far as getting as much out of yourself as you can, but most importantly when you know you can quit now without regretting it down the line.

It's common to plateu for a while be it from injuries, staleness, or just needing a new training environment/stimulus. To be honest I think that the first 2 years outside of collegiate running are the hardest for most because you are having to adjust to life outside of having everything provided to you as a runner (a coach, a team, a trainer, a set schedule/season, race logistics and travel planned out, etc) and it is HARD to have to figure out those things on your own on top of figuring out training, life, and where to go from here. Being female makes it a little bit tougher since it is generally easier to find a group of guys at a similar level to train with whereas groups of women at similar ability levels can be harder to come by.

Have you got a coach? Do you have a support system? A training group? Would those things help you? Are you genuinely burned out or just "bored"? Ask yourself all of those things before throwing in the towel.
Lonnie John Jay Visintainer
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/9/2013 10:16AM - in reply to unsurewhentomoveon Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You must work hard. How do you think I became a 2:13 marathoner, a model, and a third degree black belt and now have Tom Cruise hiring me??? If you work hard like me, maybe you too can get it.
longtime pro
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/9/2013 10:23AM - in reply to unsurewhentomoveon Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Lots and lots of women, probably moreso than men, have hung it up after college, only to re-emerge some point down the road. Women have longer lifespans to achieve elite level performances, going into their 40s.

Honestly, I don't know a single elite man or woman who hasn't bitten the bullet and made a significant change in their life to achieve their running goals. If you have to move across the country to find a club, coach, the right environment, give it a chance. It sounds like you're in a rut where you're at and need to move to a different environment. Surround yourself with other people who are dedicated to their running and want to support you.
Im 36
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/9/2013 10:48AM - in reply to Moments in Peace Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Im 36. I am now both angry and depressed ;)
X-C Skier
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/9/2013 11:55AM - in reply to unsurewhentomoveon Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Keep aiming for the 2016 trials. You might not make it, but if you don't try-there's no way you'll make it. How many 23 year olds even have a realistic shot-a hundred maybe? Three will make it-if you specialize in one event. That's not bad odds for a lottery ticket-and to some degree, you control your own destiny.

If you get a spot on the team-well, there's nothing that looks quite as good on a resume as "Member-US Olympic Team." It will open doors in whatever career you choose. 3 years seems like a long time to a 23 year old-but it's a blink of an eye.

I'm 48. Was a national class cross-country skier. I wished I'd stuck it out a couple more years. I'll never know.
In my heyday
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/9/2013 12:42PM - in reply to X-C Skier Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I was in your situation at 23 too! I was a sub-elite runner who had success late in college and, in retrospect, should have gone directly to a team where I could have continued developing. However, I moved to a new city, trained my tail off and worked full time. I did run some great times, got into some good races, made a little extra money. Unfortunately I also got injured due to increased training. Just doing my running, lifting, core work, etc. while working full time was not hard...but when you're injured and have to spend more time cross training, it was too much. I stayed in the injury cycle for several years- I am still kind of stuck in it.
At one time I dreamed of the trials...I was not far off the B standards by the end of college and I kept telling myself "if I train my butt off and do it right, I can get it" ...injuries ruined that. It really bothered me for a LONG time. I too was putting off "real life" and missing out on a lot of other things. People also wondered why I didn't just give it up. I still thought I had a chance, that's why. I trained with several injuries for 4 years hoping it would still pay off.
I finally got in-injured for long enough 2 years ago at the perfect time, started running times comparable to college, and I was thinking this is it, I'm ready, it all paid off. Well, I got injured again in the fall and any thought of trials was gone....but I was ready for it this time. I didn't bother me as much. I went to watch trials last year and it was sort of like a full-circle closure experience for me. Don't get me wrong, some days when I have a great run or workout, I still think...maybe I should get into it again...but then I realize I enjoy being able to take a day off when it's pouring or not having to wake up at 4 am to run if I am going somewhere early.
My point is, I tried and tried and tried,..and ultimately failed at my real goal. BUT...now that I am "out of it" so to say, I'm happy that I at least tried. I do not regret putting off a "real job" or going back to grad school or any of it. Now that i have a good career and am kind of doing normal life, I'm strangely ok with it because I know I tried. It would have bothered me forever if I didn't.
I think you should keep going. You're absolutely right that there aren't as many women as men still getting after it. If anything please keep all of us women who tried in mind while you do this. Once you're really ready to move on, you will, and there won't be a question that its the right thing to do. I'm begging you, please GET AFTER IT.
ducksux
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/9/2013 1:08PM - in reply to A Duck Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

A Duck wrote:

OP is a woman? You do realize for every 5 elite guys there is 1 elite woman, right? It should be easy for you to become 'elite' with the lack of relative competition...


congrats a duck, one of the dumbest things ive ever read on this board, and i even admit i am quite sexist.

that having been said, OP, do not be afraid of working 30-40 hours a week and still training hard. i dont know what your background is in, but as long as you are not like working construction or teaching where you are on your feet all day, just not having enough time to run and work is not a good excuse. work 40 hours, run/train 15 hours, that is only 55 out of 168 per week. as far as your friends go, they sound like typical 23 year old dumbas*es so i wouldnt worry too much about their opinions.
LPN with a BSN
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/9/2013 1:13PM - in reply to unsurewhentomoveon Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Have you considered getting a nursing degree at Gateway Community College?

http://gatewayct.edu/Programs-Courses/Divisions-Departments/Nursing
unsurewhentomoveon
RE: When to move on from trying to make it as a post-collegiate elite 2/9/2013 9:02PM - in reply to ducksux Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Wow, these have been some awesome answers, thank you all for chiming in. I have recently moved to a new place and maybe that's part of it, trying to get used to a new location. I think it will all start to come together with the right support and a long progression staying injury free, which of course requires a lot of patience. But reading through your responses has been incredibly encouraging. I don't want to have to look back and wonder "what if"... so I think I now have my answer- to keep working towards 2016. Heck, maybe I can find a guy with the same goal to make the journey with me (a girl can dream!) Thanks again for the input.
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