Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Getting Down to the Gritty

Somewhere in the last year I skimmed through an article on grit.  Not like grits that you eat but grit the personality trait.  I wish I could remember where I saw it, but I don't.  It sort of stuck with me though.  We as runners possess this trait. Grit is defined as a perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Sound like a runner to you?  Yep me too.  Runners pick a goal.  For me it is usually a half marathon and then I spend all summer training to run a half marathon.  I don't quit because I had a bad training day.  I didn't quit when my first half marathon went disastrously and I swore I would never do one again.  Instead I persevered.  I learned from my mistakes and went for the second one with a whole new strategy that ignited a love for the half marathon distance.

Other psychological traits that are similar to grit are perseverance, hardiness, resilience, ambition and the need for achievement.   (Wikipedia gives a pretty good breakdown of how they are similar and different HERE)

Additional research suggests that people with grit:
  • report experiencing more happiness than those who are less gritty, even when controlling for age and education;
  • earn higher GPAs than their non-gritty classmates, even with lower SATs scores;
  • are more likely to outperform in spelling bee contests, regardless of verbal IQ. (source)
I thought the spelling part was pretty funny because I actually am a pretty good speller and often recite the spelling of words out loud spelling bee style when people ask me how to spell something.

So what does grit mean to me?  Do I feel like I have grit? 

Grit is getting out there day after day and getting it done even on the days you want to feel sorry for yourself and read a book.  

Grit is pushing yourself to the goal times of your workout even though it may feel uncomfortable.

Grit is making myself run uncomfortably hard because I know it will make me a stronger faster runner.  

Grit is digging deep within myself during a race and finding a new faster pace.  

Grit is accepting that races don't always go like I had planned or desired and learning from my mistakes. 

My Mom decided she did not need her kindle anymore since she has the app on her iPad and iPhone.  Why I am telling you this?  Because she gave me her Kindle and I LOVE it!  I have been wanting one, but it has been taking a back seat to all of my running expenses.  It fits on my elliptical so much better than a book does and I don't have to worry about the pages staying open so I can read it!  I spend  a lot of time on the elliptical in the winter as I do not have a tread mill.  I run outside as much as I can but when it is 30 below zero and windy, it is really hard to get motivated to freeze outside.

If you have a spare minute PLEASE send me a vote HERE for Team Refuel! The contest ends Saturday and I am so ready for it to be over so I can find out already.  I really want to win!

Speaking of winning, if you vote and you can have a bonus entry for the Sparkly Soul headband giveaway I have HERE.  Just leave me a comment on the giveaway post! 

What is grit to you?
Do you feel like you get grittier with age?


  1. Was the article in Women's Health?? Because I read an article from them a few months ago that was about grit... I'm thinking it was the same one you saw.

    I think grit is one of those things you can't create. You either have it or you don't. The key is that, I also think most people DO have it, but they haven't pushed themselves enough to bring it out. You can just assume you're giving your all... You have to really keep yourself in check and constantly push yourself more than before, because that is how you grow, that is how you get better, and that is how you stay gritty (in a good way, not in the sand in your no-no places after a day at the beach sort of way)

  2. Thought provoking post. I love it :)

    Grit is not quitting, no matter what, (unless of course there is a very clear valid reason to stop that would endanger life) I felt like I coasted through my early 20's, and the past few years I've made it a point to push myself beyond what I thought I could do. I also think you either got it or you don't (until it gets forced out of you by something making you realize you have it)

    If I didn't have grit, I wouldn't have kept running through blisters, hip pain, side stitch type stuff in my marathon this weekend. And consequently wouldn't have gotten a huge PR.

    Grit isn't comfy. It's pushing yourself to do things never thought possible.

  3. I voted for you!

    I'm not sure how gritty I am. I don't think I've had much cause to BE gritty!

    I have a nook and I actually resisted getting an ereader til I got one as a gift. It's the best thing ever!

  4. I think we (as women) get tougher as the years go on. We're asked to shoulder so many things that pushing yourself to run just a little harder doesn't seem to be that tough in the thick of things in our regular life.

    People think that running is tough but they don't realize that it's actually a break from work and home and laundry. It a way to be free.

  5. Great post. You certainly do have plenty of grit!

    That's a great suggestion for the reading on the elliptical/treadmill...the pages of my books never stay open, so having an electronic reader would solve that issue. I'm going to consider getting an iPad or nook or something similar.

  6. you grity girl :D lol I love it. I can't wait to try and run in the winter. Maybe we can motivate each other. Although, I do have a treadmill and now an old bike. lol I'm gonna go vote for you.

  7. Grit to me is a breakfast side dish, best eaten after a long, hilly run. (Sorry - I moved to the south last year... couldn't resist.) ;)

    But seriously: grit to me is doing the hard things because you know you CAN, even though you know you don't HAVE to. (After all, no one points a gun at our heads and tells us to run long, or sprint intervals, or power through hill repeats).

    Also - Kindles rock for workouts! I love that you can change font-size and make it bigger (and thus easier to read) while working out.

  8. Great post! I definitely think I get grittier with age. It is weird to me to see how much I am maturing lately.

    Voted again!

  9. ohhhh! love this post! grit to me is determination and strength and it is definitely something I try to channel :) i LOVE reading my ipad on the TM/elliptical. SO MUCH easier than a book! glad you enjoyed the kindle

  10. Voted for you again - I hope you win!

    This is a great post - thank you!

    Grit to me is a lot of what you said. It is not giving up when the going gets tough - when it hurts, when you are tired, when you would rather do something else, when you would rather eat crap, when it is raining outside or when others tell you (or you tell yourself!) you can't do it.

    I don't know if I get grittier with age, but I would like to think I might!

  11. I think grit is going after something that is beyond your comfort zone - and nailing it!! :) Grit is definitely harder for me as I age, recovery just takes a lot longer.

  12. Grit is to overcome challenges/
    for the most part I'd yes grittier with age for me but it is harder like Jill said!!

  13. Grit is knowing that it's going to hurt, but doing it anyway because it will be worth it. :)

    I loved your long hair pictures from the previous post!

  14. I think some people have more natural grit than others, but we can all develop it. I'm planning to become much grittier!

    And I totally love my kindle too!

  15. 30 below??? my husband wont run if it's 30 above!

    i have a nook and love it!


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