Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Don't Call it a Failure

As you may know, I ran my second half marathon last weekend.  My goal was to finish in less than two hours.  My time was 2:03:21.

Missing my goal this narrowly was something I was dreading the possibility of.  And it happened.  I'm not a fan of failure.

I think the worst part about missing this goal is that I knew I could do it, and I was soooo excited for that.  I had made my own training plan and was rocking it pretty consistently.

Then, the weather forecast came out, and the start time got bumped up.  Major heat predicted.  And I couldn't beat it.

Yay for non-flattering post-race pictures!
Luckily, I (think I) am past the stage of beating myself up about it.  I decided to take the logical route and make it a learning experience.  I've been running through things in my head, and I think my "fatal" mistake was that I didn't take the heat seriously.  I figured I would be finished before it got too hot and didn't worry much about it. 

I should have brought my own water.  When I panicked and got shaky in the last two miles, I think water would have helped calm me down and cool me off a little.  In the past, I haven't wanted to carry it, but this, I think, would have been a goal-saver.

I also should not have put so much into the time.  I PR'ed, and that's awesome.  I needed a reality check when I saw the e-mail about the heat warning.  Instead, I scoffed at it and assumed I was better.

As far as running goes, I have been quite successful as far as the goals I have set for myself.  This has given me a lot of confidence, but I am trying to change my perspective and learn that missing a goal can make me even better.  So, I'm going to take a little break before my next half, but here are the things I'm going to make sure to keep in mind:

  • Nobody's perfect.
  • I ran over 13 miles.  There are an awful lot of people who can't say the same.
  • Don't force yourself to run.  Now that I am not training, I would like to keep my mileage above 10 a week.  However, I'm not going to force myself to run.  There are a lot of other workouts I have been looking forward to trying, but haven't had the time.  I will run when, and because, I want to.
  • Don't let anything make you not love running. (How's that for a double negative?) I am making sure to get back to running with buddies and not worrying about distance or time. This has been huge for me in disappointment-ville.

With a little break and a fresh perspective, I will meet my half goal. Maybe it won't be at my next race, and I'm *trying* to be OK with that. Racing is fun, and I don't want to lose that feeling.

Have you ever missed a big goal when you knew you could do it? 
Any advice for moving on?

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