It’s been two weeks, I think it’s time to talk about it.
Back in April I wrote a blog post telling you guys I was training for my sixth half marathon and that Caitlyn (my running buddy) and I set our first time goal. Our fastest time for finishing a half marathon was two hours and 20 minutes, and this time around we wanted to finish in two hours and 15 minutes.
May 21st rolled around and we found ourselves at the starting line and eventually crossing the finish line BUT…it was the worst run I’ve ever been on, but the lesson I learned from it is why it was also the best race of my life.
We didn’t finish in two hours and 15 minutes, but we did finish in two hours and 18 minutes which means we still broke a personal record, just not the one that we wanted. Actually, our splits were pretty impressive compared to our other races. Our first two miles were under 10 minutes and for the rest of the race we remained pretty consistent, staying between 10:06 and 10:30. So that’s not exactly why it was the worst ever.
Let me start off by saying, I didn’t train properly for this race and man my body was not very forgiving out there on the course! I’m typically really strict with myself when it comes to a training schedule but this time around I had more on my plate than I could balance. Between my wisdom teeth removal, finishing the last month of my college career, graduation and the attention required for car shopping and moving to another state…well let’s just say my runs were very far apart and not very long at all. In fact, the farthest I ran in my training was 7 miles, which isn’t very close to running 13.1 miles.
I remember thinking during the first two miles that this was going to feel like a really long race. I knew I would finish, but I also knew I wasn’t going to finish feeling strong. I ended up being right, but that mindset didn’t provide any kind of help for me.
By mile five my ankles and feet were starting to hurt, which for me is a really bad sign considering that pain doesn’t kick in until usually mile 10. As soon as I noticed the pain I thought “Well aren’t we in quite the pickle?” And I’m allergic to pickles, so it didn’t end well.
Nonetheless I kept running as fast as my body would let me and while it was tough, I didn’t get a taste of just how impossible finishing seemed until mile 10.
It was a downhill slope and I crashed to the bottom.
Usually Caitlyn hits a wall at mile 10 and I cheer her on for the remaining 3.1 miles to the finish line, but the roles reversed this time. She had the big smile on her face and I had the scowl.
My entire body hurt and with every step I took I felt the urge to vomit growing stronger. I was angry and incredibly disappointed with myself for not following through with my training plan. For the entire last three miles I was at war with myself in my heading telling myself I could do this and also telling myself I couldn’t.
I’d like to say crossing the finish line put a smile on my face, but it didn’t. It only made me more annoyed because I realized I didn’t break the personal record I wanted and I knew it was my own fault.
What made this even more difficult for me to swallow was the group of people waiting for us at the finish line. Usually the only person waiting for me is my dad, but, two of my friends and my boyfriend were there this time as well.
There’s something more unsettling about failing in front of other people as opposed to failing when no one’s watching. I’m embarrassed to say it, but this gave me even more of an attitude and made me feel annoyed that they were there.
To point out how unreasonable I was being, these are people that have never once made me feel that I needed to impress them and have always accepted me at exactly where I was. Did any of them care that we finished in 2 hours and 18 minutes? Obviously not. They were just excited to be there supporting us and thought we were awesome for even
running a half marathon, never-mind six of them!
I was a little snippy with everyone for a while, and I don’t think I even smiled and thanked them for coming until 20 or 30 minutes after crossing the finish line. After we ate I perked up the tiniest bit and was tolerable to be around again.
Sorry for being a jerk, friends. I love you for showing up on race day and every other day.
I’ve been avoiding writing this post because I’m still embarrassed about the outcome but I learned a huge lesson from this last race.
Not every run is going to be a success. They won’t all leave me feeling new again and ready to take on the world. Expecting every run to be better than the last is just setting myself up for failure at some point. Instead, you should expect to always show up and work your absolute hardest and give it your all. Life happens and it can get in the way of training.
Running is hard sometimes, and so is life. What I experienced during this race was incredibly human. I did the best that I could at that point and I still finished with a better time than I had at any of my other races.
It’s okay to be disappointed in yourself sometimes. You learn an incredibly important lesson from it and it’ll make you work even harder the next time around. So don’t be afraid to fail, okay?
Get out there and give it your all. No matter if you fail or succeed, you’ll grow either way. That’s what life’s about. Don’t forget that.
Talk to you guys soon!