Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Continuing On Despite Failure

I'm not going to lie, I'm still struggling with failing at Saturday's race. Not crossing the finishing line was never on my radar; I never thought about how I would feel if that would happen. I only dreamt of a new marathon PR, a shiny medal, celebrating another milestone marathon. Instead, my race ended in heat exhaustion before mile 10. 10 miles - an easy run for me! I feel so broken down and defeated. 

When I think about it, I was very nervous and anxious about Grandma's Marathon. Much more those things than excited (which will probably become a story for another post). I didn't have goals that weren't going to result in a PR and that scared me. Even knowing it was hot at the start, I kept that goal pace, never slowing until my body forced me to and even for a mile or two, I fought it. I wanted to forge on because I didn't want to be a failure. 

I keep thinking "if only" .... If only I would have realized that I wasn't trained to run fast in heat and humidity and slowed down from the beginning. If only I would have set another goal NOT based on time. Maybe I would have had a different race. Maybe my excitement about running my third marathon would have trumped my anxiety and the weather wouldn't have won that battle. Maybe now I wouldn't be battling a chronic headache and sun/heat sensitivity. Ugh. 

But I will continue on. I'm trying to figure out how to pick myself up, what's next for me. I love running, a DNF will not change that love. The last two days I've gotten out and just ran what I could. Not chasing a certain pace or distance, but just getting back out there again. Trying to find the fun in running. Trying to find solace in the fact that yes, I indeed can run; Saturday was just not my day. 5 miles on Monday, 6 on Tuesday and more to come throughout week. I'm doing my best to not look at my Garmin and trying not to focus on hitting a certain mileage mark this week. Just enjoy it.

I also signed up for a 5k on Sunday. It's part of Twin Cities Pride Fest. I'm looking forward to it. I'm running with a friend and we're just going to run together and enjoy the craziness I'm sure will be a part of it with the pride parade being held right after the race. No time goal, just for fun. Like running should be! I do struggle with running races for fun, but I think I can do it this weekend. Also, that is why I'm running with a friend and not by myself!

While trying to find out what's next for me, I had a friend message me about a 50k trail race next Saturday about an hour away from my home. She thinks I should do it since I'm well trained right now. It would be something completely different than a marathon. There would be no time goal since it's all off road on trails, lots of hills and, of course, longer than 26.2 miles! It's also a much smaller field, which would definitely help calm some of my anxiety. So, I'm seriously considering it. I understand that I would have to walk a lot of it, carry water and real fuel with me, but it might just be the confidence booster I need. Plus, a 50k is on my "must run" list for this year! I have like two days to decide! 

I'm doing my best to shake off the failure and rise up from it. Find the joy and passion in running, and get myself back out there. It might just look a little bit different than I had thought it would this year, but I'll still be running.

Until next time~


  1. It's good to hear that you are moving forward. The quicker you can do that, the better off you will be for your next race. I like the idea of a 50K where there are no time goals and it's all about the experience. Something that I've learned is that you can have a time goal for a race, and yet still make it "about" the experience. The time goal is just one part of the overall reason you are racing, not the only reason. Anyway, great to see you pulling yourself up again.

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! I love the idea of a 50k trail race, too. I'm just not sure I'm emotionally ready at this point, but I don't want all those weeks of training to be for nothing.