I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! It seems like we need to make it a law that weekends need to be three days long, am I right?
I am back to traveling for work today — just a quick trip to Nashville for about 36 hours. I am packing my running shoes, but we’ll see if I have a chance to actually use them!
Anyways, on to today’s topic. In honor of Marathon Monday, wanted to talk about when a race doesn’t go your way. Of course, this is the worst-case scenario and you definitely don’t want this to happen. I feel like I’ve been on this track for the past few races.
NYC Marathon, when there were gusts of wind 60 mph+ and sustained wins in the 30 mph range.
And then there was the Dallas Marathon, which was just unbelievably humid and not so fun.
My body decided to sabotage itself in this year’s Houston Marathon, by requiring more bathroom stops than should be humanly possible in one race.
And let’s not forget to mention the most recent at the Boston Marathon, where I may have underestimated the weather and set myself up for failure in some ways.
So yes, these races definitely happen. And when they do, it’s not fun. You’ve spent MONTHS preparing for this day and whether it’s the weather or your body not cooperating, it can be frustrating during and after the race. Especially if you share your goals with the world and they can’t help but ask what happened.
You know what? You have the right to be mad, to be angry. Yeah, I know, we all post on social media “Ran a X:XX time today, it didn’t go my way but I still had a great time.” I totally did the same, and meanwhile, fumed at Mother Nature for presenting those conditions.
That time will pass, and afterwards, you will have the chance to analyze what went wrong. This, after all, is what makes running marathons so intriguing. Very rarely do you have a race where everything aligns and there’s not one thing you would change next time around.
In the other cases, it’s a learning opportunity. A chance to learn about yourself, physically and mentally. To understand where you should focus in your next training cycle and most importantly, celebrate what you did do right. We sometimes forget about this!
But wow, only 1% of the U.S. population has ever finished a marathon, and even though the day didn’t go your way, you deserve to give yourself a pat on the back.
And lastly, it’s time to create a plan. A plan of what’s next… will you try to dominate the marathon again, or transition to another distance? Are you looking for a new challenge? You just spent the last four months living and breathing a training plan and you will go into some sort of shock if you don’t have a new one in front of you.
For me? The plan is to get that sub-3:30 at the Santa Rosa Marathon. And do whatever I need to do to make it happen!
Any other tips for how to recover when a race doesn’t go your way?
Ever had a bad race? What happened? How did you get through?
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