I’m not the first, and I won’t be the last, to have a rubbish race. A race you spend weeks training for, mile after mile you push yourself, and then the race is just a mess. How do you deal with that blow?
First, it’s alright to be angry, upset, disappointed, frustrated, you name it! I think you get 36 hours to just be miserable if you want (especially if you’ve devoted 16-18weeks of your life training). Luckily I have amazing friends who gave me some perspective to help get out of my funk.
1. Susan told me a long time ago, “Remember that your worst race is someone else’s pipe dream.” How many people are working to just get down their driveway, and I’m strong enough to get through an entire marathon.
2. Betsy, “Less then 1% of the population has run a marathon, and you’ve run how many?!” She’s right, I kick a$$!
3. A sign along the Chicago Marathon race course, “Some day you won’t be able to run, but today is not that day.” Even though this year’s race was hot, that sign gave me chills. Honestly, I dare not think of that day. What an absolutely unbearable thought that is; that some day my body may no longer allow me the freedom to pound the pavement, crunch leaves under my feet, breathe that fresh air on a run. But today is not that day.
After wallowing for 36 hours, you have to pick yourself up and make a plan. There’s a saying, “The best way to get over a guy is to get another one,” (I paraphrased to avoid being inappropriate, but we all know what I’m getting at!) and I feel the same way about races. I bombed the Chicago Marathon this year, but one week later I started training for my next marathons in January. Getting back on the horse gives me a goal to work towards, something positive to work towards. Plus, everything I learned from my last race and training cycle is fresh. I’m doing things a little differently this time, because I’m tired of feeling defeated at the end of the race. But at the end of the day, I am a marathoner and nothing can change that.