Today I ran the Oaktown Half-Marathon. I had a goal to set a new personal record. My fastest half-marathon is 1:59:48, and I had ambitions of beating that today.
Unfortunately, I failed.
I ran the half-marathon in 2:05:35. Nearly 6 minutes slower than my fastest time.
Though I'm super bummed out, I am encouraged that this "failure" taught me a few important lessons that I hope can serve both you and I well in the future.
1. UNDER-TRAIN, UNDER-PERFORM.
I did 17 training runs to prepare for this race. When I ran the half-marathon in under 2 hours (in 2014), I did 42 training runs. To run faster than I've ever ran, I had to train harder than I've ever trained. Yet, I didn't.
In what areas of your life (this applies to so much more than running) are you "under-training" yet expecting to experience superior results?! Don't play yourself like I played myself! Your level of "training" will promote you or expose you!
2. YOUR BODY TALKS, LISTEN.
Though I wanted to stick as close to the 2-hour "pacer" I was running with for as long as possible, by about mile 4 I found myself needing to stop at the water stations and walk for a bit to catch my breath. Though everything in me wanted to run past the water stations so I could stay on pace, my body was telling me I needed to hydrate. My body was telling me I needed to slow my heart rate down a bit. My body was telling me, "No."
How is your body talking to you? Are you listening? Sleep more? Eat better? Drink water? Exercise? Don't ignore it. Finishing your "race" is more important than setting a "record." (Once again, this applies to so much more than running!)
3. FAILURE ISN'T FINAL.
I fell short. I didn't achieve what I set out to. But, this failure doesn't define me. This failure isn't the end of my story. I can get out there and try again. And I will!
What "failure" have you not bounced back from? What "failure" still debilitates you? Get up. Your story isn't finished until you are out of days to write it!