This post was sparked by a few people who have recently completed super hard 26.2 mile extravaganzas (aka marathons), both in and out of the blog world, who were extremely hard on themselves post-race and frankly, pretty negative. It made me kind of upset.
To be fair my blog is pretty sarcastic and I like to joke about the ‘race of death’ that is the marathon, but I truly try my hardest to see the positive in every situation I face. Was I discouraged when I has a stress fracture in the spring? YES, but I made it my mission to own my recovery and be the best runner I could be post-fracture. Was it disappointing to work really hard during marathon training and then getting food poisoning on race day? Obviously, but I used it as a humbling learning experience.
So you ran a marathon? And didn’t do as well as you hoped or intended? So what?
I think we all just need to stop being so hard on ourselves. Take a step back and look at the big picture. I find it really hard to be super sympathetic when you honestly just RAN A FREAKING MARATHON. Take pride in your accomplishment and try to see the positive in the experience. It might not have gone according to that detailed plan you temporarily tattooed on your arm or wrote in your training journal but that’s not a failure, that’s called a learning experience.
If you ran your “perfect” pace and accomplished all of your goals ALL of the time then you probably wouldn’t have that determination and fire that comes from missing a goal. There will be another race, there will always be another run, that race was one of MANY. It’s good to be disappointed for a moment, because then you know that next time you will try harder and run faster, but don’t stay disappointed for too long, let that disappointment turn into determination.
I was venting to my mom about this and telling her that I really don’t think the people that were being super negative could really see how grateful they should be. These were people physically able enough to run 26.2 miles, financially able enough to run in fancy lululemon and the latest model of their favourite running shoes, and socially able to run a race with a ton of family and friend support. Let’s be serious and quit this whole negativity thing.
My mom told me she has a few kids in her classroom (she teaches grade 4) that complain when they have to do some running in gym class… and they say this right in front of her student who has cerebral palsy and would give anything to be able to join his peers and run. BIG PICTURE. You have it pretty good, sure your race didn’t go well, but your life seems to be going pretty well.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. With the determination you now have you are going to be stronger and faster for your next race. Be positive. Surround yourself with other positive people. There will always be another run.