Let’s just stop being so hard on ourselves.

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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

Rant over.

16 Comments

  1. Nice post! How nice to only have a first world problem to complain about! I have a bro-in-law who became a paraplegic in his forties as a result of a mountain biking accident and I also work with multiply-handicapped adults so I really have no end to the reminders that I’m lucky just to be able to walk, let alone participate in any kind of running race! Good for you!

  2. I ran my first marathon this in May and was a little negative about time I did it. Did another 1/2 in August again a little slower than wished. Then this past week I had the biggest scare – put in ICU with heart issues just before my 44 birthday. How could this be I’m active I eat good I’m young. Well apparently the trigger for this under lying heart issue was not getting enough calories while running distances of 18 or 20 km. See I wasn’t happy with the way I looked and thought I was heavier Hence the slower times. After few days of doctors going back and forth I found a medication to control my heart and I can slowly resume my running again but proper eating no dieting!! This medication will work for a bit then I will need pacemaker. This was scary for me and I am no longer going to be the woe is me person I was. Sorry for the long winded message :). But I was a very healthy person so it can happen start enjoying what you can do before you can’t

  3. I love this!!!! It took me a few days to realize I don’t HAVE to go sub 4 to feel proud of myself. I just have to be proud of myself for being able to run a marathon in the first place!! xxx

  4. Yes, yes, yes! Great post. People have got to start being so hard on themselves. And that goes for more than just running! Do we do it because we are taught, somewhat, to downplay our achievements? Or that “bragging” isn’t attractive? Or…are we afraid that someone is going to say our accomplishment wasn’t that great? But yes, we need to show ourselves more self love and realize that someone is looking up to you, no matter how slow or fast you ran a race. Great post!

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