Sunday, December 4, 2011

Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

I have been focusing on running for about a year and a half. Pre-running days I was a 'triathlete' who didn't ever really run except for the few weeks leading up to the triathlon and I always somehow managed to finish. I always knew, as a triathlete, that at some point I would get a flat tire on the course, hurt myself on the run or get in over my head during a difficult swim. I did triathlons for years with no incident until 2010. I was participating in the south shore sprint triathlon in Chicago with my sister and a couple of other friends. I was on track for having quite possibly the best event of my life and I blew a flat tire. I did not have the equipment on the course to change my tire so had to helplessly wait for the SAG vehicle to pick me up and then stand at the finish line watching my friends successfully complete the race.

Since I have been running (which you all know is my favorite sport) I have set many goals for myself and have achieved them all. My first goal was to finish a half marathon last year, then PR a 5k, a 10k on a trail, another half marathon and then the full marathon. I asked my friends to encourage me to continue running after the marathon, what I didn't know was that I was not going to need their encouragement. I fell in love with the sport and can not imagine my life without it, or can I?

Because I do best with some type of goal in mind and there were not any events that I was particularly excited about post marathon (with the exception of the Buckeye Classic and the Columbus Turkey Trot) I instead set my sights on a distance goal for November and December. I was simply tying myself over until I start training for my next marathon. I boldly started telling people I was going to run 250 miles during these two months. It seemed attainable at the time. I had just watched my friend finish his first marathon and the excitement around that event reminded me that an average of 4 miles a day (or more accurately 35 miles a week) is a piece of cake!

Well my piece of cake isn't tasting so good right now. I was struggling with getting the mileage needed to attain this goal. I am not sure if my body was simply not ready for the pre-marathon mileage again or if I was just psyching myself out. In November I ran 100 miles and peaked at 27 miles a week. This was NEVER going to allow me to achieve my goal. This week I have only run 13 miles (hopefully this will change today) due to the strangest ankle problem that pops up about once a year. I have no clue what this problem is, what causes it or how to treat it except by resting. I am learning again what life is like without running and I can tell you it is not fun!

So what an I am saying? For the first time since I started really running I am not going to achieve a goal that I set for myself. I am simply going to fail. I am grappling for reasons why, so much so that I have been blaming it on mercury retrograde, the change in the weather, etc. The reality is we all fail sometimes, I am simply proud of the fact that I tried! I need to remember the quote someone once shared with me: "Try again. Fail again. Fail better." -Samuel Beckett

Yes I had to go there, I just can't help myself. Rather than posting a picture or a song about failure I am going to leave you with a cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing":

1 comment:

  1. You are an athlete! You haven't failed at that at all. I'm trying to see a goal just as a milemarker along the path. It's not the path and the path is what's important.

    And here's the quote: "Try again. Fail again. Fail better." - Samuel Beckett

    I only know the quote because I have a writing t-shirt with that on it.