So for today’s all things fitness post let’s talk about running and failure. This past weekend was my first running race of 2016. At the very last-minute I signed up, with my Dad to the Bookham 10k. All the cool people run with their Dad by the way, except we don’t actually run together as he’s faster than me!}. The race goes through the Surrey countryside of Polesden Lacey and Ranmore Common so it’s billed as a muddy cross-country race. Great fun!! That’s what I was thinking anyway.
But things didn’t quite turn out like that. What should have been a 10k/6 mile race ended at 3.5 miles. So just over halfway through. I wasn’t injured, but I was not enjoying myself at all. I was slipping and sliding all the way along the run, My legs were covered in bramble scratches, and it turns out that mud on top of scratches stings quite a bit. At about 2 miles, there was a mammoth hill (I can’t even begin to explain how long and steep it was) and I think that absolutely finished me off. So I stopped and didn’t finish. I’ve never given up on a race in my life, so I was mad at myself and felt like a failure.
I think we can agree that feeling like a failure is not a good situation to be in, but luckily for me and my overactive brain I had a 20 minutes wait before I could be picked up from the middle of nowhere – a good thing too as it gave me time to think and sort my head out. So that’s what I want to share today. A few thoughts and learnings on giving up on a race.
>> I like running but not trail running. Mud is not my friend.
>> If the race info suggests trail shoes then it’s probably best to wear trail shoes, the race organisers will know their race better than you!
>> Not finishing is not failing.
>> I turned up and I gave it a go.
>> When headphones are not allowed on a race and I’m not running with someone everything seems so much harder.
>> If I’m not enjoying something then I should stop. Life is too short to spend time doing things I don’t like.
>> 3.5 miles in the mud, over hills and through the brambles is still 3.5 miles of running.
>> This is still more than a lot of people do.
>> And more than I used to do.
>> And definitely more than if I were sat on the sofa, like I am on most Sunday mornings at 10 am.
So there we go, that’s my thought process right now. I’m not beating myself up about not finishing the race. Instead I’m pleased that I entered the race, ran and discovered more about the type of running I enjoy.