All Things Fitness: Giving Up on a Race



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, here are 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.

Laura x