Monday, May 26, 2014

Lessons Learned: "Ultra" Half Marathon

Every once in a while it's good to reflect on yourself and your experiences, be they good or bad.  Here are some things I learned from my most recent racing experience

1. Know the course ahead of time.  Do this by previewing it (if possible) or at least study the map well.  Even though I'd run this race before it'd been a year and it's easy to forget.  You can't always rely on the person in front of you, signs, or race officials to point you in the right direction.  Things happen.

2. Yes, things happen.  You trip and fall.  It's cold, rainy, snowy, or hot.  Someone faster than you shows up.  You get lost.  I almost let missing 3rd place and not getting a new course PR get in the way of what was an otherwise fun experience.  

3. Move on.  When a race doesn't go your way - for whatever reason - don't dwell on it.  It was one race.  Suck it up and get over it.  There's always another day, another run, another race.  In the big picture, no one really cares about the stats but you.  And honestly, why do you care?

4. Remember why you run.  You run to clear the cobwebs from your brain.  To relieve the stress after a long day.  To feel the sunshine on your face.  To get in a 6-mile heart-to-heart with a good friend.  To move your body because you can.  Because it's fun.  Because you love it.  Not because of the medal or the pint glass or the award.

Looking back over this list, these aren't things I learned.  These are things I already knew.  But sometimes I get carried away in the excitement of the race.  I get hung up on the expectations I place on myself.

I'm looking forward to taking a little break from training and racing.  Not a break from running!  Never.  It's just time to dial back the pressure a bit and listen to my body.

And remember why I run.

1 comment:

  1. Life has a habit of reordering out perspectives