The Chances We Didn’t Take

Meditations in Motion

Readers of this blog know I ran a marathon last week that did not go well. In fact, it was a disaster. You can read about it here. In the wake of failure, it’s good to take a step back, look at what you are doing, and reassess. That is what I am in the process of doing now – some soul-searching. I won’t bore you with my navel-gazing, but there are a few things I would like to share, starting with Band-Aids.

Meditations in Motion

Band-Aids are one of the most useful inventions known to mankind. Kids love them. I remember when my boys were young, they would want a Band-Aid for every boo-boo, even if the boo-boo did not involve blood (and, believe me, there was often blood involved). I would apply the Band-Aid to the boo-boo and little tears would vanish like magic. It was as if the bandage itself had some kind of pain-dispelling properties.

The only problem with Band-Aids is you eventually have to remove them. In my experience, there are two ways to remove a Band-Aid – slowly, and carefully, minimizing the pain, but drawing it out over a longer period of time, or quickly and recklessly, getting past the pain in a hurry.

Friends and family will not be surprised that I opt for the latter method. I modestly assert that I do have many virtues, but patience is not among them. Therefore, when I look at the type of races I would like to pursue in the future, it is not surprising that I gravitate toward shorter races.

Meditations in Motion

While participating in a racing event is fun, the act of running fast in a race is not fun. It hurts. Running fast in a 5K results in a shorter, more intense pain than running fast in a marathon, but the longer the distance of the race, the longer it hurts. Kind of like the Band-Aid analogy. I am going to concentrate on distances of 25k or shorter. They are a better fit for my modus operandi.

The other thing I have to look at is regret. Do I regret running this marathon, even though it resulted in a less than stellar time (my time was an hour slower than my previous slowest marathon time)? No! A million times no!


Meditations in Motion
My friend Nancy, hubby Bill and me


Even though the race itself was painful, the trip was really fun. I traveled with my hubby and two running friends. All three of these people inspire me daily. Each one has overcome injuries and returned to running, sometimes repeating the process several times. Looking at them makes me feel like I can come back too. I got to see my son and daughter-in-law, whom I love dearly, but only get to see twice a year. I visited Seattle, one of my favorite cities.

More significantly, I finally had to admit that my hip injury is not going to go away on its own. I have begun a process to get an actual medical diagnosis. Last year, when the problem first showed up, I tried to take matters into my own hands by looking up my symptoms on the internet and treating it with massage, heat, and foam rolling. My doctor is a let’s-get-this-ball-rolling kind of woman. I have confidence that she will make good things happen.

Running this train-wreck of a marathon made me stop and examine my priorities. Living an intentional life is important to me, as I discussed in this earlier post. I like running marathons, but I really enjoy the shorter distances more. I can race more often, which I like, as well as the whole Band-Aid thing. It is important to me that I am thoughtful in doing what I really want to do. Running is something I do for fun and fitness. It’s a want-to-do, not a have-to-do. My motivation for running long training runs has been pretty low lately.

The tricky part is this: you can’t allow the possibility of failure to scare you into not taking chances. If you don’t take chances, you won’t fail, but you won’t win, either. By not taking chances, you allow yourself to be stuck in a sheltered, never-changing safe place, denying yourself the opportunity to extend your abilities, to become a better, more interesting, more experienced person.

I am not talking about the bungee-jumping-from-a-hot-air-balloon type of taking chances (yes, I am looking at you, eldest son – he actually did this), I am talking about the stretching-your-limits, learning and growing type of taking chances.

Meditations in Motion

We only get this one, beautiful, incredible, roller coaster life to live; don’t ride the monorail. Live it up! Give your significant other a passionate kiss in the rain. Dance around the living room to your favorite song. Eat that last piece of pie. Try a recipe involving an exotic ingredient (maybe achiote paste). Book that trip you have been waiting to take. Don’t allow fear or regret to hold you back. Rip off that Band-Aid.

The wise Nicky Jam said it best when he sang, “One life, live it up, ’cause you got one life“.


I am linking up with Clean East Fast Feets for her Week in Review, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, Shank You Very Much forΒ  Global Blogging, Patty, Erika and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Char at Trekking Thru, Teaching What Is Good for their Tuesday Link-up, Abounding Grace for Gracefull Tuesday, Shelbee on the Edge for Spread the Kindness, Running on Happy, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs Β for the Coaches’ Corner, Nicole and Annmarie for Wild Workout Wednesday, Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart,Β  Sharing a Journey for Wellness Wednesday, and blovedboston for Weekending.




  1. We have a fear of failure, so we never try. But, we never try anything new or push our boundary’s because we fear failure. It’s like a neverending circle. Wayne Gretzky the ex-hockey star said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

    Can’t let the fear of failure keep us away from trying. One never wins, if one never tries. If one never tries, then one never succeeds. Great post. I’m a “rip the bandage off quick” type of person as well.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I totally your feelings about long races vs. shorter ones. I really like the 10k to half marathon distances much more than marathons. If not for my need to someday BQ, I’m not sure I’d ever run marathons. I hope that hip gets better soon and that you’re back to killing whatever distances you choose.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you here. It’s why I continue to sign up for half marathons. I enjoy traveling and meeting new people.

    But seriously, 5ks for me are easier, take less time in training and running them so I consider switching to running just short races but then…

    I don’t.

    Some day I may have to. But today is not that day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love your Γ©lan, Laurie! And as you point out, running is a want-to, not a have-to, so it follows that nobody is grading you on it (except you). And you get to decide what works best and makes you happiest, while still stretching you. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jan. Unfortunately, when it comes to grading myself, I am much harsher than I ever was when I was a school teacher! πŸ™‚ Have a great start to your school year!!!


  5. Laurie, I am a rip the bandaid off and get it over with person as well. The kids knew it too πŸ™‚ Having recently done just that with a situation, I have come to realize it is always best to expose what is underneath for it is the best way to bring healing. Hope you find healing for your hip quickly!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad you’re going to be working with your doctor to address your hip issue. I’m sorry about your tough marathon – I have to say that I prefer the shorter distances and I’m happy with having “just” 2 marathons under my belt.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have let the fear of failure prevent me from attempting things in the past however, it’s something I’ve really tried to work on the past few years. I almost feel like getting older has made me more comfortable and I care a lot less about what my pace is. I just want to appreciate being able to run pain free

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your blog — and it was through your blog that I met Dina, and that definitely made my race much more fun this weekend — but we are definitely very different people. In general I do have a lot of patience. Not always, but usually.

    The one race that I ran that resulted in a painful injury? I didn’t really care about the time, but yes, I regretted that race. I regretted that I was in too much pain to be able to walk and get a sundae with my husband after the race. I regretted that I was in pain running “long” for months afterwards (and even just walking the dogs immediately afterwards). And I regret that it took me so long to come back from it.

    In the end, though, I learned from that race, like I’ve learned from all my races. I can’t change it, so I might as well learn from it, right?

    I still can’t fathom doing a marathon. Just 9 more miles, some friends say. Well, that’s half again as much as I ran this weekend! And this weekend worked so well because really, I trained for a half marathon and then just added on 2 really long long runs. So it didn’t beat up my body like a marathon does. Now I can squeeze in that other half I’ve been eyeing. πŸ™‚

    I wish you swift healing and I’ve no doubt you’ll come back even stronger. And ultimately, of course, I love the message of this blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Judy. I wish there were more race distances between a half and a full – like the one you ran this past weekend. There are a lot of trail 25ks, which I like. Marathon training just takes up so much time and prevents me from doing other races that are fun. I don’t recover as fast as I used to, so I can’t fit other races in while marathon training.

      I appreciate your very nice comment! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • This worked really well for me because I really trained for a half. And then just had a 15 mile run & an 18 mile run.

        I don’t plan to do it again next year. I could see myself doing another long-er race (but not a marathon) — but only if it were like late fall, so I could *hopefully* run those longer runs in much nicer weather.

        Don’t know of any, so that’s probably not happening either!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Amen, sister! I’m embarking on my 8th marathon in October. I’d love to PR it, but I also know I’m just so grateful for the ability to run 26.2 miles, I refuse to obsess over my finish time (much, LOL). Why do I keep doing marathons? Because, for the time being, I CAN. Great post πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There are so many lessons that we can take from the races that didn’t go so well, if we look at it closely. I’m still trying to hash through my 5th 18.12 from the weekend. This one was the worst, so I feel your pain but in a different place. Hope you heal quickly enough for your marathon in October.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no! So sorry your race didn’t go as planned. We do learn most from experiences that involve some discomfort, don’t we?

      That 18.12 race is so appealing. I never heard of it before you and Judy began writing about it, but now I think I must do it next year (assuming my hip cooperates!)


  11. I am a rip off the band-aid person…once I work up the courage to do it. That’s usually the part that takes the longest! I hope you are able to resolve your hip injury soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sounds like me at the pool in the morning. I usually stand by the side of the pool, building up my courage, then I jump in and get wet all at once.

      I start PT today!


  12. Love, love, love this joyous post! Dancing around the living room to my favorite song sounds about right! Jerking off the Band-Aid reminds me of the pain of having my eyebrows waxed–fast is definitely better! Many blessings to you!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Haha! I would get on splendidly with your eldest son! I did a bungee jump off Victoria Falls Bridge in Zimbabwe which at the time I think was the highest in the world. And for my 10 year wedding anniversary we are hot air ballooning it, LOL! But I hear you 100% – funnily, I am okay doing wild things like that, but when it comes to changing jobs or starting a business which I have long wanted to do, I let fear hold me back each time. This is definitely something I am working on – thanks for putting it down so beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What??? Bungee jumping off Victoria Falls Bridge? You are brave! Happy anniversary too! When it is the right time to change jobs or start your own business, you will know.


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