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.
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.
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!
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.
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 for 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 for the Coaches’ Corner, Nicole and Annmarie for Wild Workout Wednesday, Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart, Sharing a Journey for Wellness Wednesday, and blovedboston for Weekending.