We’ve all been there – the finish line of a terrible race. You’re forcing back tears; hunched over your legs that are ready to buckle beneath you.
You likely wanted to walk right off the course on numerous occasions. Maybe you weren’t prepared for the hills or the heat or the cramping of your legs. Maybe that nagging injury showed back up at mile 7, or the gels weren’t settling the way they did in training. And maybe it just wasn’t your day because your legs decided so – our body is nice like that, right?!
These races sting. You train months and months for a race that didn’t go as planned. You woke up early on the weekends and pushed things aside to make running your priority. They leave a bitter taste in our mouths and we search for the breakdowns to which we can lay blame. We criticize our pacing, how we prepared and what we lacked along the way. As we wallow in the defeat, the aches and the disappointment, we tend to forget one thing –you crossed the finish line. The medal hangs around your neck and you didn’t quit.
According to runningusa.org, in 2016, 9% of the U.S. population ran a half marathon and 4% ran a marathon. LESS THAN 10% of the United States has crossed the finish line of a half or full marathon. Let that sink in for a minute. And the next time you cross a finish line, remember this.
Every race gives you something. You aim for a PR but sometimes you get a lesson instead. The best part? You get to refocus, refuel and rebuild for another race. You get to take your learnings and your downfalls from this race and you get to make yourself better – one of the best things about this sport.
You get to continue to be part of the less than 10%.
So embrace your setbacks and welcome the struggles. They give you a reason for a sweet, sweet comeback.
— Krista Pilla (@redefinetheimpossible)