Why do we have Bad Races? So we can have GOOD ones!
So, I am disappointed in my race performance today. A friend reminded me that if we did not have bad ones, we would not be able to identify the really good ones. I did not feel horrible; I just slumped in the middle of the race and could not get my legs going any quicker. I didn’t have the edge, the “peppy” legs, the quick turnover throughout the entire race. I had some great kilometers, like my last kilometer (km 21) was 3:20! Where did that come from, when my average pace was 4:00? My finishing time was 1:26:12. My “standard” half marathon is around a 1:24 and I want to get down to low 1:20. Today was a long way off of that.
First and foremost I deal with a disappointing race by remembering why I run in the first place. I run for the joy of running, not the goal of racing. I ran 21.1km today and I had a great workout, though not a great race. If I had set out this morning and averaged 4:00km pace for 21.1km I would have been pleased with my effort.
In a race, I run partly for the unity I feel with the multitudes of other runners that I am sharing the experience with. Today there were 25 000 runners from many parts of the country and the world, running the streets of Toronto (causing some major traffic jams!) As I was driving out of the city I was almost brought to tears watching the marathoners still running the last few kilometers of the race, looking quite beaten up, but soldiering on, giving it their best. That effort is inspiring and thrilling.
Today I also ran first and foremost to raise money for World Vision, to help impoverished children. I raised $500 for that cause and ran for that. I am thankful for everyone who sponsored me in this effort.
I deal with a disappointing race by allowing it to spur me on to train smarter and harder in the future. I did not train properly for a half marathon this fall, missing some key elements in my training. I was a bit scattered in my approach, as I was also focusing on 5km trail runs. In the mix of things, I missed my long hard run sessions. This certainly had an effect on me today.
I deal with a disappointing race by celebrating the successes of so many others. I am thrilled that Lanni Marchant broke the 28 year old Canadian Women’s Marthon record. She is inspiring and I send her my hearty congratulations. I rejoice with the many runners who ran their first half marathon or first full marathon today (I spoke with a few of them at the race). A race is an exciting place and in the end, it was great to be at there today, even if I did not perform as well as I had hoped to.