Quebec City Marathon, 2011 August 28: Redefining Failure

I didn’t meet my goal. Now what?

Imagine spending months of organizing your life around training and healthy eating, days off of work, and hours of driving to get ready for to qualify for Boston, only to have it cancelled due to a weather forecast. I did everything within my means to be well-prepared for a successful race, and then elements out of my control intervened.

I came to Québec with the one goal of breaking a 3-hour marathon and how did this solitary goal serve me well and how did it not? How does one walk the line between achieving a goal with focus and excluding things of importance? How can I let that which does not matter, truly slide?

I’m giving myself some space today to be upset about it. On the whole, I see it as healthy to be upset; without risking the negative emotions, I couldn’t possibly hope to win the elation of reaching my goal.

Having improved my form and practiced pre-race relaxation, I have gained much during the process, regardless of the outcome of the goal. I owe Tree much credit for introducing me to Chi Running written by Danny Dreyer; without this book, I would not have experienced such successful and enjoyable training. I was even able to use my marathon regimen to reach another life-goal: breaking the 5-minute mile. Focusing on the moment at hand and letting the destination come closer on its own has certainly helped temper today’s disappointment.

As incredibly disappointing as it is, I am lucky enough to have a chance to qualify at Baystate in a month and a half, at the more stringent qualifying time. In pursuing my next race, perhaps I can discern more wisely where to relax and where to be more disciplined in working training and racing into a healthy lifestyle.

I’m disappointed today, and it’s ok. Tomorrow, I shall look to make new strides and keep improving each moment.

Growth ideas:

  • What can I do, moving forward, to continue to set myself up for success?
  • How can I incorporate Chi Running exercises into my day without crowding mornings or evenings?
  • How would slowly re-adopting a cross-fit style workout aid overall muscle resilience?

COMING UP… Marquette Marathon: Commit, You’ll Figure It Out