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Monday, October 11, 2010

Mantra Monday: Go the Distance

Mantra MondayFailure is all relative, really.

A person who has high expectations of themselves and falls short will most definitely find themselves a failure in their own mind. It doesn't mean they are, it just means they think they are.

A person who exceeds their own expectations, no matter how large or small their expectations are is most definitely not a failure in their own mind.

It depends on the way you're looking at any given situation and how much you expect of yourself, right?

Now a bolt that popped out of somewhere really important on a plane, causing the plane to crash, well, that's a whole nother story. I'd consider that a failure.

But we are not failures. We might think we have failed because we have expectations of ourselves and sometimes they are unrealistic, but when we fail to meet them, we inevitably feel like failures.

Which is what I felt like around mile 14 of my run yesterday as I'm climbing up over the drawbridge on the causeway (again) and crying.

Around mile 14 is where I stopped running because I couldn't anymore. All I was asking is that my legs keep running, but they wouldn't, they were mad. And I kept passing my car, stopping off to go to my car was a very convenient option since I parked somewhere along the middle of the bridge instead of one end or the other.

So it would have been easy.

And I almost did.

But then I wouldn't have gotten in my 16 miles. And yesterday's run was 16 miles.

I felt defeated, like I always do when I can't finish something with as much vigor and energy as I had when I started it.

I did a little walk/run sometimes but that would peter off and I'd walk again.

And the amount of time I had been out there on that causeway was getting to be literally ridiculous. I had started off when my tri group was gathered to do their bike, and I was still there when they got back, and then I was still there when they started running and I was still there when they finished and even when someone showed up really late and got started, I was still there when he finished his bike and I was still there when he finished his run.

How do you not feel like a failure when you're doing something and it is taking so freakin long that all you are is a big hot sweaty mess and you can hardly move and you're like a junked car that needs to be pushed-pulled-dragged to the nearest dealership for a trade-in?

And so there was some crying because I never thought it would end and I felt like a failure and I had nothing left so I told myself to "SHUT UP AND RUN" and instead I made it about the numbers.

I was not going to stop until I saw 16 on my Garmin. DAMMIT.

And I walked.

I walked some more.

There was a trot somewhere in there.

Maybe a short jog but back to a trot and back to more walking.

And then there was this.
(Ignore that "pace" in there, that's what it says I was doing in my pj's standing there this morning.)

The important part is the 16.

I know these long runs are looming out in front of me and they're not going to be easy but the important part is that no matter how fast or slow I go, if I am not physically broken into pieces, then I must go the distance that my plan says. And screw the clock.

I might not have done it like I thought I should. I might have been out there for the longest 3 hours and 37 minutes of my life (and let me tell you a 1/4 of a mile has never felt so long in my life either.) I might have failed in "going fast" or in "being a gazelle."

But who are we kidding, I'm not that fast and I'm not a gazelle. So I could look at it like failure and as I'm sitting here writing this, there is some element of me that is doing a pretty good job of trying to convince myself I'm not a failure (because somewhere there is always, always a part of me that wishes I had done better.)

But that number is there.

And that's all that matters.

What's your mantra for the week?


Brooke said...

I had a similar experience yesterday only mine sucked out loud at the beginning of the race, i actually felt better the longer i was out.

to me walk breaks feel like a failure - but i was thirsty. very very thirsty. so i had to stop for water. literally. i drank out of my cup at the water station then refilled and drank again.

just know that me seeing your pace and knowing that you hadn't had the greatest of runs either made me feel better. If Super Mom can have running issues so can I.

AF wifey said...

16 miles? Holy cow! Good job on finishing that! :)

The Doll said...

16 miles. You are amazing. We all have bad days but the important thing is that you stuck with it. You are going to do great come Disney. All this hard work will pay off.

Kirsten said...

Can I tell you that my 16-miler was about the same - minus the tears. I made 14 okay, but the last 2 miles was painful, literally and figuratively. I didn't want to finish. I could have turned and headed back right about where 14 miles would have been. But I *knew* I needed that number. I needed that 16 miles. So, I walked the last 1.5 miles - give or take a few little running jaunts. I'm right there with you. We'll have to sync up our training and figure out if we do any 20 milers on the same weekends. I'm gonna need to see your face in my head with that "shut up and run" bondi. Mmm. Maybe I need one of my own.

Karena said...

I've had a few like that, where quitting would be SO easy. Good on you for going to the distance and seeing it through.

Jessi said...

And now you can say that you've run 16 miles! If walking is what it takes to "regroup", I'm all for it! I'm SO proud of you (I really can't say this enough)! Keep looking forward, to the next LR...

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you. One of the hardest parts for me is to just keep going. But I know that even if I'm walking, I'm still moving. I need to get it through my skull that I am selling myself short by giving in to the voices...

april said...

You're my hero.

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