This article and photo are from PodiumRunner.com
If you’re a competitive runner (not elite, but someone of any level of ability who sets a goal to finish a race in certain time), there’s a really good chance that you’ve fallen short of achieving your goals. This article will help you deal with the disappointment, with case studies of real athletes and help you put things into prospective so you can continue running, setting goals and hopefully achieving some.
For the last 10 years, I’ve been trying to break 3:00 in the marathon. Unfortunately, I’m going backwards. Back in 2011, I ran 3:02 at Chicago. Due to a few circumstances that I haven’t dealt with before, my last 2 attempts were closer to 3:14 & 3:17 respectively. Not bad for a 50+ year old, but not near my goal.
I’m realistically running out of time to achieve my goal as I near 55, but I’ll keep trying. I agree with the runner in the following story, who says that people’s perspective of failure is different. To dream and set goals in any endeavor is to risk failure, but it’s what we learn from the failure and how we move forward that truly defines us.
Regardless of your abilities & goals, there’s so many positives that come from the marathon journey (the month’s long process of training for the race). The beauty of running and racing a marathon is that it’s not just a test of our physical abilities, it’s actually more a test of our mental abilities.
There’s so many questions asked and ultimately answered when completing an entire training plan. If you can even get close to achieving your goal, I think you have to consider the effort a tremendous success and confidence booster. Over the course of the journey you’ve faced issues like, How do we continue to train in lousy conditions? Can we continue to eat to fuel our performance and enhance our recovery? Will we complete the long runs and speed work? And on race day, will we finish, when at 18 miles we”re convinced that we’re “done?”
The following article is actually a quick read, but if you’ve ever set goals and come up short, you’ll find some wisdom and likely share in the experience of Janae Baron (Olympic Trials Qualifier hopeful who recently came up short at CIM).