The Agony of Defeat


IMG_5706 I had a great post written "in my head" Saturday morning.  I was setting off to do a 6 mile run.  It would have been the longest run I had ever done in my life.  Before training for the Annapolis 10 Mile that I am working towards at the end of the summer, the farthest I had run was a 5K (3.1 miles)  So, this would have been about twice that. 

Ya know how they say don't count your chickens before they hatch?

Yea...don't write your blog achievements before you actually do them.

I learned a few more things on my run Saturday morning.

  • The later in the day you run, the hotter it is and thus the harder it is to run.  Sleeping in on Saturday was SO not worth it once I was running in the sun.
  • Starting on a hill is the way to go.  I clearly do not know how to pace myself.  At home I start going up hill which really helps.  This time I started down hill and then flat...I burned out fast.
  • When given the choice of running beside the water or under the shade of a building, I go with the shade.  Views are nice but when you are hot and tired, you'll slow down for every tree you find.
  • There is no stopping to get a rest for a minute... this is a deadly trap.

Yea, I tried that and I am sad to tell you I didn't finish my run.  I was tired, and I gave up.  And the long walk back to my family waiting at the playground stunk.

I have never considered myself to be a competitive person.  I played lacrosse in high school (by play I mean I wore the uniform while sitting on the bench).  I didn't really care if we won or loss, I was just there to have fun with my friends. 

But walking back from my run, I felt like crying.  I had a goal.  I wanted to run 6 miles that day and instead I ran less than what I had done in the past.  I couldn't blame it on anyone.  I had no excuse.  I stopped.  I didn't meet my goal.  I felt like for the first time I could relate to a receiver who was wide open but let the ball slip through his fingers, or the basketball player who missed the free throw one to blame but yourself. 

By the time I met up with my crew, I had a new resolve.  I would try again Monday.  I would not give up.   I have 4 weeks to prepare to run 10 miles.  Currently I know I can run 4 without a problem.  6 to go... Had I not set this goal for myself, I am confident at this point I'd give up.  I do not see that as an option since I have registered, blogged about it, and signed up with friends and family to run with me. 

So today I will try again.  I can only hope that the thrill of victory will be all the sweeter after tasting the agony of defeat this weekend. 

But I won't write that post yet...


  1. I'm so sorry that you didn't meet your goal! But you did the best you could by just resolving to try again today! I am impressed that you're taking on a 10 mile run!! Good luck today!

  2. You are doing great. I bet I can only run about 2 miles TOPS! Try to stay calm and positive. Remember slow and steady wins the race. Listen to me give advice, I get tired holding the blow dryer! Best of Luck to Ya. You'll do great.

  3. Girl, you ROCK!!! Do not get yourself down! I am so amazed, impressed and totally jealous of what you have already achieved!!
    I know you are going to do great!

  4. I'm sorry that you had a bad run. :( Don't beat yourself up though! We all have "off" days, during which we fall short of our goals. But you have the right attitude of wanting to get out there and try again! You can do it! :)

    If it makes you feel better, I've had to wuss out of running on multiple occasions because I pushed myself too hard and gave myself "carpel tunnel of the foot!"

  5. Just setting such a goal is something I would have to train for. I get winded walking to the mailbox. Don't give up. You are inspirational!

  6. Hi Crystal, don't worry too much. You have the right attitude and the right ambition! :)
    I would guess my triathlon goals are similar to your 10miler goals. 1) Get more fit, 2) Have fun, 3) Finish. The good news about those goals is there aren't any performance or time requirements.

    Two things I learned (very recently, I'm no expert) about running:

    1) Recovery is my friend. In endurance training, most of the time I should feel relaxed and be able to converse in normal sentences...not gasping out each word. I'm not good at pacing, either. I bought a running watch just keep me from pushing too hard but it still happens. When I push too hard, I slow down until I'm recovered and continue on.

    That may seem obvious but makes more sense when I add...

    2) Walking is not stopping! If I need to walk to recover, that's just fine. It took me a long time to change my own mindset that walking was not allowed. If you keep moving forward, you have not quit!

    In fact, walking is integral to some run training plans. Tim Williams did his first marathon by running 8 minutes and walking 1. And, if I remember right, he finished with an amazing 8 min/mile average pace.
    Lots, probably most, of non-professional Ironman triathletes walk during the marathon portion...some a little, some a lot. But they keep moving forward. By reports, one Annapolis Tri Club member walked almost all of the marathon at Ironman Lake Placid last week. But that was part of his plan....and he finished!

    Anyway, keep responding to pressure the way you are now, and you won't have anything to worry about. :)

    Just have fun.

  7. Keep going girl - you are an inspiration for running at all with 3 little ones. I think Glen's advice for you is great - such encouragement and a great plan. May God be your strength as you keep moving forward and just give Him the glory!!!

  8. wow - those kinds of runs aren't always very fun. but that picture is awesome. you're downtown! maybe we can be running buddies when i get into town for your half? long runs are rarely fun by yourself. keep it up!


Leave us a message (No account needed, you can be anonymous)