Last night's run was a failure.
I was due for a 5-mile tempo run with the middle three miles at 9:43. I ate dinner at 6:30 and went to run at 8:15. By the end of the first mile, I was covered in sweat from the humidity and suffering those rolling chills you get when your body wants to expel what you ate and is deciding which avenue would be best to get rid of it.
I immediately slowed down, determined to get five miles in even if they weren't at tempo pace.
By the halfway point, I was in agony. I texted Matt, who was at the gym, to take a specific route home so he'd pass me. He picked me up at just a little under 4.25 miles.
Sulking in the car, blasting the AC to bring down my core temperature, I mumbled, "I'm a failure."
To which he replied, "No, you're not. You got out there and tried. You can't be a failure if you try."
I have a couple opposing views on failure myself. On the one hand, failure's not a good thing; but on the other, we learn from it, and we can't grow or change without it. I tell my students this all the time, and I would be a hypocrite if I didn't apply it to myself.
So yes, my run was a failure, but I can concur with Matt that I, myself, am not.
I've reflected on the run and taken three important lessons from it.
1. This is the second speed-workout that I did at night and got sick during. I need to do hard-effort runs in the morning.
2. I can't get cocky and expect that hard runs will be easy during the summer. I have to anticipate and plan for speed-work to be tough.
3. I hated to cut the run short and I feel stupid for doing it, but it was for the best based on how dizzy and sick I felt. It doesn't count as quitting if you plan to get back out there.
I won't let this one failed run ruin my week, and I plan to be much smarter and more dedicated to getting all three of my runs done in the morning next week. I can't bounce between evening and morning - I have to be consistent. I usually love tempo runs and I'm not going to let this one jade my feelings toward speed-work.
|Spot the apostrophe error and win...pride in being able to tell when an apostrophe is being misused!|
I've decided to learn and grow from this run and call it a mental workout. I've decided not to let it beat me.
How do you define failure?
Do you avoid risks (and failure) at all costs?
Tell me about a time you failed and learned from it.
You might have failed to reach 5 miles on you tempo run but getting in over 4 miles means it wasn't a total failure! It was actually much closer to success than failure!!ReplyDelete
Failure would be what I did last night.... put on my running clothes and then sat down on the couch for the rest of the night!
Funny story...Wednesday morning at 5 I got up, put on my running clothes, and got to the front door...and just decided today wasn't the day and went back to bed! Talk about failure! hahaDelete
Just remember: you would have felt worse about yourself if you stayed home sitting on the couch!ReplyDelete
I agree with Ben and with Matt....you got out there and tried....that is what counts. You'll make adjustments and will kill your runs next week. Not all runs are good ones...and that's why we value and appreciate a great run when we do have one!!!ReplyDelete
So true...and a tough run is what makes the other runs seem so much better!!Delete
You are most definitely not a failure. It is amazing that you made it to 4.25 miles!ReplyDelete
(I spotted the apostrophe error as well)
Nice job catching the error! I bet you're an A student in English :o)Delete
I don't think you failed Ali. You did not complete your run, but would completing your run and being sick for the rest of the night/next day be success? Hell no! You LISTENED to your body, you are reflecting on the info you have and learning from it- when to do speed so you don't feel lousy, etc. I look at people who run through pain and extreme sickness (dizziness and upset stomach is extreme in my book, especially if it is hot out and you are alone... recipe for disaster) and I don't think, "Wow, they pushed through! They are so bad ass!" I think, "Eek they are really risking their health and future injury." You are such a SMART runner, Ali, and that is why I read your blog. I don't even read blogs in which the runner does STUPID things as if they are what every bad ass runner should do. Yes, we all do dumb stuff sometimes (uhhh me running with a scratched cornea haha) but I mean someone who does it all the time and doesn't learn from their mistakes. I am sorry you didn't finish your run, and believe me, I know how frustrating it is. But that is not failure. That is smart running at it's finest, especially because you know what you need to do next time to have successful speed work.ReplyDelete
This seriously means so much to me. You're such a strong, competent runner, so it means a lot that you think I'm a smart runner! Seriously, thank you for this comment.Delete
I think we all have those toxic thoughts at times. I know I do. I put more pressure oneself than anyone I know. I'm learning to ease up on myself and value any day I can run. :) I've learned to use my crappy runs as learning experiences for the next time.ReplyDelete
We are definitely our worst enemies...I'm surprised you have crappy runs, because all of your runs inspire me! But yes, I'm still learning to let the tough runs become learning experiences, too.Delete
You are absolutely not a failure! I definitely relate with you about how a bad run can make you feel like a failure though. I have to remind myself constantly that I am NOT my runs. I am not defined by my working out. I am not defined by what my body looks like. I am defined by my personality. I think if we are kind and generous human beings, we definitely aren't failures. We are certainly doing something right. You are wonderful!ReplyDelete
Also, I didn't realize that shots was possessive! What do his shots own?
Oh, that is nail on the head...we are NOT our runs, or our working out, or our bodies. We're so much more than that.Delete
His shots clearly own...awesomeness? Haha...glad you caught that mistake, too!
Ah being a runner is mentally as well as physically challenging. We are so supportive to other runners but we are our own worst critics. I have also cried out that I am failure whilst trying to get a run in, sometimes we just have a bad run day - that doesnt make us failures. Good luck and keep up the running, I personally also battle with running after eating so running in the morning before breakfast works best for me.ReplyDelete
It's definitely a mental workout sometimes, and we're always getting stronger, even after a tough run.Delete
Inspiring post! You are not a failure, you just had a bad run. And we all know bad runs will make us feel like superstars on the next run.ReplyDelete
Last summer, I was very cocky with training. I thought I could go out there and smash all my previous PRs and I couldn't. That's okay because in the end it makes us stronger and makes us fight harder (and run faster!!!)!
You're totally right - the next run made me feel amazing haha. It's like a "bad" run is a sign the next will be amazing!Delete
I hope you are feeling better about this so-called failure now that a few days have passed. Training is a process, and we know that things do not always go to plan....even though it really sucks when that actually happens! Now you're learning what times work best for your tempo runs and you can adjust accordingly. This one event won't hurt your overall training. Each run you do is making you stronger!ReplyDelete
Looking back on this run, I'm glad that it sparked a fire in me to keep working at it so I could complete my training fully!Delete
My favorite quotes about failure have to deal with the fact that if you're not failing you're not trying! And I also like "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly" by Robert Kennedy...I used to quit all the time when I failed something. Now I've learned to use it as a learning experience and keep moving forward. I sometimes look back and think how different my hobbies and life may have turned out if I didn't quit when I wasn't perfect, but the important part is that now, even if I don't do something as great as I think I should I try again!ReplyDelete
I know this was posted before you ran your marathon, but fyi anyone who runs a marathon is NOT a failure! You're awesomely kick ass!!
I think these days I'm less likely to fully quit something or see a DNF as failure...it's all part of the process and we can't be perfect from the word go!Delete