Sunday, March 11, 2012

ACCEPTANCE: The Key to Enjoying Your Running & Racing

So, I ran the Martha Jefferson 8K Run 42 seconds slower than last year and 77 seconds slower than my goal time, but I'm trying to accept this performance.

Acceptance is key. 

I can be disappointed, but I refuse to feel like failure or dwell on the negative for too long.

As I mentioned in my last post "ENJOY your running AND your racing", you can't PR in every race and this is a challenging and hilly course.

I did the best I could on this day and on this course. I didn't go out too fast, in fact, my first three .5 mile splits were almost identical to last year, but I just couldn't maintain the pace after 2 miles.

I'm probably not properly recovered from my half PR 13 days ago. A sleepless night (my son was sick) and a late babysitter (full blown anxiety attack for 30 minutes waiting for her to show up!) were added handicaps.

It's important to try to pinpoint any possible negative influences on a race as well as the positive influences. And, on Saturday, it wasn't all bad.

The best part of this race, what kept me motivated despite the grueling hills, were all the amazing, vibrantly cheering volunteers and my running friends on the course saying "Hi" or off the course taking photos (sorry if I didn't smile!).

I love this running town! I'm so lucky to be part of this unique community that is so supportive of each other on race day and every day of training.

Thanks Cville! 


I forgot to mention that the worst part about the race was getting out-kicked steps from the finish line.

The three of us (pictured below) finished within 2 seconds of each other.

Photograph taken by Suzanna Turanyi

Sadly (for me), the woman 2 seconds ahead of me was in my age group, so I placed 4th. Waah!

The woman who beat me by 1 second is someone I've been working with via email on a running related listserv for Cville speedsters, but I didn't know that when she flew past me and I had no chance to respond (that's racing!).

After we finished I gasped, "How old are you?!" hoping she wasn't in my age group. (ha).

She introduced herself and I realized who she was. She told me that I motivated her to push it at the end (right past me!).

So, even though it sucks to "lose" - it actually feels good to help inspire others (to beat me).

I think it was the shirt! ;)


Elisabeth Welch-McClellan said...

You did a great job even if it was slower than last year, congratulations! BTW I love your t-shirt!

TWINS RUN in our family said...

Thanks so much for reading Leah's post and for your comments!

Malinda thought of the t-shirt idea and Leah made the design - we're a good team! :-)

Funny thing about the race results...with her time, Leah could have won the 20-24 age group. There are just too many fast women in the 40-44 age group living in Charlottesville! ;-)