Giving up on failure...



For weeks now, my coach and I have been working through my mental hurdles on our way to this marathon. What we have been finding is that I am my own worst enemy.

There is a scene in the Empire Strikes Back where Yoda is training Luke on the use of the force... and Luke gives up. When Yoda uses the force to lift the X-Wing out of the swamp, Luke says 'I don't believe it' and Yoda responds 'That is why you fail.'

That right there sums me up. I have a hard time believing I can do this- even when the proof that I can is right in front of me. Something in my mind keeps whispering that I don't have this in me. That I don't deserve it. And that right there, is why I fail.

The reality is that I *do* deserve this. I *have* put in the work for it. Paid my dues along the way. Even though the voice of doubt whispers to me that I'm not really a runner, the fact is that I *am*. The challenge for me will be to believe it... and I must. I must learn to believe it, and learn to believe it quickly or San Diego will be a brutal challenge. So, even though it isn't Lent, I am giving this up. Giving up my fatalistic mindset. Giving up the negativity. And like giving anything up for Lent, this will not be easy...

This past weekend I ran another half marathon. With my hip acting up, I was nervous going into it. And sure enough, my mental games caught up with me, and I ran a miserable race. I threw up twice on the course- a first for me. I got to the starting line with my a-game, and with each successive sick-fest, lost a letter, having to finish the run on my c-game, at best. I ended up finishing the half just 2 minutes shy of my PR. A PR that I will openly admit to being embarassed about. I wanted a new PR. I wanted it badly, and to say I was disappointed with my performance is the understatement of the day.

But life goes on. I need to push this one aside and learn from my mistakes. One more race for me before San Diego... and then the moment of truth. T-minus (just less than) 3 weeks and counting.
1 Response
  1. Glenn Jones Says:

    Okay. Chin up. Don't be afraid of the uknown. Be afraid of the known. And you've identified the known that you need to be afraid of - yourself! Good start.

    You point something interesting out. One of the reasons that I am liking trail running more and more is that the emphasis is *not* on the PR. In fact, now that I've been at this for a couple years, I'm beginning to think that PRs are really overrated. It's the conquest that's important. Face it - we should be focused on finishing the race. Not how fast we did it in. No two races, heck, no race on different days, are the same. Weather changes, heat, humidity, cold, etc., makes each race a new adventure.

    It's one thing to compare a 5K R to a 5K PR. It's another animal entirely to compare a marathon PR to a marathon PR.

    Okay. Off my soapbox now. Carry on! Enjoy your victory lap on June 6th.