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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Success Out of Failure

There are times when things simply do not go as expected.  A week ago I drafted a blog post called Pull the Plug.  It was to be uploaded on Friday.  When Friday rolled around, I couldn’t bring myself to post it.

The draft was a lengthy rambling about the 20 mile long run I had planned for the weekend and how things just haven’t gone well leading up to this pinnacle of marathon training.  I’ll save you the self pity, but I basically surrendered before running a single mile and scrapped the whole idea of running The Hogeye Marathon on April 14th.

I read once that the best way to be right is to predict your own failure.  Well, I spent ample time predicting failure that afternoon.

The circumstances had not changed by Friday, but I decided no to post it because I felt I had to try.  If I feel short, my prediction was correct.  Yet, I thought it was likely that I’d get to 15 miles without much trouble and have a decision to make.

When I woke Saturday morning to the threat of rain and radar clearly showing I’d be wet within the hour, I almost went back to bed.  Yet, for some reason I just kept telling myself to get out there and go.  Quitting was always an option as I was already mentally prepared for that result.

I ran without fear and chose a route that would take me no less than 4 miles away.  If it rained, I’d just have to deal with it.  The lighting and light rain started around mile 10.  Ultimately, I arrived home after running 16+ miles feeling pretty strong.  I decided to bang out the last 4 on the treadmill and did so comfortably.

Where did that come from?

Something just clicked.  I’m still woefully undertrained for the marathon, but I really have no excuse not to lace ‘em up, pick a realistic race strategy and put #10 in the record books.

A common problem happened during this training season.  I did not officially enter the intended race and thus had nothing at stake if I failed to get prepared.  It was a combination of lack of commitment and life scheduling that got in the way.  I also convinced myself that I’d wait to see what the weather looked like for race day.  I’ve run too many “unseasonably warm” marathons to do another if I had options.

Realistically, I am relatively sure I will run it under any circumstances.  The alternate race options are either expensive (travel) or in locales that are just as likely to have poor weather.  I guess I’d better get started on booking a hotel in Fayetteville.

This episode was a great reminder to never count yourself out.  There is always a chance you are better prepared than you think.

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace