Man, I am so proud of this photo!
It’s a photo of me and my 2 sisters at the end of our 3rd race with our “Finisher Medals” That medal hanging around my neck is actually worth more to me than gold!
You would not believe the blood, sweat and tears (and I can tell you there were a few tears along the way, ok tantrums too, but tantrums were not part of my saying!) that went into getting that medal, which now hangs proudly on my mirror as a reminder every day that when I set my mind to something……. I can achieve it!
The third race was going to be my crowning glory. The cherry on top. The Pièce de résistance. Now my second race had gone better than my first and so this time I was determined to better my time again.
This race there were over 1000 people at the start line so things were even more congested than the last 2 races…… But this time I was ready, I had my elbows in position and I was ready for anybody who got in my way! Don’t mess with a girl on a mission!
Once again, we were off. I had a great start to the race, but by half way round I had the stitch so bad I thought I was going to vomit (sorry, doesn’t paint a pretty picture I know, but just being honest) I was so sure all that extra training would pay off and I would skip across that finish line in a world record, but alas, it was not meant to be.
Now I have been told that not every time you go out for a run you will perform your best, you won’t always have a better time than the last time you ran. Some days, you’re just not wonder woman, in fact, some days you don’t even come close.
I have to admit I was pretty proud of myself as I crossed that line and I was handed my medal. Ok, so I know that everyone who crossed that line got a medal, regardless of your time, but for me it was more the fact that I had actually started in the first place!
As I mulled over my race and we got our official times, I realized that I was 20 seconds slower than the second race. I got madder and madder at myself! As the day wore on I was on a downward spiral……..
Why didn’t I push myself harder? (Any harder and I think I may have blown a fufu valve)
Why didn’t I train more? (I trained as much as I possibly could without killing myself)
Why didn’t I stay focused? (Any more focused and the runner in front of me would have had burn marks on her back)
Why? Why? Why?
Why didn’t I do this, why didn’t I do that, why didn’t I just do better?
I have come to realize over the years that I am a perfectionist. Now I am working on it, but when things like this happen, I throw myself under the first bus I see and look at all the negatives instead of the positives. All this over 20 seconds!
I forget that I just ran 5k’s – something I couldn’t do 6 months ago.
I forget that I did my best – and my family is so proud of me.
I forget that I just achieved a goal I set myself – and actually I should be proud of myself too.
I forgot that I stuck to an 8 week training plan and did it!
I was so focused on what I felt I hadn’t done, instead of what I had actually achieved.
When I stopped beating myself up, took a deep breath, and had a coke zero, I realized that actually, I’m not as bad as I make out I am. I am learning more and more to celebrate who I am and not compare myself to everyone around me. On the scales of things, 20 seconds was not going to ruin my life!
Turns out over the series of 3 runs, I came 42nd out of 273 female runners and 12th out of 76 in my age group. Not too shabby for an old girl who eats too many fries!