The wonderful thing about racing is that good or bad, there is always the chance to learn something new. For me, early lessons were all about how I am physically capable of more than I ever realized. Subsequent races helped reveal that I can also exhibit more mental strength than I realized to go along with that physical strength.
Some lessons seem logical, but perhaps they need to be experienced first hand in order to sink in completely. That was the case in this recent race.
Rationally thinking, I know I can’t PR on every single race forever. Early races are often PR’s because it is so new. But as you’ve been running and racing for a while, the PR may be more elusive. And that’s really okay! The whole racing experience isn’t solely about the time. It’s about challenging yourself, having fun and participating in the event. That lesson is finally settling in for me!
The other lesson comes from taking note of your body and forgiving yourself for being human. We all get sick from time to time. Last week was one of my times. I knew I was getting better but wasn’t 100% yet on race morning, but I also knew that running the race wouldn’t cause permanent damage. Yes, it pushed my recovery back some and I’ve been sick this week, but it’s not life-threatening. The challenge is to know when it is okay to push forward and to know when to rest.
So while I was disappointed at first, I am at peace with my race. I did as well as I could have given the circumstances, I had a new experience and I learned some new things.
Chime in, what lessons have you learned through racing or running? I would love to hear your stories!