Saturday, November 24, 2012

Is There Really Such Thing As Failure?

Image by @gapingvoid (www.gapingvoidart.com)

I think if you take action, there is no failure, for the doing itself is success. Think how many times we just don't DO.

At the end of October I ran my second half-marathon (the Miami Halloween Half).  I ran it last year and "trained" quite a bit, with several 8 mile runs beforehand. Even with the training, last year it took me 3 hours and 16 minutes to complete. (Yeah, I run like a turtle).

This year I was ill prepared due to travel and other things getting in the way of any proper preparation. I desperately wanted to find an excuse NOT to run this year... "I'm not ready" "I didn't prepare" "I won't be able to finish" etc. But in the end I lived up to my commitment (to myself and the $90 I paid to register for the event).

I ran, and was so excited that I did. I started very strong and for the first 10 miles I was way ahead of last year's pace and excited that I would beat my prior time, probably by 8 or 10 minutes. Then, with 3 miles to go, I hit a wall - mentally and physically - and I was convinced I could not continue.

I struggled to keep moving forward. Fighting back tears and pangs of a psychosomatic asthma attack (I had asthma as a kid, but haven't had any issues for more than 25 years, so I know the sudden wheezing and shortness of breath was self-induced... maybe as that excuse to stop I had been looking for...)

But I kept moving.  Barely running, probably at a pace slower than I could have walked... but running nonetheless.

And I finished. 6 minutes SLOWER than last year.

Did I fail?  No!  I finished.  I took action.  I did something I set out to do, albeit, not quite as well as I had hoped.

Many lessons learned, including the true value of training and preparation... and not just for a half-marathon.

I may have failed to reach my goal, but I succeeded in completing another half-marathon, and I learned a great deal along the way.

I'll put this failure in the "win" column... until next year!


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