I hate to fail.
I basically view most of my life as a competition. From the moment I wake-up I’m on my game, getting work done, cleaning, making breakfast, getting the boys out the door, getting my workout in and on and on and on.
I have one gear – fast.
I do not recommend living like this.
I don’t really do it on purpose, it’s just part of who I am, and it comes in handy in competitive areas where I like to hang out. What I thought was a problem in 2015 is that I failed. A lot.
We may define failure differently, but I’m going to break it down so you can see what I mean, and hopefully you too can bring meaning to failure and even be glad for it. I am.
JANUARY – MARCH
I was so excited for the year to begin. I had two huge race goals – qualifying for triathlon nationals and setting a PR at the NYC Marathon. I had not run a marathon in almost eight years and, in 2015, I was going to run two!
I trained hard. Maybe too hard, because I ended up having surgery on my bladder.
I also turned 40 on March 21. Coincidence? I think not.
I learned the importance of hydration and rest through this surgery fail!
After that little hiccup, it was time to run my first marathon on 2015 – The Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon. Little did I know, the 3:28:22 finish time there would become my marathon PR.
New Jersey Marathon: 3:28:22 (PR) – 1st in age group 40-44, 2nd in Masters Division
I learned to celebrate all races and PRs because it may be your last!
MAY – JUNE
These months were spent recovering from the marathon and training for one of two triathlons in which I hoped to qualify for nationals. I truly thought I would be able to qualify the first time around. I trained hard, I felt good and the timing was right. Except it wasn’t.
Pat Griskus Sprint Triathlon: 1:16:16 (swim 17:35/bike 34:38/run 21:35) 12th woman overall
I lined up for the Pat Griskus triathlon filled with confidence. I raced as hard as I could. It was a staggered start so I had no idea where I really placed until they started handing out the awards. I made my friend stand around for hours waiting, since I was sure I placed in my age group. I did not.
I came in 12th overall and 5th in my age group which is not good enough to qualify for nationals. I wrote about how, when I finished the race, I felt amazing! I was happy and I finished strong. Then, when I found out the results, I cried most of the way home, feeling like a complete failure.
I learned so much from that race. Most importably, I leaned that it’s how you feel about yourself and not where you place that matters most. I also learned just how badly I wanted to qualify for nationals. Really, really badly.
Women’s Sprint Triathlon: 1:19:37 – 1st in age group, 7th overall and nationals qualifier
August was amazing. I spent most of it on gorgeous Lake Winnipeasaukee with my family. I swam miles in the lake, ran hill after hill in the gorgeousness that is New Hampshire, encountered way too many wild animals and cycled until I couldn’t breath. It was amazing.
On August 30 I was home for my last chance at qualifying for triathlon nationals – the Winding Trails All Women’s Triathlon. I was so ready.
I had an almost perfect day, came in 7th overall and won my age group. Oh and, qualified for nationals in August 2016!
SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER
These months were insane and probably the best two months of the year. < – – and they had nothing to do with my “goal” races. Interesting.
I ran six races, placed in my age group in every single one, had the opportunity to be paced by elite runner Tina Muir while at a retreat with so many other awesome women THEN, I went to Runner’s World for the weekend and you know, met all my heroes and hung out with more awesome women.
Holy crap. Best two months ever.
September 7, 2015: New Haven Road Race 20K: 1:32:23 – 3rd in age group
October 4, 2015: Maine Marathon 1:32:24 – 1st in age group 40-44 and 3rd in Masters
October 16, 2015: Runner’s World Trail Race/3.8 miles: 33:30 – 3rd woman
October 17, 2015: Runner’s World: 20:12 – 1st in age group and 1st in masters division
October 17, 2015: Runner’s World: 46:50 – 1st in division 40-44, 1st in masters division
October 18, 2015: Runner’s World Half 1:39:00 – 6th in age group/2nd in “grand slam” of 4 races in 3 days
November 1, 2015: New York City Marathon: 3:31:00
And then it all came crashing down in the form of the NYC Marathon. This race was supposed to be my cherry on top, my grand finish to an amazing year, my crowning glory where I achieve a ridiculously speedy PR of 3:15.
Well, none of that happened.
What did happen was that I crashed and burned, due in part to lack of electrolytes, and dragged my sorry ass to the finish in 3:31 which was a whopping 16 minutes off my goal time, and even three minutes slower then my spring marathon. Whomp whomp.
But, once again, I learned so much more from this race then my successful ones. Firstly, I will never not take in electrolytes prior to a race. Ever. I also learned that I just don’t care that much about the marathon. After my first triathlon I wanted to get back out there so badly and prove something. After NYC? Meh.
The most important lesson I learned was to not rob myself of the joy of running just because of a missed goal.
[Tweet “Never rob yourself of the joy of #running because of a missed goal! Lessons of #2015 #Train4Life”]
So far, this has been an amazing month of reflection, refocusing and happy workouts. I’m so excited to see what I can do at the age of 41 (gasp!) in 2016. But first, a video montage of the greatness of 2015.
Thank you for making it such a great year! I hope you get as much from reading my blog as I do from your comments, tweets and emails. Thank you for reading and training for life with me!
I’ll be back on Monday with the final rundown of the year. Get ready!
What is a failure you learned from?
What are some highlights from your year?