Monday, December 16, 2013

Kiawah Island Marathon & Failure is the path to greatness

EVEN OUR FAILURES WILL WORK FOR OUR GOOD WHEN GOD IS IN CONTROL OF OUR LIFE: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths," Proverbs 3:5-6.

As I think about my race this weekend, I am still a bit befuddled by the results and the day as a whole. I felt stronger than every in the weeks leading up to the marathon. I knew my fitness was where it needed to be and I was staying positive all week the week before even when I got sick just 6 days before the race with a gluten reaction to a gluten exposure. I didn't let myself get upset but keep telling myself my tummy would be right by race day. I was super proud of myself for staying so positive. By mid-week, the mummers of the weather were starting take Kiawah runners attention. The beautiful, cool, crisp weather we had been experiencing looked like it was going to take a turn for the worst for one day - that day was marathon day. I ignored it pretty well. Not looking at the weather till the day before and still thought I was going to give my best effort. Not once did I let it in my head that the weather would be a factor in my race outcome. I did decide to go out more conservative in the first few miles but I still had it my mind prepare to chase down the goal time.

When we woke up to go to the car, it was warmer than the day and night before. Ugh! When we started I could feel like I was working harder than I should be and I was struggling for a bit of air. My garmin never picked up satellite and did not work the entire race so I was completely going on feel. I was trying to relax myself into a marathon pace effort. The first few miles felt harder than they should. I kept thinking that once I relaxed into a rhythm the breathing would sort itself out. By mile 8, I was wheezing pretty hard. By mile 13, I was still on pace for 3:24-3:25 as the 3:25 pacer was behind me and I thought I could rally in the second half but nope by mile 14 the 3:25 pace group was swallowing me whole. I could not stay with them past mile 15. I started really feeling the heat and the humidity as my body was soaked. My shorts were sticking to me and I could not drink enough water and feeling like I wanted to vomit. I knew my mile 18, there was no rally in me. It was just going to be pushing as hard as I could without falling apart too badly. 

I finished in 3:37:30. Dazed, confused, and a little bit sad. 

This race was not my day but I know that there is a greater plan at play so I walk away knowing I controlled what I could control and the rest was out of my control. 60-70s and high humidity in the middle of winter just took more of me than I had. 

I know the times were overall slower and there were lots of PR casualties from the heat/humidity but I didn't want to be one of them. 

Oh well I will live to fight another day! I am healthy and my body is strong so I will rest and build back up for my next marathon.

At bedtime, I was talking to my wise son about my race. I said "Mommy, didn't get the time I wanted but I will keep trying".

He said to me some pretty amazing things. First he said - Failure is part of progress. Yup this is coming out of my 10 years mouth. Than he told me when he was getting bad grades at the beginning of the year and failing tests. He kept trying and look at where he is now. I was like "you are right Christian - you are doing so great now". He said that was because he failed and than he kept trying. I said so I had to fail to get better. He said no if you fail, you try your best the next time and you will do better. Such a deep talk with my 10 yr old, wise, deep thinking son. Than he paused and said this - "Failure is the path to greatness". Oh I love this sweet thing. I was like where did you hear/read that. He said I just made it up in my head. Than we laid quietly next to each other while he was doozing off and I got up to leave and he said Mommy, when I finally become an author - I am going to write all my stories about you being the main character and I am going to tell everyone that I got to be here because my mom taught me to Never give up. 

WOW - I feel like an angel spoke to my heart. Children's heart are so wise and open. They have not yet started seal themselves off from hope. They innately know what we as adults shut out when we experience disappointment. We adults make things much complicated.

Maybe my dream isn't about me at all but it is about the legacy I leave for my children. What they will learn and know in their hearts by me pursing my passion, taking risks, staying positive, failing, keep trying, staying open and hopeful. 

What I know about failure is that it is such an important part of success. No one daring greatly that is successful has not failed and risked their hearts in the process. Once you close yourself off after not meeting a goal, you have lost the dream. 

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." #WistonChurchill #Quotes by @Candidman


  1. Sweet, sweet son. Aren't kids amazing? My students say some really wise things like that sometimes, and I wish I had a chance to write them all down.

    I'm sorry your race didn't go as planned. We've all been there. Take some time to process your feelings about it, and then move on. You know what's inside of you, and you will get there, probably soon than later. Chin up!

  2. What a great post! My 10 year old also imparts some amazing wisdom to me, so I think you've got it right...children haven't been jaded yet, so they still have hope and positivity. We definitely can learn much from our children!