Saturday, August 13, 2016


No one wakes up in the morning and says, "Gee I think today would be an epic day to Fail", yet unfortunately it happens anyway.  Millions of times a day around the world people fail.  We do not meet others expectations, we do not meet our expectations, maybe we forgot the expectations.  Whatever it is WE deem as failure, if we do that, we fail.  It's pointless to tell someone they succeeded when the result is not what they envisioned as success.  It's nice, sometimes necessary, but deep down will not make them feel better. Why?  Because failure is deep inside, it's motivation, it's intensity, it's dedication, it's focus, its passion all unraveled after weeks, months, maybe years of working towards something.   So whether it is "thee" thing you were working toward or a milestone marker along the journey; when it doesn't meet your expectations - it's failure.  And that is where it gets tough. 
I wrote in my last blog about my "failure" at the Chicago 1/2.   Scores of people have told me how top 10 in a major race is a big deal, 1:24 is really fast, you ran a 5:33 mile!?  And yet I could not find anything deep inside me to be at peace with that.  It is not what I set out to do, I failed.  And that is okay.  Because from that failure I grew; where previously I would have floundered.
I immediately focused on understanding why I failed - I need the data to understand what I would need to do differently to achieve my end goal.  I was lucky!  This was a milestone race, not my end goal; what if I had learned this on game day?  I went out too fast, I was way too amped, and then I panicked, and it was a mental bonk.  I learned a) to pace myself b) if I did hit a fast split to be confident, I can run there I proved it because I came back at the end.
I gained confidence in myself.  I could have broke and said that's it - months of training...for that?  I quit - I am  not cut out for this.  But, instead, I grew hungrier, I realized how bad I wanted this, I realized I was not weak, rather I was in training.  And I was committed.
And so we got back on the horse quickly.  The MDRA 15K was planned, so we didn't decide to just go race, it was part of the plan all along.  But man was I glad it was so soon.  I wanted to use my new data :)
So last Sunday I ran the MDRA 15k which also happened to be the MN USATF 15k Championships - so a good field, a good course, and good timing.  
So what did I change?  I feel like my pre race nutrition is set.  No change.  My pre race warm-up is also set, but I put a little more focus into it-  I think I had been going through  the motions, and I wanted that to be a little more dialed in so I was more in tune with pace.  My first mile.  That was the change.  I didn't go out with the  lead pack - I ran my first mile in 6:12!  Compared to the 5:51 in Chicago I felt like I was walking!  And when I saw the 6:12 I literally said "sweet".  From there I knew I had it, I just held until mile 5 where I was in 6th place.  That's when Adam had said no more looking at the watch,  RACE.  And so I did, one by one picking them off as he says, and then with a 1/2 mile to  go seeing the leader a tad too late.  I was closing the gap but ran out of runway.  I crossed in 2nd, averaging 6:08 pace, never feeling better.   I came back, I learned from my failure versus letting it define me.  I would have  never done this even a year ago.
Failure is so key to the journey; in fact when used correctly it can be the road map to success.

My armswing!!!  Many of you know I have been working on keeping my arm in and it's working!  My dorky e3's are working!  #theyarenotweights