Biggest success of missing my goal

Biggest success of missing my goal

My background is not running and if you look at me or my body you will realize that it does not give it right away that I run but I do. This year my perspective on running changed. From using it to finish triathlons I recently started to enjoy it.

I was planning to finally achieve my goal of running a halfmarathon under two hours. It has been a dream for a while and this year everything looked promising. Only a couple of weeks out I felt fitter than ever.
The result  I did run a half marathon in 2:06 hours. 6 minutes slower than anticipated which means that I failed on reaching my goal which I see as one of my biggest successes.

When things change 

The months leading up to that half marathons were great. The body felt right, the weather was perfect. A few weeks out things changed. My head started focusing on other things in life. Things I struggled with took over my emotions and it felt almost impossible to focus. Thats when I start eating sweets, or just anything what was available. Yes I am a binge eater and lost control. In addition the weather started to change and finding motivation was a challenge. So it happened that the the of the race was here and I felt not prepared.

The nutrition which is usually my focus the week before was off. Three to five litres a day, that’s my intake 3 days before the race – this time I could not care. A little foot injury the week before did not help either. 
So here I was, standing at the start line – on a beautiful sunny autumn day in the middle of the vineyards of Lower Austria. It is definitely a place you have to visit when you are in the area.  A friend, was so kind to be my pacemaker and run with me.  10.a.m sharp we ran off. The first 10km were great and we were on target, actually a little faster which was the plan from the beginning. Pretty much at the 10km mark everything changed. First  stitches (which I don’t think where actually stitches) appeared and the first steps in walking pace started. From, „Wow I can do this“ to „Oh geez, please let this be over soon“ within second.

The challenge itself – my run

My usual strategy of walking through the aid station to ensure sufficient intake I replaced with bit of water while running. In hindsight that was not the smartest move. By now we are 2/3 into the race and the heat was exhausting. While I left the house wearing 3 layers of cloths I now was running with shorts and had taken off my to cool down.  I felt I was boiling. My taped food felt on fired and the heat went through my body all the way to my head. What pace we were running, no idea but the pace maker of 1:59 had already overtaken us and was out of sight which confirmed the fact that that ship had sailed. 

To fool my mind I broke the race down into four stretches of each five km (the last one I ignore) and imagined my home loop of five kilometres. This is very useful. To come to an end, we were at the last five km stretch and my past had shown, that usually the last two km I just go all out but this time at this particular distance mark I felt drained and empty. I kept telling myself – you only have one job – run – left right, left right, left right….and that worked for a while again I reached the point where I felt like stopping. stepping aside , lay down and sleep in fetal position. 

This race is beautiful but on part is a bit mean:  The last 3-4km you pass the finish line and hear the crowd. My aim was to get to this 20km mark to then let loose. I got to the 20km but there was nothing to let loose. I tried to sprint toward the finish line and when crossing it it was the first time ever in my sportive history, that I had to sit down and felt done done. 
Those legs were rocks, my head was boiling and I just felt dizzy and weak. It might have to be added that my foot was strongly taped which was perfect as I was running without pain but the duration of the run, caused my foot to naturally swell, and my blood circulation was a bit off. Once I got to the medical tent to cut this tape off I felt much better. 

Lessons learned

A few hours later I rewarded my pacemaker and myself with the best ice cream one Vienna. I got home quite late that day and I felt exhausted but good at the same time. I still ran my personal best and I went further towards my limits than I ever before. If you get to the finish line with 1/3 charged then you ran a safe race which was my past but this time my battery was done which showed my I did everything I could at the time. All above said were facts which were not changeable at the time but I accepted them and went further and that’s what I call my biggest success. It is just a matter of time and disciplined training until I reach my goal running a half marathon under 2 hours. But the lessons this race taught me are very valuable. Wether for my sportive, private or in professional life. 

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