5km Failure

I don't think it would be fair, or realistic, to only share my successes in sport.  Although today did not turn out the way I had hoped, the experience that I gained will be beneficial to my long term success.

If you have been reading my previous posts, you will have seen my goal (and slight obsession) with running a sub 19 min 5 km.  I attempted this last week, details and story can be found here, and was unable to clock a determined sub 5 min time due to measurements that were off... I'm not going to repeat last week's blog.  Anyway, since I theoretically achieved this goal I figured I would run 5km at the track and get an official time under 19 minutes.  I thought I had this in the bag.

It was a beautiful day today and I couldn't resist making the attempt.  I enlisted one of my fellow class mates to go with me and off we went.  I could tell during my warm up that it wasn't going to be as easy as I had anticipated.  My legs felt like they were lacking the power I needed them to have.  Regardless of this I decided to go for it anyway figuring that after a couple of laps they would be feeling right and things would go well.  I was wrong.

My plan was to run 90 second laps.  This would lead to an overall time of 18:45, allowing some breathing room in case I had a bad lap or two.  I ran my first lap in 80 but then I got back on track running roughly: 88, 89, 91, 92, 92.  At this point I was having a hard time holding 92 and I forgot all about that extra 11 seconds I put in the bank from my first lap.  As I neared the end of my seventh lap I decided to call it quits finishing that lap in a slow 95 seconds.  I just didn't have the juice.

After I went home feeling slightly discouraged I began analyzing the event and realized that I had forgotten about that fast first lap and realized that had I actually held on, even though my laps were getting slower, I could have quite possibly accomplished my goal.  I decided that I was going to skip swim practice that afternoon and head back to the track and try again.

I had a good lunch - trying to put the energy back into my legs, relaxed for a while, drew up a new race plan and off I went back to the track.

I felt sore and weak, probably a result from the earlier attempt, but decided to proceed.  The race went almost exactly as the first attempt except I ran 8 laps instead of 7 before I decided to quit.  Actually I ran 8 laps, took a minute rest to catch my breath, then ran the last 4.5 laps to at least finish the race.

Do I feel bad that I quit?  Actually no, I don't.  My goal wasn't to do a 5k; my goal was to do a sub 19 min 5k.  I knew that I wasn't going to be able to hold that pace and so there was no need for me to run a 19:05 5km, I've already done that.

I'm surprisingly not that disappointed - I mean, I was initially, but after contemplating the events I've come at peace with it.

My Reasons:

  1. Occasional failure makes success more enjoyable.  When I do reach this goal, I will know that it didn't just come easy and that I worked for it and earned it.  I will be proud of it.
  2. This failure has caused my to look at my current training program and see my definite short falls and point out what needs to change.  This will not only help me with this 5k goal of mine, but will provide me with greater gains that will help me in the long run (excuse the pun).  Had I not failed today, I may not have realized the changes that must be made to my training program and would have missed out on possibly months of additional gains.
My Promise:

I have not quit.  I will reach this goal.  I will give a report on my success before the end of this year.  Count on it.


Debi said...

Good attitude Andrew. I did a long bike ride yesterday (130km) and basically dragged my sorry a** through the whole thing. A ride to appreciate the better ones.
I look forward to you achieving your goal, as I know you will !!

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