So You Had a Disappointing Race...

2:38 PM

55 minutes. That was my goal for my first 8k. 
1 hour and 12 minutes. That was my actual time. 
The difference? 17 minutes.

My training pace averaged 11:02 minutes per mile. My fastest pace was a very consistent 10:20 on a four mile run. I was well prepared for this. So what happened? Why did I miss my goal by 17 minutes? It wasn't a lack of motivation nor determination. Quite simply, it was pain. 

Somewhere between Mile 1 and Mile 2, I managed to strain my hip flexor, which is an injury characterized by tearing of one or more of the hip flexor muscles. It caused significant pain along the front portion of my right leg making it difficult to run. Though I pushed myself as much as I could, I spent the majority of the final three miles walking, rather limping, to the finish line.

All things considered, I didn't have much control over the outcome of the race. Why did it bother me so much to miss my goal time? I was injured. Shouldn't I have been proud of myself just for finishing? 

Unfortunately, I was not. The disappointment left me feeling sour all day long. What if I didn't jump around the puddles left by that morning's rain? What if I had trained more? What if this? What if that? Though I can't change what happened, I can learn to accept that not all races will go how I want them to. It's okay to run for fun and not for time. It's okay to walk when needed. Most importantly, it's okay to participate a in race just to receive a free donut afterwards. 

My next race is the New Year's Day 5k in Lincoln Park. Though I would like to finish within 35 minutes, I won't let myself be disappointed if it takes me longer. A hot breakfast will still be waiting for me after the race no matter what time I finish. 

P.S. I have also learned I need to stop asking so many questions. 

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