A much wiser person once told me, “You did your best. Some days your best may not the same as other days, but you did your best.” This wasn’t told to me in relation to running races but it could be.
We spend weeks training for a race, in all kinds of weather, over all kinds of terrain. We faithfully do our long slow distance runs, hill work, speed work, and fartleks and get better at it each week. We stretch properly, strengthen our cores (some actually do this), and cross train. We give up late nights and fast food. Our diets would make the authors of the Canada Food Guide proud. We visualize the race course and have a race plan. We are ready to get a personal best in the next race.
BUT, is there always a but? No, but sometimes things go wrong. What affected you in a race may not have affected your friend. There are so many variables on race day that are not in your control, but you do your best anyway for that PB.
The weather was either too hot, too cold, too humid, too wet, too windy, snowing, or any combination of these.
A well meaning volunteer course marshal points you in the wrong direction and you either add distance to the course or its too short.
You are on track for a PB during a race and miss it by a few seconds, only later to find out the course was not certified and it was 400 meters too long.
Your plan to not go out fast at the start of a race didn’t happen, and slows you in the last half of the race. Ah, but it felt so good.
A spectator darts out in front of you during the race causing you to fall and hurt.
There is no more water at the aid stations on one of those very hot days.
You drop your gels and don’t stop too pick them up saying I don’t need those, to find out you really do.
That nagging injury you thought you dealt with comes back to visit you during the race. Hello old friend, long time no see. Sit and let’s visit a while.
You get sudden onset of a flu bug from your kids whom you’ve ignored during the past 4 weeks of intensive training at the half way point and have to drop out.
You come across another runner in distress during a race and stop to help. (Sandra gets kudo’s for doing this.)
That wasn’t honey on the stick. Yuck.
Where were your itch free shorts the morning of the race? Where is that guy with the stick, I could sure use him now.
You paid your entry fees for your dream race, only to get injured during training and can’t run it this year.
Despite all of this you did your best, and for that you should feel proud.
Thanks to family and friends for the kind words, phone calls, emails, and prayers as I deal with my illness.
You are the best.