I am still mulling over the details of my sprint triathlon last weekend. There were a few parts that went really well (the swim and the bike). However, the run was really just horrendous from the get go. Although I did beat my overall time from last year, I can’t help but feel lingering disappointment about my performance. I’ve spent the last week feeling really angry and annoyed. Having a blog, kind of forces me to address my thoughts head on instead of pretending it didn’t happen. So what’s a girl to do? Instead of focusing on why things didn’t go better (that’s another post), I am going to chat about How To Get Over A Disappointing Race.
While prepping for a big event, many of us pour our heart and sole into our training. We give up nights out with our friends and family in exchange for early wake ups and workouts. We give up alcohol and change our diets. We stretch and foam roll like our lives depend on it. We expect that all of our efforts will result in the outcome we hope for. But what happens when it doesn’t? We move on because we have to. We move on because we are runners and that’s what we do.
How to get over a disappointing race
Embrace what did go right
Find something positive about your race performance and remind yourself of that win. Forget about what went wrong (for now anyway).
Remember where you started
Likely, throughout your training phase you progressed in one or more areas. Did you increase your longest run mileage? Swim your first open water swim? Learn how to bike with clips?
Remember your why
Why did you sign up in the first place? What was/is your motivation for wanting to participate? Were you looking to increase your fitness level? Try something new? Likely this is where I (and maybe you) will find the most consolation after a disappointing race.
Find a lesson learned
Your Personal Best might not be your Personal Record
A great point that Coco here. We face different challenges with each race (physical, mental and situational) which all effect our performance. You could give it your all the day of the race (your personal best) but still not achieve your personal record. Isn’t that really what it’s all about?
Remember the training is the real win
I was reminded by Suz that the training hours you put in are the real win. The discipline and countless hours you likely spent training is what you should be proud of.
Sign up for a redemption race (or don’t)
A few years back after a different disappointing race, I signed up for a redemption race and crushed it. It was the perfect time for me to get over a bad experience. However, this might not always the right choice. Don’t feel like you have to do another race right away. Taking some time to rest and recharge is always a great idea.
Talk to yourself the way you would a friend
Stop beating yourself up. Think about how you might talk to a friend in the same situation. Likely, you would find positives to remind your friend of instead of reminding her of all the things that did not go as expected.
Just writing this all out has helped me think through some of my thoughts and I am ready to move on. Thanks for sticking it out until the end. Hope some of these tips help you get over a disappointing race (should you ever have one).
Tell me: how do you get over a disappointing race? Anything you would add?
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