Except When You Don’t. Because Sometimes You Won’t.

As part of the ongoing Under Armour What’s Beautiful campaign with FitFluential, I declared a few of my running goals last month. The big one, run my first marathon sub 4 hours, was not achieved last week. I’ve been dealing with self-loathing, defeat, feeling like a failure, disappointment, anger…

I got served a big piece of humble pie. Have I told you before I don’t like pie?

Oh the Places You'll Go - happyfitmama.com

Why am I so angry with myself? I finished that beast with less than stellar conditions and obstacles but I still didn’t think it was good enough. I feel like a little whiny baby. Why can’t I be happy?

Truthfully, it’s because I didn’t run my own race. I’ve been comparing myself to others.

If X person can run in XX time, I know I could beat that.

It’s tough when all you see on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc is the good. I’m not knocking it – I do it too. But you come to expect that every run, every workout, every single day, is going to be rainbows and unicorns. That’s just not reality.

Since the race, not one person has asked me what my finishing time was. Not one. I’m the one who is hung up on it.

I’m still not completely OK with how things went down. But I’m getting there. Reading stories like Bret Dunlap’s in Runner’s World last month makes me put things into perspective.

Be grateful for what you CAN do.

I’m not done chasing my marathon dream. Just because sometimes you won’t doesn’t mean you can’t. For right now though, I’m moving on. It’s time to concentrate on my other goals. I need something to give me a little bit more pep in my running step.

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Goal: Run my first ever 5k in real life

I jumped right up to half marathons and bypassed all shorter distance races. What can I say, I wanted my money’s worth! :) This summer I’m plan on running my first 5k. Laura’s 5 by the 5th Virtual Race series has me interested in seeing what I can do off the treadmill. There are no shortages of 5k races in my area this time of year. My plan is to ease back into running next week and then pick a race date based on how my foot is feeling.

Goal: Run a trail race

Now that the marathon is over, I want to mix it up with trail running. One thing that interests me in trail running is the idea of listening more to my body and less on my watch. Obviously, something that I need to work on. I plan to leave my Garmin at home and just run. I’m hoping to get out on the trails within the next month and then decide a race.

Hopefully, concentrating on these new goals will give me what I’m looking for right now.

FYI – today is National Running Day! What are you doing to celebrate?

Do you get wrapped up in the comparison trap sometimes?

What goals are you chasing?

33 comments on “Except When You Don’t. Because Sometimes You Won’t.

  1. I can relate with you about comparing myself to other women my age! I’m new at running and accepted a challenge of coming eith a plan for my very first race in 52 days! Instead of trying a 5K, just like you, I jumped at a half-marathon! After I finished, I was super happy until the day after when I started comparing my time with other women in my age group!! I’m sure I can do better but my family think I did really good! So, listen to your family, I’m quite certain they are proud and impressed that you finished.

  2. I can see why you would be bummed after all the time you put into training and I think it’s ok to feel that way. But I also think there comes a time to use those feelings to move on and it sounds like you are. We all need time to grieve the loss of whatever…for you a finish time.
    I’m happy you are ready to let it go and looking forward to new goals!
    Running after school today 😉
    AmyC recently posted..National Running Day is Swagtastic!My Profile

  3. I think with social media these days, it’s SO hard not to fall into that comparison trap. Everyone has awesome runs, crushes their workouts, kills a race with 10-minute PRs. All sunshine and rainbows. No one wants to post all the negative stuff, the real stuff. So it starts to seem like everyone lives these perfect little lives. I have gone through the would’ve should’ve could’ves after most of my races, even when I was proud. Just don’t let it overshadow that amazing accomplishment. You did something most people will never do.
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..Cycling, Larabars & Bestowed Box Turn a Blue Day AroundMy Profile

  4. Disappointment is understandable. It’s always disappointing when things don’t go our way. You’ve had your time to grieve, now you’re doing the right thing and moving on. You can’t change the past.
    CONGRATULATIONS on your marathon finish!
    I ran my first 5K two months after my second marathon. Hee hee. I’m a little backward like you. :)
    Jamie @ Rise.Run.Mom.Repeat. recently posted..Happy National Running Day!My Profile

  5. We really are on the same wavelength today! Checking the ego is just plain hard, especially in the face of disappointment. Your point about no one asking about your time is a really great point–we are the only ones who really care in the end. And if we’re not, maybe others who do don’t have our best interests at heart anyway?

    I like you trail running and 5k goals…that’s the beauty of running; we can switch gears any time we want.
    misszippy1 recently posted..The running egoMy Profile

  6. Marathons are tough because you pour so much time and effort into training, but you cannot control race day conditions. It’s hard not to feel disappointed when you don’t reach your goals after devoting so much of yourself to one race. I’ve run two marathons, and the first words out of my mouth after finishing were along the lines of ‘Next time I’ll run faster…’ Looking back, I’m incredibly proud of my finishes. Marathons are TOUGH! Feel proud of the AMAZING accomplishment you achieved just by finishing.

    So excited for your first 5K! You’re going to do AWESOME! And trail running is WONDERFUL! Thanks for the honest post. It will help a lot of runners who are struggling with similar feelings!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Mountain Born – Kuhl Aktiv Pant ReviewMy Profile

  7. I think it is natural to compare yourself to others. As a much older runner, my main goal is stay injury free and that helps keep my ego in check. Of course I want to do well, and I always want to win my age group in local races, but most people I communicate with about running online are half my age! That is one of the best parts about running, no age barriers!
    Pam recently posted..Happy National Running Day!My Profile

  8. Mine was “If Oprah can run it in 4 hours than I can too”!…yeah not so much! You will get there…I know it! I’m chasing my sub 1:50 half mary goal…one day it will be mine!! For whatever reason this post has me singing, “You can’t always get what you want…but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need!”
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Happy Running Day!!!My Profile

  9. First of all– Oh the Places You Go is one of my FAVORITE books– thank you for that quote– we should all live by Dr. Seuss! My little one loves that book and so do I! I
    Head trash is the worst– but I love your summer goals! I’d love to a trail run one day! Have a good one!
    Laura@ Fit Running Mama recently posted..WIAW and National Running Day!My Profile

  10. Oh wow! Thank-you for being so honest. I just completed my first half marathon and while I know I should be soo proud of myself I can’t help but compare myself to others and think I should have done better. Your story is making me feel better :)
    Trish @infinebalance recently posted..Guest Post – Veggie TacosMy Profile

  11. I’ve definitely been guilty of being caught in the comparison trap in the past. It’s easy to do with blogging too! I’ve since gotten a lot better, and I’m usually able to catch myself before I get myself into it too deep. Sometimes it helps me to just step away from the computer, and spend time with those I love… It always makes me feel SO much better about myself and my life.
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted..WIAW #85: I My Profile

  12. I completely understand! I didn’t get my goal half in May because of a similar issue as you, and I completely gave up – mentally and physically. And then I didn’t even go sub-2 because I acted like a baby. Anyway, it’s good to acknowledge the feelings and use it to forge ahead.

    I love the idea of a trail race! I’ve done a few, and it’s just such a refreshing, relaxing and rejuvenating atmosphere.
    Kimberly @ Healthy Strides recently posted..Celebrate good timesMy Profile

  13. When I first started my blogging venture, the comparison trap about did me in (with everything – running, blogging, comments, even being happy). It took me awhile to realize that just because I now had a blog and read lots of blogs, my running and other fitness activities were still about me.
    Even days like today (National Running Day), I feel a bit guilty that I’m not running because I’m seeing stuff about it everywhere. But, I need a running break for my own good so I’m trying not to feel like I have to change that plan.
    I love your new running goals!!! And the fact that you aren’t done with your marathon dream!!
    Kim recently posted..Zumba – A Few ThoughtsMy Profile

  14. You are so right that it’s only you that cares what the actual number is. Although I will admit that I do the same thing – when I see someone sharing their finishing times, I will think – oh, if so and so can get that time, so can I. Bad.

    Good luck with your race goals. I’d love to do a real trail race. I’ve done a 5K for the last few years on horse trails, but it’s not true trails through the mountains.
    carrie@familyfitnessfood.com recently posted..Workouts these daysMy Profile

  15. Oh my sweet girl, I have been in these same shoes. The marathon is a humbling race and every single person runs it so different, for most, it takes years to master that distance. I understand your anger and frustration so well, be gentle, please be gentle on yourself. Look at your anger as if it were big red hairy monster, your anger is not you, it is not your true essence. Trail running is wonderful medicine for the soul, wish I were there to take a quiet run with you.
    RunWiki recently posted..Happy National Running DayMy Profile

  16. Every morning I wake up so grateful for what I can do! I hug myself because I have 4 working limbs, I can see, I can hear, taste, etc… We need to not take the little things for granted!

  17. I am always falling to the comparison trip. As a back-of-the-pack runner I always feel like I am not pushing it enough. Truth is, I am a slow runner, I have weight to lose, and I will get there. It is hard when I see other peoples “slow paces” because it makes me feel crappy, but I know I am doing my best.
    Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly’s recently posted..WIAW: Grilled EditionMy Profile

  18. Oh I totally get this. All the comparison and it is hard to remember to own our OWN journey and not compare. The marathon is such an unpredictable thing and I know that you will come to find some peace with it. I love your goals of running a 5K and a trail race – really? You haven’t run a real 5K? We are our own hardest critics.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Midnight Walk in New York CityMy Profile

  19. I know that you’re hearing this a lot, but you should be so PROUD of your accomplishments. I know it might not have been what you wanted but that’s what makes it even more amazing, you pushed through when things got rough when most would stop.

    It’s hard not to compare, what works for some doesn’t for others. I get caught up in it sometimes, and that’s hard to get out of. What I think I do more is be too critical of myself, thinking “well i SHOULD have done better” I look at past races and training and say, I should be further along. Fact of the matter is progress, no matter how little is still progress.
    Laura @losingrace recently posted..Keuka Lake Sprint Tri (My first!)My Profile

  20. As silly as it sounds, one really has to mourn the loss of a goal missed, complete with the stages of grieving. It sounds like you’re doing just that. :) I missed my marathon goal this spring due to an infection I didn’t know I had on race day, so I spent almost a week beating myself up over it before I went to the doctor. It is okay to have an off day. Just think of your marathon time as a benchmark and how much easier it will be to reach your sub-4 goal next time when you’re feeling great!
    Karen@ La Chanson de Ma Vie recently posted..The Easy Way to Have a Running Infused Weekend….My Profile

  21. Oh my goodness, I am finally caught up with your marathon experience. What a drag of some weather conditions but as miserable as it sounded you pushed through and made it happen. Amazing!! I am so sorry your tummy bothered you too, but now your next marathon will probably seem like a piece of cake compared to this one. You rock! Lovely post btw. :0
    Melanie @ Nutritious Eats recently posted..Pin It Party!My Profile

  22. Trail races are the best! And leaving the Garmin at home for your trail runs is smart. I try to not pay much attention to pace on the trails…it just varies so much and isn’t a great measure.

    My next big goal is to break 3:40 in the Chicago marathon this year (or hit my B or C goal if not). Training starts next week!
    Gina Bhawalkar recently posted..It’s National Running Day!My Profile

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  24. Thanks for sharing and let me say congrats for going the distance.
    I know how you feel, and it will always be that way unless you change your existence paradigm. Let me explain; When you accept that we are human beings having a spiritual experience you will always fall short, but if you accept that we are spirits having a human experience then you will laugh and applaud your self more because being human mean that we are limited, restricted. Having said that let me take this opportunity to personally invite you and fellow subscribers to “The NO EGO PERFECT LOVE 5K RUN ”
    http://www.eventbrite.com/e/no-ego-perfect-love-5k-run-tickets-9698808397

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