Every race has a lesson. Here’s what I learned yesterday.

So, the news of what happened at yesterday’s half-marathon could be reported two ways.

Let’s look behind Door Number One first:

“I ran my slowest-ever Mercer Island Half Marathon yesterday and it felt hard the whole way and I was bummed.”

This is door number one. Plain. Boring. Typical. The kind of door I'm always tempted to walk through after a performance that my monkey mind deems as "sub-par." (Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
This is door number one. Plain. Boring. Typical. The kind of door I’m always tempted to walk through after a performance that my monkey mind deems as “sub-par.” (Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Now, let’s look at Door Number Two:

“I ran the same time on a hilly half-marathon course yesterday that I ran on a flat half-marathon course four and a half years ago. What used to be a great time for me then felt like a disappointment yesterday – which tells me how far my expectations (and my race performances) have grown since then. On an age-graded basis, yesterday’s performance is the equivalent of five minutes faster than my performance in September 2009, when I had just reached my goal weight – and when I was four and a half years younger than I am today. And that, ladies and gentlemen, makes me a badass.”

Well, this door looks a little different, doesn't it? Same door, different perspective. There's life behind that door. There's possibility behind that door. I like that door. (Image courtesy of nattavut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Well, this door looks a little different, doesn’t it? Same door, different perspective. There’s life behind that door. There’s possibility behind that door. I like that door. (Image courtesy of nattavut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Yes, everyone. I’m taking Door Number Two.

Races give us perspective.

This is why I love love love running races. I don’t run them to win stuff, because that would be futile. My very best efforts put me solidly in the 60th-percentile range on age-graded performance charts. That does not win stuff. (My running coaches are another story: they kicked butt yesterday – 1st and 3rd place, respectively, in their age divisions.)

I love running races because they become a barometer for my health. And they challenge my butt to get out there and participate in life, instead of staying inside, or hiding in an anonymous Zumba class and then ducking into the gym locker room, or – gulp – not exercising at all. Races get me out there. The results tell their stories. And the rest is just details.

They also have nice swag.

Oh, yes. That’s the other thing. Two races so far in 2014, and two of the niftiest swag tops I’ve ever gotten: the prettiest race shirt the Mercer Island race has ever given out – and a super-cool hoodie from the Hot Chocolate 15K earlier this month that is completely stylish and warm and usable for winter runs. Plus, the inside of the hood is PURPLE. Come on, you can’t go wrong with purple!

Recent #every48 workouts: Friday was tough – I wanted to run but I was really spent after a long work slog last week, so I settled for an exuberant 50-minute power walk in the afternoon. Saturday was a rest day to prepare for the race.  Sunday was race day – 13.1 miles over the hills of Mercer Island. Onward.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. HeyRachey says:

    Great reflection on that hard hard race Nicole! You nailed it on all fronts. I agree about the shirts–their best ever! We’ll wear them with pride. Congrats to you.

    Like

  2. Darci says:

    Love this reflection!

    Like

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