Last weekend I ran the Shamrock Run 5K and while I am pleased with my time (31:06) the race itself was rough. However, I choose to look at tough races and life situations in general as an opportunity to learn and grow from. Every race won’t be perfect just like life isn’t perfect so I’d like to share some lessons learned when races don’t go as planned. Hopefully I can take these lessons and learn from my first 2017 race and will hopefully have a better race next time.
Lessons Learned When Races Don’t Go As Planned
This race had been rescheduled three weeks ago due to weather, it was actually supposed to be before Paddy’s Day. The weather last Saturday was not good either, we were just getting over a brutal snow / freezing rain storm. I live in Newfoundland and it isn’t unusual to get snow until May. haha Anyways the weather was not good, it was freezing and the winds were high.When the race started I took off too fast, wasn’t warmed up and immediately felt like I couldn’t catch my breath. I stayed this way for most of the race and it wasn’t pleasant.
Lesson learned: Pace yourself from the beginning and warm up prior to starting.
I trained for this race solely on a treadmill, I am no longer used to running outside in winter. I am not sure why I thought this approach was a good idea but I did for some reason. My lungs were on fire from the cold air, I was uncomfortable the entire time.
Lesson learned: Train for the race conditions
The day before the race I washed and dried my Jaybird X3 Headphones. I’m still not over it. I plan to buy a new pair but on the way out the door I grabbed my iphone headphones and did not test them. Turns out they are broken and I had to run the entire race with them in my hand.
Lesson learned: Test your gear or don’t be dependent on headphones
I am just not a winter runner, I am happy to stay on the treadmill and do all my workouts inside this time of year. I hate the cold and I just don’t enjoy running in slippery cold conditions. While I know this about myself, I still registered for a race in March. As mentioned I live in a place with terrible winter weather and training outside is not really safe this time of year. There are no sidewalks around my house and the snow forces you out into the road. The treadmill is really my only option and while it works it just doesn’t allow for training in the race conditions. Also, the race was a double lap of an out and back course which meant that you basically ran the same route four times. I hate laps and find it mentally tough to keep seeing the same things over and over.
Lesson learned: Know yourself, choose races that work for what you know about yourself as a runner
After the race I was initially feeling really negative about it and this post probably reads really negatively but it’s not all bad. I am truly really proud of my time and the fact that I didn’t walk once. I feel like it was a good test of my fitness at this point in the year leading into summer racing season.
Lesson learned: Be proud no matter what
What is the greatest lesson you have learned from a bad race? Share in the comments!