failure is learning

I had a disappointing experience this morning, July 25th and am in the midst of processing my thoughts. In the Quad Cities we have an annual race called the Bix 7. It is our community’s annual signature event and it is GREAT! 15,000 people line up on Brady Street in downtown Davenport to run (or walk) a rigorous 7 mile course which includes some brutal hills and guaranteed humidity.

Two of my good friends and I have been training for 2 years in a quest to run the Bix 7 under 50 minutes. I would have attempted in 2014; however, my son was getting married that day and my wife asked me not to run. I resisted at first since I had been training for the previous 12 months but begrudgingly complied with her request. My friends ran well but did not reach our goal so we took another stab at it.

After analyzing our training from 2013-2014, we made some adjustments we believed would make us successful. We ran longer distances, ran more often each week, committed to shedding some weight, and tapered the week before the race. It seemed like a recipe for success but did not give us the results we wanted.

The best news of the day was that Curt ran his fastest Bix ever and missed our goal by about 1 minute! Both Rick and I were excited for him and even though it wasn’t what he was aiming for, it was a big win for him and he has strong momentum toward the goal of sub 50.

Rick and I didn’t do as well. Rick’s time was good but was actually a couple minutes slower than last year. That pill is a little harder to swallow but he summed it up well when he said, “Sometimes you just don’t have a good day of running – today was one of those days.”

I finished last in our trio. It didn’t help that I had to wait 8 minutes to use a port-o-pot facility 2/3 of the way through the race but when nature calls…. I’m a little bummed because I missed our sub 50 goal by 7 minutes and 25 seconds. On the other hand I was dragging the last ½ of the race and am not sure I was going to make it in time. I felt prepared at the beginning of the race but concur with Rick’s statement above.

Part of me wants to wallow in the self-pity of working so hard only to come up short but that is a pointless exercise. I’m also somewhat embarrassed because I was not shy about sharing our sub 50 goal with others. I pride myself on setting goals, working hard, and successfully realizing my goals. Today I feel like I let myself and a whole lot of other people down.

The pity party is over and I’m ready to focus on the future. I regularly challenge others to persevere and never give up. I now have the opportunity to be a personal example of my advice. I believe it is good to be humble and this experience has certainly humbled me. As ‘hard’ as I believe I worked the past two years, I know I could have worked harder. I know I could have performed better with respect to nutrition, sleep and workouts. I WILL get smarter, I WILL work harder, and I WILL be even more committed to accomplishing this goal in 2016. I’ve already talked to Rick and Curt and they are on board to try it again. This excites me because I KNOW we can do it.

Success is not giving up on a goal.