I just wasn’t strong enough yesterday.
I set out on a run with a very specific target pace in mind. As part of my build up to my next race I have a number of benchmark runs I want to do and this was one of them, so I was ready to put in plenty of effort and put up with a bit of pain in the attempt. After a long warm up, I picked up speed until I reached my target. I then stopped accelerating and just attempted to maintain my speed. It was a speed I thought I should have been able to run, but on this occasion I began to struggle early.
After only a couple of kilometres running fast my pace was dropping and it was taking continual surges of additional effort to get it back to where I wanted it to be. I fought on pretty bravely for a few more kilometres, but eventually (still five kilometres from the finish) I had to accept I was not going to achieve today’s goal.
Accepting this was a bit of kick in the guts, but as it didn’t feel like it was due to any lack of effort, I couldn’t be too upset about it. I pushed on, keeping my speed as high as I could manage for the last few kilometres and telling myself it was good mental training if nothing else. There was little satisfaction at the end of the run, but I was fair to myself, accepting that I may have just expected too much and that the outcome was largely beyond my control.
There is no surprise ending to this story either. No hidden epiphany I gained from the experience. It was just a tough and unsuccessful attempt- and not the first such experience. I share it because I want to again highlight how important our attitude to failure is. I feel no shame or embarrassment for not reaching my goal as I just wasn’t quite ready- maybe I will be next time.