You just finished your first-ever 10k (power walking – not running) and you completed the race in 1 hour 32 minutes and 45 seconds… and you are still standing upright at the end. What an accomplishment. What a victory! Yet, all you can think about is how bad your body hurts, how hard the route was (the whole first mile was downhill and then miles 2 and 3 were uphill, seriously???) and how you can barely breathe. What a disappointment. What a defeat!
Yep, talking about my recent experience. My mom and I did our first 5k in April, and after the 3.1 mile walk (which we finished in 45 minutes and 20 seconds) we thought we could do more. So we signed up for the Mission Inn Foundation 10k which was in Riverside on November 8, 2015. We both have been speed walking for some time and so training to walk the 6.2 miles was reasonable. We could have walked more, walked longer, but all in all we felt pretty confident going into the race. Oh, and perhaps I should mention that I had a crazy goal of walking the whole thing in 1 hour and 30 minutes
(I might be a little competitive…. I can hear my friends and family saying, “A little???”…. okay, really competitive). So, coming in at 1:32:45 is great – only 2:45 past my original goal (our secondary goal was to walk the whole thing in 1:36 and average a 16-minute mile, which we more than did). But no matter how many positives existed, I could only focus on the negatives. I could not see the victory, I could only see the defeat.
It really sucks to be 38 years old and have your body hurt so bad after walking (granted, it was aggressive, uphill walking). And then struggling to breathe is a big bummer (I do have exercise-induced asthma… and yes it is a real thing!). I just felt so out of shape, so unprepared, almost as if I failed myself. Forget the fact that I even signed up for the race in the first place and completed it… and in a notable time! Forget that I could have NEVER done a 10k a year ago. Forget the fact that everyone else that pushes themselves (and I really did; I pushed hard because I refused to give up) hurts too. How can they not? It’s not natural to push your body to those kind of extremes (my humble opinion, of course).
What’s your point Megan? My point is that I have spent the whole week being unreasonable in my thinking. I confess that I allowed myself to wallow in defeat instead of soaring in victory. I was a vegetable following the race and the day after; I could hardly walk. All I could focus on was pitiful me, when I should have been focusing on what a rockstar I was for completing my first-ever 10k! It is all symptomatic of my history of perfectionism and being way too hard on myself. No doubt this recent experience will find its way into Discovering Me. And here I thought I had the perfectionism and being hard on myself thing all buttoned up (ha!).
Mom and I are signed up for another 10k in January (which we signed up BEFORE the one we just did). We want to stay motivated, and not knowing that course either, we are going to work on inclines! Oh, and I need to work on my attitude of victory and not defeat! I can’t worry about others and what they accomplish or how fast they walk; I need to focus on what I can accomplish and remember that the only way you fail is to not try. I certainly gave it a try and succeeded. So gold stars for Megan! And gold stars for mom – she did really well!
If you ever have done a walk/run and felt some pain after, would love to hear from you (simply to feel better about myself!).