Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rolling over speedbumps...

In my mind initially, the title had the F word in the title (FAIL... get your minds out of the toilet) but that seemed too harsh. This week did not really go as planned. I think I mentioned that I was in the playoff bracket for one of my tennis leagues, right? This particular league is singles and I had a stand out season. So stand out in fact that I am being moved up two levels next season. Out of 200+ players, I was ranked number 6 in the draw. Naturally, there were high hopes for making it to the final. Those hopes came crashing to an end on Tuesday night. I lost in three sets 6-2, 6-7, 4-6. It all sounds so dramatic, doesn't it?

I can make 1,000 excuses for why I lost. It was windy, my opponent was 15 years my junior, I wasn't focused or I missed several opportunities to close out the match in the second set to name a few. The bottom line is she was better than me that night. I won't say there weren't some tears. No, not tears of joy from the young superstar. I was genuinely upset. I had visualized my name on the final draw sheet. I believed in my heart I could win.

I think we all have been there in one form or another. It might not have been an important tennis match for you but maybe a race that didn't turn out as planned, 10 pounds that you wanted to lose but didn't stick with the eating plan, or maybe a job interview that didn't end up with an offer of employment. We make grand plans for training or food consumption or whatever it might be but how do you recover once you hit the speedbump and the plan goes off course? You accept, make a change and move on.

Truth be told, I consider my first marathon a speedbump. I had terrible knee pain around mile 18 to the point where I could barely walk. I wasn't a DNF. I powered through and crossed the finish line. I didn't get the finish time I had hoped but I finished nonetheless. I accepted it, signed up for another marathon in May and did more long distance runs in the next training plan to be more prepared. I moved on.

My second triathlon? Another speedbump. Where most people dread the swim, I dread the bike leg. As I was getting on my bike for the second leg, I rode straight into a parked motorcycle that was there to direct traffic. I KID YOU NOT. (Darn clip-ins). Bam! Straight into the bike and then down on the ground. All I remember is everyone screaming "it's OK, keep going". There were easily a hundred people who were watching - this was Iron Girl. I accepted it and rode out of there like a bat out of... well, lets just say I sped away from the scene to avoid further embarrassment. I still need to conquer this demon but next time I know I need to spend less time on the swim and run legs and more time in the saddle. I moved on and hope to do a 70.3 next year.

You can let it defeat you or let it inspire you. Failure is not the falling down but the staying down. You can focus on the things that didn't go according to plan or pick yourself up off and overcome it.

In running and triathlons, I will most likely never win my age group. On a good day in a 5k with almost no participation, I can pull a 2nd or 3rd. I can choose to be happy with a new PR even though I came in 122nd place or be upset that 121 people were faster than me (or in some cases thousands of people were faster than me). This week, I was defeated for a night but then I moved on. The next day, I signed up for the summer season at my new higher level. Your outlook on your personal speedbump is your choice, choose wisely.

Have a great Friday! I will be working the The Hills (aka the tennis club) but have Saturday and Sunday off. WOO HOO! I only one thing on the slate for the weekend and that is the Blimpie 12k. I plan to rock it or at least get a free blimpie sandwich at the end :)


RunToTheFinish said...

i like that you can let it defeat you or insprie you, I like to be inspired to know I can always be better!

great job on the no soda!

Aron said...

the speedbumps just make us stronger and make our victories that much sweeter :)

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Good luck at the race! I'm hoping you get that Blimpie sandwich you're wanting.

Unknown said...

Run for the sandwich, I like it! Have fun too :) .

Jennifer said...

Yes, we all have hit the speed-bumps, but you are getting over them because of your great outlook! Keep up the good training and positive energy. it is infectious (in a good way!)

Anonymous said...

your out look is truly inspiring to a novice like myself. I have just started my journey and can only hope to have the courage you have displayed in you efforts.
on old friend.
and congrats on your win in the 12k.

Black Knight said...

Good luck at the race! Interesting post.

ShirleyPerly said...

I really enjoyed this post. In fact, I think I have learned more from my shortcomings/disappointments than I have from my "victories". That's not to say I don't enjoy my victories, I just don't find I get as much out of them in the long run.

Congrats on getting moved up 2 levels in tennis!!