“Don’t look where you fall, but where you slipped” ~African Proverb

Raise your hand if you have had a bad run or bad race.

If you are a runner, bad runs happen and they take us by surprise, don’t they?  You can feel great at the start & ready to go and something is just off the minute you start your run.

I have always said I have bad training runs but better races, go figure.  I have had so many bad training runs, I have lost count.   Yet, when the time comes on race day – I can crank it out.

I remember my first bad race.  It was not even a year ago.  It was a local 5k, shortly after the LA Marathon.  5k’s is one of my specialty distances, I always do well. I might not PR, but I am always in my zone that day.

I wasn’t that morning.  Within the first mile, I couldn’t get into my pace nor groove.  By 1.5 I opted to even walk part of the course.  My head and body was not in the game that morning.

When I crossed the Finish Line – I felt defeated.  Although I had just run a Full Marathon, I felt so out of sync that morning.  A very unusual feeling for me on race AM.  It depressed me for a week.  How did I get out of my funky depression?  I processed my emotions, I cried, I had a short pity-party and then decided that I was not doing myself any good by feeling that way.  One race would not define me.  I got out the door and started running again.  As an athlete, we know most of our accomplishments are mental.  It can either defeat us or make us champions.  Same goes for recovering from bad runs or races. How you deal with the aftermath will set you up for future runs or races.

I had another bad race that year (a Full Marathon) and most recently another bad 5k. However, I was not defeated in the Full or the recent 5k, in my mind.  I got back on the road the next day and had an amazing training run.    I didn’t wait a week with a pity-party, I knew that Full and recent 5k were only a blip on my race schedule.  Taking it into perspective on what the race is to me.  One bad race will not define me.  Period.  As the same, one great race will not define me either.  As we are always and should be constantly working to improve our performance.

When we have bad training runs or races that defeat us, get back on the road and run.  I know athletes who have a bad training or race AM and will run again that same day, just so that day is not focused on a negative.  Just how do you do it?  Decide you will overcome and move on.  Remember, you have eyes in the front of your head, not the back of your head.  This keeps up looking forward, not behind or in the past.

You defeat negativity by bringing about a positive.  What better way to overcome a bad run/race than a good run?