Failure is a part of life. The most important part. It’s the part that teaches us things, and it’s the part that hurts. – In Plain Sight
There are several reasons someone decides to start a blog. Generally speaking, they may be for personal edification, to help others with information that might be helpful, for notoriety and fame, or for many other reasons.
Keeping a blog going for any length of time, regardless of the original purpose of said blog, is not necessarily the easiest thing. For one thing, coming up with something interesting or of note to post can be a challenge at times. Putting one’s thoughts and feelings, as well as struggles and triumphs can also paint a large target onto one’s back. And let’s face it — many of us simply do not want have the time to come up with witticisms to share with people who may or may not read and appreciate them, or wish to deal with a bullseye painted right between our shoulder blades.
So here I have sat for awhile with a number of things in my life. But the most recent, and now the most pressing upon my emotions is the Wine and Dine half-marathon that was held at Disney this past weekend. The one that I’d been “training” for since January. And the one that I did not get to complete despite the medal you see in the picture above.
And my trepidation in posting comes knowing that there will be those who are probably laughing their asses off right now at my failure to finish the race. But, in the end, I am what I am – a blogger – and here I write, despite how truly uncomfortable I am with doing so.
I’m not writing this for the “poor, poor Andrea” vibe. I don’t want it. Don’t do it. If you comment as such, I’ll delete it so fast your head will spin. That’s not the purpose in writing this. I do not want to be the token loser. That is not me.
And if I hear “you got five miles in!” or “you did great!” any more I might bang my head against the wall again as well. I’ve heard it enough. I’m not writing this to be inspirational, or anything else like that, either. If someone wants to try for the half-marathon and is afraid they won’t finish? They should try it anyway. But I’m not going to be the Siren Song for that group.
I’m posting this simply because I need to get it out there so I can get it done with and move on. That’s it.
I was a bit behind pace at mile 4 (15 seconds – I asked), and hadn’t caught up by mile 5 (which I should have because I knew I was behind, dammit) and got swept. It doesn’t matter beyond that. It is what it is.
Would I have kept going if I had been given the chance? You bet your ass I would have. I did not quit. I was forced to stop. But I did not meet the pacing requirements and thus the course was closed.
Because I did not quit, I was awarded the medal despite not finishing the race. There is a controversy about this, and even being in the middle of it, I can’t tell you really how I feel about it. The race director said that there was a certain point of the race that medals were given to the participants, and we hit it. If I had quit earlier than the first sweep point, I would not have gotten the medal. I can tell you that I felt weird when people asked me about the race when they saw it and made the assumption that I finished.. but that’s because I don’t make it a point to lie about things and it felt like a lie. Michelle kept telling me I earned it; Lisa kept telling people I finished the race as well when people remarked on the medal around her neck. Sarah told me I shouldn’t feel icky. I’m still trying to reconcile it. I think Duffy will continue to wear it.. it looks better around his neck than mine anyway.
So, I’m back to that awful word – failure.
As weight loss surgery patients, we are familiar with failure, aren’t we? We’ve failed diet after diet, and we had to go to that “drastic last step” and OMG had to have SURGERY to fix ourselves. And then.. we get the “what if I’m the only one who fails WLS?” or we get the sanctimonious post-ops that call other post-ops “failures” because they aren’t following the same dictates as another. Or aren’t measuring success by the same meter-stick as another. Some think running is the ultimate proof of WLS success.. so are non-runners that lose all of their excess weight failures?
But when we fail at something, we are simply making mistakes and that gives us the option to learn from them.
So what did I learn from this? Tons.
- Well. I didn’t take my training seriously.. at all. I started out with great ambition, but it went by the wayside horribly. Going to Sweden for 5 weeks certainly didn’t help, but it wasn’t the only factor if I’m completely honest here (and what do I really have to gain by lying to myself?)
- I really need to lose some weight. I have some regain (again) — spending time in Sweden certainly didn’t help.. but not working out more is a major contributing factor.
- I trained almost exclusively on a treadmill, which is completely unlike pavement work.. especially in Vibrams. Remember that I walk/run exclusively in barefoot shoes.. and the pavement is completely different than a treadmill. The difference threw me for a major loop. BIG mistake.
- I do have a blood pressure issue called neurocardiogenic shock which causes me to dehydrate easily. Having trained on a treadmill in different conditions, I thought I had this under control. I thought I had hydrated better — hydrated through the day, had a bottle with me during the run, took 3-4 drinks (powerade and water) at each water stop every 1.5 miles. But I still was dehydrated when I stopped. If I had done more training outside, I would have known better how to handle this and this wouldn’t have been such an issue. I’m not saying this was a major contributing factor at mi 5, but it seriously could have been further down, and it wasn’t a fun recovery when I stopped (so it would have only gotten worse, honestly).
So basically, my biggest mistake was not training enough, not training outdoors enough, and becoming way too complacent in my post-op life.
Guess what? I see so many people who become complacent in their post-op life in regards to vitamins and supplements that they become a trainwreck blood-wise — and I wonder how they could allow themselves to get there. And guess what? I am one of those people, but in a different form. Hi pot, it’s me kettle. Nice to see you in this glass house we have here. Amazing how things tend to come around and bite you in the ass to teach you a lesson.
So here I sit, trying to decide if I’m going to let it beat me or if I will beat it. And if you’ve read my blog any at all, you pretty much know what I want my answer to be. But I also know that I have some other things in life that I need to get squared away — some issues with my son’s health, need to blog more, need to get the book edited and finished, swimming and soccer and school, etc. and it’s always easier to put ourselves last when everything else comes knocking.
But until then, Duffy has a medal. And my fridge has a new 13.1 magnet on it. Just waiting…