This year has been a whirlwind, some crazy ups and a few downs, but I’ve been very lucky with a run of good events and this is something I need to remember. More importantly, I need to remember the power of the downs, and how they need to be cherished. The downs are never easy at the time, but they are what make us stronger athletes as a whole. Without the downs we wouldn’t be as determined as we are to succeed. Sometimes you need something to go wrong to snap you back into action and remind you that nothing worth having is easy. It is the drive that the bad races give you that remind you to never give up.
Last week was Liverpool Cross Challenge. It didn’t go how I wanted it to go, and I didn’t feel as though I was able to show what I was capable of, but that’s sport! I felt strong until about a third of the way through and then it all began to fall apart. It can’t always go how you would like it to and you never know if it will or won’t. I was excited for the race and felt stronger than I had before, but in the race, it went belly up! My legs and body just didn’t feel right, and I wasn’t able to perform how I knew I could.
After a race that doesn’t go to plan, I become very analytical, as do most athletes. It’s almost a skill! I analyse every aspect of the race itself and the build-up to it, to see where I went wrong. I had put way too much pressure on myself and whilst I was excited to race and enjoyed racing, I wasn’t as relaxed as I usually am. Without being properly aware of it, I was feeling tired. I have come to know when my body doesn’t feel quite right, and it just wasn’t feeling 100%.
Looking back on it now after a few days sulking in frustration, I realise I needed a down, I’d almost got complacent. As much as I would love it to all go swimmingly, this just isn’t realistic. The downs are just as important as the ups, if not more. When something doesn’t go quite to plan we have to think about why and we can learn from our mistakes, so that is exactly what I need to do.
When I think of all the races I’ve done throughout out the year, they’ve all generally gone better than I expected, bar a few. But there was something to take from both of those races and lessons to be learnt. It takes things going wrong to learn what not to do and what to do. If nothing ever went wrong, we would probably be doing something wrong!!
As much as I don’t tell it to him, my boyfriend was right! He said to me, how would you ever have a good race if they were all good? It’s just like sessions. They can’t all be PB sessions or it would be too easy and straightforward.
So, yes, I was disappointed after Liverpool, but that’s sport for you! I’ve learnt from it and if anything, it’s more of a positive than I first thought because I’m more determined than ever to show my strength and what I can do into the future. When things go wrong we must look forward with a positive mindset and embrace it. Ultimately, we are only human.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!