One of the great things about long distance races, is that you get the opportunity to have everything fall apart. And notice how I said opportunity. Everything you experience in life, good or bad, gives you the chance to learn. Which in turn becomes an opportunity to better yourself.
This was the second time I ran the Destin 50K. Last year and this year were somewhat similar until a certain point in the race. I definitely was in way better shape this year than last, but what I took away from this year’s race that I didn’t from last, was that attitude is everything.
Last year I hit the wall around mile 19 and never recovered. It was a drag fest of mostly walking and a bit of running sprinkled in. When things went south I couldn’t get over the fact that I had a meltdown. I was pissed at myself for doing something wrong and all I wanted to do was to get the race over with. Even when the race was over, I still had this cloud over me for about a week. I couldn’t stop dwelling on how bad of a race it was.
This year was different. I hit the wall around mile 23 and for just a second I got mad. Then I realized that I was on a beautiful beach doing what I love. The negativity washed away (no pun intended) and I kept a positive outlook about the race. There was absolutely no reason to feel down. Yeah I had to walk a bit to recharge my battery, but I was determined to get out of my rut. A few miles later, my positive attitude paid off and I was off and running again!
I finished over an hour faster than the previous year. And best of all, I was proud of myself rather than upset, like I was the year before. Even though I didn’t win the race, it was a huge success in my book.
So no matter what situation you find yourself in, always keep a positive attitude. Whether you are running an ultra or grinding away at work, always stay positive. No matter how low you feel, there will always be something to be positive about. Being negative gets you nowhere and makes your life feel miserable. Keep a positive attitude and the world will seem that much better.