#epicfailWIN: Why failures rock

Runners can never, ever fear ‘failure’. In fact, failures are NOT a bad thing. To fail means that you set a high enough goal. You stepped outside your comfort zone, you DREAMED you could achieve something great.

Failures are often the most powerful learning tools. Bad race, horrendous workout…you have to not only experience them you have to FORCE yourself to get through them. Soak up the experience, actually feel how much that suckiness that was.

Take those sucky feelings and channel them into:
motivation
determination
confidence.

#epicfailWIN picture

Confidence, you say? Yes, confidence.

A runner who pushes through when things really suck should be brimming with confidence. It’s way too easy to run an amazing workout when your legs feel like gold. To have a phenomenal race when it happens to be one of those ‘magic days’. Magic days are the exception, legs that feel like they’re running on clouds are the rarity.

To grit out a workout and keep your mind IN THE RACE when things are tough, that is mental toughness. The same goes for obstacles and challenges you didn’t expect, sudden curve balls that really test you. Get through them, keep moving forward. Those experiences, those trials, the hard times, even when you put in your best effort and the clock is brutally honest…THOSE are necessary to build a strong runner.

You survive knowing you still put in your best and never mentally gave up when things get tough, and that should give you the most confidence in the world. Those should make you think, “Look, I got through it and stayed tough when I felt like crap. Just imagine how well I’m going to run when my body and my legs feel GREAT.”

Redefine failure in your mind. After a bad workout or race, yes, you are allowed to be miffed, to be peeved. But channel all of that into a productive mindset. Rather than think as a defeatist, use the burning embers of anger as fuel for motivation and determination. Then look for any lessons you can learn from the race. (Did you go out too fast…again?? Wise up! haha)

Then COME BACK. The only time a failure SHOULD make you embarassed is if it’s the end of your road. You give up and stop your story right there.

I want you to now share with me YOUR epic fails turned epic wins. Share your stories about an obstacle you faced, overcame, and came out a stronger runner and person because of it. Tell me also about your epic fail of a race, and either tell me how you came back later to make it a ‘redemption race’ epic win…OR…if you just had this epic fail tell me how you’re going to use that in a way to reach an epic win.

You can blog about, post a picture, make some artage (you know how much I’d really love that!) and then tweet me @caitlinchock with the hashtag #epicfailWIN and a link to your epic fail win moment/story/picture/etc.

So, Runner Friends, embrace your failures because they make you stronger.

1) You know what to do, get to gather your epic fail win moment…I can’t wait to hear all about them! #epicfailWIN

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9 thoughts on “#epicfailWIN: Why failures rock

  1. My epic fail was in October on my 50 miles race. I made a number of mistakes and ended up quitting at the turnaround (25 miles). At the time I said that ultra running wasn’t in the cards for me. However, I have made some changes in my training and plan to try again in May – this time will be much better!!!

  2. Great idea, Cait! My epic fail win was the first time I ran the Blue Ridge Half Marathon (over 3600 feet in elevation change). I was just not mentally prepared for the challenge the course was going to present. But I came back the next year (2013) and bettered my time by 22 minutes. That was really saying something since they had made the course more difficult.

  3. I love this topic, Cait…very inspiring! My #epicfailWIN is pretty wussy compared to what you and many others have overcome, and I am VERY thankful that I haven’t had to get through any serious obstacles.

    Mine was making it to the starting line, and then the finish line, of my first marathon after injuring my hip flexor, glutes, and hamstring about 7 weeks out from the race. I was limited to reduced training the rest of the way…just moderate jogging and no really long runs. Talk about an irritable and depressed low-mileage runner!

    My main takeaways were that sometimes injuries happen without you necessarily doing anything wrong (or at least not realizing you were doing anything wrong), and that you can’t beat yourself up over things you can’t control. And it has made me really want to push myself out of my comfort zone for my next marathon.

    • It’s important to celebrate every important lesson learned and victory. I’m glad you’re all back healthy but I WILL argue the fact that you can’t learn from injuries in the hips and glutes. Actually my latest post kinda explains, most runners are tight there in general and that can set you up for injuries…so the takeaway is get to stretching! ;) hehe.

  4. Pingback: My epic fail win | Turkey Runner

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