My last race before this year’s Boston Marathon didn’t go as well as I had hoped. While I was disappointed to not have run as well as I had planned I realize that half marathon fitness is very different than marathon fitness and that for a variety of reasons I was not as fresh and good as I could have been.
After frustrating races I am learning to give myself more grace. Grace to not run a personal record or even run well at all, just as long as I did my very best with all the energy I had on that day and in my preparations. It takes the pressure off to think that I can only do my very best. One of my favorite lines from one of my all-time favorite movies‘, “Chariots of Fire” says “you can’t put in what God left out.” While some might see this as a defeatist way of thinking I don’t see it that way at all. When I think about drawing out everything God has put in me then it takes away the pressure of needing to accomplish a certain feet and puts the emphasis on doing my very best every time out no matter if I am in tenth or first. Sure it may be easier to draw out your best stuff when you are vying for the win rather than when you are having an off day but at the end of it all if your goal is to get everything out of yourself on race day and you do that then you can look at yourself at the end of the day and be proud. Results will come and go but the character it takes to do your very best independent of your results brings lasting joy and satisfaction. Moreover, not being so hard on yourself and giving yourself grace is an important part of living with joy.