Because you will fail

Last week I went to a yoga class at the Breathing Room, my favorite local studio. At the beginning of class our teacher, Jacquellyn, asked us to focus on our breath, especially breathing through transitions throughout the class. When we were only about 10 minutes into the class when she asked us to check in on our breath. "Notice if you've lost your breath yet........ because you will."

Wait what? I was thrown for a loop. Did she basically just tell me that I am pretty much guaranteed to fail at the intention for the class? What kind of inspirational teaching at that? But as I thought more about it, I realized that this is one of the most important lessons yoga has for me. It teaches me to notice, but not judge. It teaches to expect that I won't be perfect, and to expect that and continue moving forward.

This is certainly applicable to my life in general. But as I am starting marathon training I started thinking about how it applies specially to my life as a runner.
My training break down for October

Like many runners, I am obsessed with numbers, and data, and performance. I wear my Garmin on all my
runs to measure my pace and distance. I log all my workouts and make graphs out of my results. I keep a list of my PR's for all my race distances and am always excited to set a new record. I follow a progressive training plan when training for a marathon and like to post it on my wall so I have a visual reminder of progress I've made. It is also about running faster and farther.

But the thing is that you can't always run faster and farther than the day before. Your body will get tired. Maybe it is raining or snowing, maybe you didn't sleep much the night before, maybe you have a cold, maybe you've been living on coffee and donuts. Whatever the cause, you will have bad runs. There may be days when you need to plod along at a snails pace, days when you have to give up and just walk home, and even days when you never make it out the door.

In the past when this happened, it totally demoralized me. I felt like a failure and doubted myself as a runner. Now, I am starting to realize that this is natural. I need to simply notice what my body is trying to tell me that day, accept it, and move on. Failure is a part of life. It is how you deal with it that really defines you.

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