Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dealing with Disappointment

This past Saturday, October 19, I had hoped and planned to run a 50k at Palo Duro Canyon. But I didn't. Because of my foot injury.

On an injury-healing level, I am okay with this. It's probably not smart to run 31 miles on a foot that doesn't feel great at less than half that distance. But on a competitive, race-loving level, I am pretty disappointed, to say the least.
Here! Here is where I wanted to run! Image from: TPWD

And so, since I am a list person, a list of things that are helping me be less disappointed.

1. God has a plan. You know the saying, "When one door closes, another door opens?" This is one way God works. When what I wanted isn't working out, chances are it's because He has something different in mind. His plan is always perfect--He is the God who works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
image from: www.uwood.net
And I know this. My head knows this, at least. But it's hard to believe on a deeper level sometimes, because it doesn't always translate to immediate, tangible results. I can rarely say right away, "I see! This happened because you had this in store for me, Lord!" I just have to trust that His plan is perfect whether I ever see His reasons.

2. If I'd tried, it could have gone badly. I am very much a "what-if?" person, and I hate the thought of dropping out almost as much as not starting (this iRunFar article on dropping pretty much sums up how I'd feel about it, although I don't have sponsors). I could have had to drop out because of my foot, or I could have finished the race and done significant damage, further postponing my return to running. What-ifs don't usually keep me from doing things, but in this case, the risk was probably greater than the benefit.

3. There will be other races. Not right away. The El Paso area has a dearth of ultras and is far from pretty much everywhere that has an abundance of ultras, so I don't know for sure when my next long race will be. But I am confident that I didn't just miss my last chance to run a 50k ever. And that is comforting. In the bigger picture of my long-term running career, this one race is just that: one race.

4. I can just run. Because I'm no longer training for anything in particular, I can just run how I feel and enjoy it, and give thanks for every run I have on which my foot feels decent. And maybe that's what I need right now.

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