Tuesday, August 16, 2011

*CHAR SHARES* - Reflections of the Finish

"Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up." -Amby Burfoot, The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life

It’s been two days since ET and after many hours of reflection, analyzing my Garmin data and reading countless posts on FB and Twitter from my fellow runners, I can now sit back and objectively evaluate that night.

I wish all my races could be like this way. It’s was magical in my mind and in my body. While I was sweating and tired at the end, it almost seemed effortless. I felt I was just along for the ride – and my legs decided how fast we were going at all times.

As I turned left into the finish line for the last tenth of the race, I was in shock. I am sure if it wasn’t so dark, the volunteers would of seen the shocked look on my face. While we always have hopes for doing well – there was always that nagging feeling in the back of my mind wondering if I could conquer my demons of past half marathons.

As a runner, it’s natural of us to evaluate what we could of done differently on a race day. What would I have done differently on ET? Nothing, absolutely nothing. My body performed and exceeded my own expectations. While it was not lightening fast – it was the race of my life, thus far. The last time I felt like this, was the 5K race the day after Ladybug died. My body did it’s own thing, for the good.

When you are injured, you believe you will never recover. My best advise is to take your health into your own hands. If you are not healing – find another doctor and do your own research. I was told not to run nor walk during my rehab. I disregarded that advise and I still walked my dog, I still lightly stretched and iced my hips. I chose an active recovery for myself. Within a month, I PR’d at a 5K and two months later I PR’d in a 10K and within 5 months I PR’d in a Half Marathon. When I was told that I couldn’t run a half marathon, my hips were still not strong enough – I changed my strength training to more core (abs, hips and glutes) – now, I am running hills.  Our bodies are meant to heal, if it isn't - there is something seriously wrong with the advise you are receiving (and I use to work in a Dr's office)

You are your biggest competitor. Know your limits, but don’t limit yourself. While the PR and Finisher Medal are great – knowing I didn’t give up, was the best prize of them all.

(c) C. Ragsdale 2011
Celebrate Your Finish,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Certified Sports Nutritionist, Running Coach & Public Speaker
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