10 takeaways from an (unexpected) 10k.

Today was a huge milestone for me.  Well, it was supposed to be. Or…maybe it was anyway?

I had plans to run my very first half marathon. I have had this on my bucket list since I can’t remember when. I had thoughtfully prepared for this day and was ready to really welcome the personal challenge with a handshake and a smile.

At just past the mile 6 marker, my right foot caught a root and down I went. Hard. Not like the slow motion in a dream you can catch yourself kind of hard. Nope. I went down in the faster than lightning how the heck did I get here kind of down. It happened so fast that I thought my right shoulder caught my fall. From the evidence on my right side, it appears that my right ankle, knee, hip and shoulder took the fall, with a minor contribution from my right cheek. Yup. It was that kind of fall.

I don’t think it would have been so bad except for the fact that I have just spent the last year rehabilitating my right rotator cuff from a horse related injury. When I did regroup and tried to jog it off, I could already feel the now familiar soreness making itself at home in my right shoulder, rotator cuff, tricep and lats. I was one mile from passing through the start/finish line and had that amount of time and distance to make a decision. Would I be a quitter?

After numerous attempts to get back in the rhythm, I resigned myself to walk it in and call it a day.

I am not, however, a quitter.

A quitter would have used this as a reason to find fault in the entire experience. A quitter would have punished herself (or even those around her) for her perceived failure. Instead, I spent that mile-and the time I spent at the post-race camp finding ways to make this the best day ever.

So, I leave you with the lessons I learned from my non-half-marathon:

1. I ran a 10k today. And I ran that 10k with every bit of effort I had. I ran a rocking 10k. I am a rocking 10k runner.

2. I got home in time to ride my two horses. That alone makes any day the best day ever.

3. I will not have to invest in a post-race recovery week. Instead I can return to the groove of my current fitness cross-training program, P90X2 (core city!!)

4. I won’t have to take any time off running and can get back at it starting Monday morning. Yes, I will run again.

5. I made a decision to challenge myself. I trained. I showed up. I started. I tried.

6. I met a different kind of sports performance body worker. She studied in China and does a kicking massage. It was refreshing to meet someone with such a fascinating background in sports rehab. Had I not fallen, I would have never met her. Today I learned. Learning is cool.

7. I am able to go with the flow, make changes to plans and adapt to those changes. Take that all you ex-es who thought I was stubborn and inflexible.

8. M&M’s are a perfectly acceptable post-race recovery meal. Especially blue ones. Not one word about whole foods today please.

9. No matter how old I am-age 5 or 50-my first thought when I fall down and get banged up is always, “I miss my dad.”

10. No matter how much it hurts and how much I miss him, I get up. I dust myself off and bring it home-with my head held high and no apology in my posture. Even if I am a little dirtier and more bruised than when I went out. That is who he raised me to be and that is who I am.  For that reason and that reason alone, I am not a quitter. Not even close. In fact, I am a finisher-and a darn good one at that.

Fall Down 7 Times

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6 thoughts on “10 Lessons I Learned from my Non-Half-Marathon

  1. Lisa Hall

    One might normally say, “I’m sorry to hear you had a bad day” but not to you! You rocked it and went with the flow and adjusted as needed. You took a challenging experience and made it a fantastic day! You are an inspiration!

    1. therider

      Thanks so much Lisa!!

  2. Jason

    You absolutely Rock!!!!. #9 gave me goosebumps. 🙁

    1. therider

      As it should! Your daughter will being doing the same thing one day 🙂

  3. Charlotte

    The more I get to know you, Leah, the more amazed and inspired I am. From your crazy cize dance video (for which I know you practiced over and over) to the work you do in the fitness groups, to your attitude about falling mid-race, you’re an amazing person. I’m glad to know you. And I miss my dad, too.

    1. therider

      Thank you Charlotte! I know my boot camp brings all of us together for a reason <3

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