I failed

Hey guys, today’s post is going to be a hard one to write. Today, as you’re reading this, I’m supposed to be doing a half marathon. Instead, as you’re reading this, I’m likely going to be sitting in my pyjamas drinking my morning coffee. I failed. And failure is hard to swallow when you know you could and should be better.  

What went wrong? 

I put a pause on my get healthy with me series because I wasn’t feeling too healthy. Then I posted this post about recovering from injury and didn’t do any further updates. The lack of updates was largely due to the fact I foresaw this post coming. It was very early in my recovery that I came to the realisation that it was unlikely I would be recovered enough to race today. I kept going and training, hoping I would miraculously improve and be fit for the challenge. But, deep down, I knew that was incredibly unlikely.  

I fell down the stairs in May, getting a stress fracture in my hip in the process. I had enough strength in my hip to start running again in July. That left me with around 12 weeks to train for race day. Now, I was in good shape before the fall, so 12 weeks should have been enough. It would have been enough, had I felt healthy week one.  

In my injury post, I had two goals. The first was to stop beating myself up that I wouldn’t be able to do it in the way I had hoped, with the ideal time I’d initially planned. My second goal was simply to be able to complete the race. Goal one was achieved, goal two, obviously was not.  

The problem with having 12 weeks, was that 12 weeks was really more like 8. when you’re recovering, you have little faith in your body. At least I do. I was afraid to run at a pace I was used to, I was afraid to push myself to achieve a better pace or greater distance. Ultimately, I wanted to be kind to my body and allow it to heal gently. In reality, that cost me. I was too easy on myself in the beginning, trying to be gentle, that I didn’t give myself enough time to up my game when I really needed it.  

How did I know I wasn’t ready? 

I’m putting this down to two things, the reduced training time and less time running outdoors than I’d like. I’ve already explained the reduced time, and the lack of outdoor running is for a similar reason. A treadmill is gentler on your joints. While I was trying to go easy on my body, I decided to avoid the hard pavements in the beginning and stick to the less hard hitting treadmill.  

I don’t know how many of you run, indoors or outdoors, but it’s a very different experience. Regulating your pacing, breathing, and general endurance is very different. Whenever I’ve been running on a treadmill for an extended period of time, when I run my first mile outside, I feel like I’ve never ran a mile before.  Everything feels harder and it’s like going back to week one, again and again, and again. Obviously, this is my experience and you might find it easier to switch between the two, but it’s a skill I lack. I can happily switch between the two if I’m running on both frequently, but I can’t go from all one to all the other. Like I attempted to this summer.  

Training Plan Nerves  

Again, I don’t know if you run, or if you run with a training plan. But they tend to follow the same rough pattern. If you’re planning a smaller distance race, 5 or 10K, for example, you tend to over train. A  5K training plan with often have you run 5 miles in your training, the idea being that if you can run over the desired amount, race day will be more comfortable and you’re more likely to achieve a better pace than you first expected.  

Marathons and half marathons do the opposite, you under train. You run regularly, and a range of intensities, but you never run the full distance before race day. For a half marathon, you usually run about 10 miles before race day. The idea being if your body can run 10 miles without too much difficulty, it probably has the strength to get you to the end. Combined with the cheers from the crowd and your own adrenaline on the day to get you through.  10 miles would have felt comfortable, but due to the reduced number of weeks before race day, my plan had my longest run at 8 miles. The jump from 8 to 13, when I was coming back from injury, felt like too much of a gamble.  

When it came down to it, I didn’t have enough faith in my body to carry me through.  

I failed

Realising Failure 

I’m annoyed that I failed. I’m even more annoyed that I found an email in my spam this morning offering a 10K race to those who have had issues training. The deadline for switching to the 10K was yesterday (yesterday from the day I’m writing this, 26th). Had I seen that email sooner, I would have happily switched to the 10K, known I could have completed it and probably felt like less of a failure for not being at that start line this morning (30th). 

I should be laying out my outfits, planning which leggings I want to wear on race day. Looking a little something like this.  

I failed

Instead, I’m sorting through a huge pile of activewear, putting it all away for another week. A bit like this… 

I failed

I know showing you a pile of clean laundry is a little odd. But, each one of these outfits represents a run with a goal. Ultimately, I didn’t make it. However, I’m sure trying to run that half marathon pushed me further than if I’d recovered at my own pace without any races or goals in mind. So, I guess it isn’t all bad (I don’t feel like that now but I’m sure I will soon). 

So, where do I go from here? 

Well, this half marathon was race one on the road to a marathon next spring. A marathon in March or April is more than achievable at this stage, so this is merely a blip in the longer path. This weekend, I will no doubt be deflated. But I’ll pick myself up and my trainers and lycra will be ready for me next week when I set myself new goals and targets.  

My body doesn’t do well in the colder temperatures and I struggle with my joints when I run in the cold. As this summer is apparently 30 years long, that isn’t too much of a concern right now. I’ll be running my usual 4-5 times a week over the coming months but I probably won’t go further than 10km. That way I’ll have a reasonably good start when I crank up the training for the marathon, still be fit and increasing my mileage from there will feel more comfortable.  

A get healthy with me post wouldn’t be complete without some goals. So, here we go.  

Goal 1  

Don’t wallow and get out there next week.  

Keep running, improve, get over it.  

Goal 2  

Try not to fall down any stairs in the future 

I’m hoping this one should be fairly easy to complete.  

Goal 3 

Be fit for the big race day 

If goals one and two go well, this should be fairly easy. I still have 6 or 7 months to get myself ready slowly and healthily.  

Onwards and upwards. How do you guys cope when you can’t achieve a goal, health related or otherwise? Send me all the cheery thoughts today, please!  

Until next time,  


26 thoughts on “I Failed | Get Healthy With Me

  1. Ah so sorry you didn’t get to complete your run! Like you said it’s a blip in the long term picture! Hope you can continue training and make your next one. You have a positive attitude which is the best thing about it all!

  2. I’m so sorry to hear that you let yourself down and “failed”, as failure can be such a hard concept to process (It definitely is for me, and my heart broke reading this because it was so relatable). This post was so beautifully honest and open, as well as being really relatable and vaguely optimistic. I hope that you are ready for the Marathon in April/May, and I am most definitely rooting for you!

    Jas xx | https://thoughtsfromjasmine.co.uk

  3. I can be hard to admit that you failed at something but it obviously wasn’t meant to be. I always believe in everything happens for a reason, this time wasn’t your time but you’ll get there! Don’t give up xx

  4. So sorry to hear you didn’t get to do your race. I struggle with injury a lot, having joint problems that mean I’m always twisting an ankle. I recently had to come to terms with the fact I’m not allowed to run anymore, meaning I’ll never get to run a race! It’s hard, but you definitely didn’t fail – you still got up and carried on, and there will always be another race in the future!

  5. I’m sorry to hear about your injury. It’s not fair that it happened so close to race day. I really admire your attitude though. You’ve got a great set of goals here and I have no doubt you’ll be amazing at the next race!

  6. I feel like health wise i am very often failing. I don’t set goals but I can tell I am not being healthy yet not doing anything to change that. When it comes to setting goals, being ambitious is a great motivator but it is okay if you don’t make it the first time. You’ve learn from your experience so next time will be better

  7. Any setback can be tough, especially with running!! I’m trying to get back into running by using the Couch 2 5k app but I’m doing it all on the treadmill right now because south Louisiana is just too hot and humid to run outside right now!! I’m very nervous to see how I’ll feel when I finally get out on the road.

    I think that taking a step back whenever you get frustrated is a great idea. Sometimes you just need a breather. I like to take a step back and sort of write down or go through reasons why I’m feeling frustrated and come up with small goals that are achievable. That way it doesn’t feel so daunting!

    Your 1st goal sounds great- Keep Running!!

  8. Yes girl GOAL NO1!!!! Don’t be put off because you didn’t meet your goal. You completely have a legitimate reason why you failed and you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it. Surely it would have been worse to push yourself back into training only to realise you could have made your injury worse? Our health is so important, I think it’s good you have had time to rest. & now, exactly as you say GET BACK OUT THERE! Don’t let it put you off from trying again.

    Hayley | hayleyxmartin

  9. Very inspiring post, especially since I am someone who tries to be healthy but always fails. So happy to hear you are not giving up and still going! Love the goals you set for yourself!

  10. Your goals sound pretty reasonable Sophie 🙂 Best of luck with training for the Marathon. I’m hopeful you’ll smash it

    For me when I fail to achieve a goal I work harder and simplt don’t give up. Thats my default response that’s been ingrained in me since young I think. There’s the famous Japanese proverb that sums it up: Fall Seven Times Stand Up Eight

    Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures

  11. Wow this was such a great post! Ive been running for most of my life to be honest, and I can relate to many of these feelings. I’ve had a pretty consistent and persistent knee injury over the past few years which made me run less and less. It wasn’t all because I was lazy (definitely was a little) most of it was the fear of the knee hurting, causing more pain, a lot of it was all in my head. Sometimes things don’t work out for you, but bigger and better things will always be on there way (like your marathon)! Good luck with your upcoming endeavour, I’ll be sure to keep up to date with it! xx

  12. Sometimes, we overestimate ourselves and it is okay. Certain things can happen, which may seem like a setback now, but it’s definitely not the end of everything. It definitely takes a lot of mental preparation for a marathon. Major kudos to you for pushing through and training as much as you can after the injury. I don’t see you as failing. Things happen and it’s okay! We have to get ourselves back up and move forward ♥.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  13. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” I forgot who originally said that but the Beatles made it famous. Life was happening when you had your accident which could be a blessing in disguise. Maybe you needed that to truely want to win the next race. Maybe you needed it to motivate you to train harder for your best performance. Good luck,

  14. It’s so important not to fall into the whole guilt trap. I wouldn’t say that you failed, but more put it on hold as you had other things going on at the time which were more of a priority, for example, your injury. You’ll do it! I have faith in you.

    Carly xx //www.prettystyleofliving.wordpress.com

  15. Aww, don’t be so hard on yourself. You have given your body the time it needs to heal, and at least (hopefully) you will feel more ready to meet your future goals.
    I guess we are our hardest critics!

    I hope you meet your new goals set… I am always in awe of people who run, as I am rubbish at it!

    Aimsy xoxo

  16. I’m so sorry that you didn’t get to run but you defintiely didn’t fail by not pushing yourself and an injury too hard! I’m not a runner and have absolutly no excuses haha! I am glad that you’ve made new goals though and I’m sure you’ll get to run but at the right time!

    Soph – https://sophhearts.com x

  17. That’s such a shame that you had a wee set back, but that’s all it is chick, you can do this and we are all rooting for you!!

    Charlene McElhinney / @blogabtnothing1

  18. I completely understand! This year I signed up to walk 1000 miles in a year – not including my everyday steps but walking three miles every day! Then I ruptured my knee ligaments and have been unable to walk any distance for two months so have failed in my challenge but come January 1st I’m going to try again!!! 1000 in 2019! 2018 wasjust my warm-up!

  19. Ah Sophie I’m so sorry to hear you couldn’t do the run. But you definitely don’t need to beat yourself up about it. Might just be me but I’m one of those people that believes everything happens for a reason so hopefully there’s a reason for this too. You’ll come back stronger! And please don’t fall down anymore stairs xxx

  20. It’s so easy to beat yourself up when you don’t achieve something you’ve been looking forward to for awhile. I think you should allow yourself time to feel sad about not making it to the race, but then realise it isn’t the only half/ marathon to every happen. There’s hundreds, thousands more out there! And you don’t need to just complete one. You could do one every year or half year if you wanted, until the one you didn’t make it to (this one) doesn’t even matter anymore.

    Beka | http://www.bekadaisies.com

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