What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

A year ago I crossed the finish line in 1st place but in reality, I finished 4th but was the 1st Master at the Cool Summer Mornings 5k Race at Clermont, Florida. I was lying in 4th position as we approached the finish line but due to a mix-up, we ended up running slightly further with no-one quite sure what was going on. With all the confusion, the runners in front stopped while I kept running round the car park before making up my own route to the finish line. It was a great feeling to cross the line in 1st place but the organiser quickly noticed the mistake and resolved the issue with the 4 of us and so 4th place it was for me. Thankfully, no-one else was affected by it.

On Saturday, we returned to do the same race. It’s a great race which runs alongside a sprint Triathlon, where more serious athletes compete, and is set on the banks of the beautiful Lake Minneola. It’s a short drive from where we are staying and is the closest of the three races we go in for.

There was an air of optimism going into the race on the back of last year’s success and having 2 races under my belt already. I knew if I could repeat the performance of last year or even the Watermelon 5k then I could be in with a shout of a good placing. After a good first mile which took in the only major hill on the route, I struggled through the second mile and the last mile and a bit to the finish, which was now on the flat and closer to the Lake, I was more or less hanging on and desperate to finish.

My time of 21:30 gave me 14th overall out of 259 and 2nd in my age category so got a prize for my efforts but the time was the slowest of all 3 races. On the whole, I felt sluggish all the way round although the 100% humidity had some part in that. The reality of it was that I had done next to no training since doing the Relay at the Edinburgh Marathon on 26th May and having not done my usual spring marathon, my running has been very inconsistent. You can’t really expect a great result if you haven’t put the effort in with the training but its funny how my mind still believed it could although my body quickly protested and reminded it otherwise!

You can choose to let a bad performance get you down or learn from it, work harder and come back stronger. I have chosen to do the latter. I’ve had good time to reflect on the race between the rest of Saturday and a shopping trip to Downtown Disney yesterday. I’ve got less than 11 weeks to get myself ready for the Loch Ness Marathon and so Saturday was the perfect kick up the backside I needed to get down to the hard work of training for it. In fact, I’ve already started with a 10k run this morning in the heat!

A pleasing aspect of Saturday’s race was that we did it as a family and my wife,
Allison McArthur, smashed her PB and finished 1st in her age category. I’m delighted for her as she’s had her share of injuries in the last couple of years, has worked really hard in training and is now enjoying the rewards with a number of great performances and a string of PBs so far this year.

Nothing every comes easy so my advice is enjoy the great times and when you have a bad run, then learn from it, train harder and become a better runner. You will look back on the bad runs and thank them for the difference they have made to you.

Happy Running!





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