My epic fail win

I recently read a post by Cait @ The Arty Runnerchick about why failures rock. Cait talked about how we can learn from our failures and how they also often make us stronger. Having a failure, be it a bad workout or a race that didn’t go as planned, can make you feel defeated or even angry. But you can channel those feelings into the next time. Cait invited her readers to share their epic fails that turned into epic wins.

The first thing that came to mind for me was the Blue Ridge Half Marathon. This race totes itself as the toughest road marathon in the country. The marathon has nearly 7,500 feet in elevation change, while the half marathon has more than 3,600 feet in elevation change.

I first ran the half marathon in 2012 and then ran it again last year. This race kicked my butt the first time I ran it, and I ran nearly a personal worst time. My strategy the first time around was to just get up the mountain (roughly mile 4) and then the rest of the race would be like any other race. But it was actually coming down the mountain from miles 4 through 6 that tore up my legs and left me feeling sick to my stomach. I ended up alternating between running and walking for the rest of the race. My running buddy Nicki, who now lives in Texas, stuck with me the whole time even though I kept telling her she should go on.

Me, Nicki, and Kim at the finish of the 2012 Blue Ridge Half

The 2012 race left me hungry for another shot at conquering the mountain, and I took that shot last year. I don’t know exactly what I did different, but I do know that I was mentally more prepared for the difficulty of the course. I also hooked up with new running friends Glenda and Anita, whom I had met a couple of weeks before the race. The 2013 course ended up being even hillier than the 2012 course, but the three of us kept each other going.

2013 elevation

 I managed to take 22 minutes off of my time from 2012, thus making the 2013 race a ‘redemption race.’ And there you have my epic fail win.

Anita, Glenda, and me at the finish in 2013

 This year they added another mountain to the half marathon course, so we will see how I handle it! Maybe I will rise to the challenge and improve my time on this course again.

From Cait:

I want you to now share with me YOUR epic fails turned epic wins. Share your stories about an obstacle you faced, overcame, and came out a stronger runner and person because of it. Tell me also about your epic fail of a race, and either tell me how you came back later to make it a ‘redemption race’ epic win…OR…if you just had this epic fail tell me how you’re going to use that in a way to reach an epic win.

You can blog about, post a picture, make some artage (you know how much I’d really love that!) and then tweet me @caitlinchock with the hashtag #epicfailWIN and a link to your epic fail win moment/story/picture/etc.

Tell me about an epic fail turned epic win that you have had.
Or if you have a blog, are on Twitter, what have you, join in! 

12 thoughts on “My epic fail win”

  1. At this stage of my life, there have been many epic fails. I always strive to turn them into epic wins.illegitimus non carborundumLUD.

    1. It is definitely the toughest half marathon I have ever run. Although, the Varmint is not far behind due to the combination of hills, elevation, and heat!

  2. Epic fail? I don’t know. Too many to count. Any run in which I walk a significant distance is an epic fail to me. I mean like miles, not a walking break. I love that you aren’t afraid of the race! I would probably cry and give up. You are much more mentally tough than I (for example your 1/2 on the TM!).

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