Overcoming setbacks, frustration and borderline depression…

Let’s face it; there is no “one size fits all” recipe for success. Each journey is as unique as the person traveling it and the challenges you face will also be unique. The secret sauce is in how we take on each challenge, how we adapt to the situation and how we allow for any sort of course correction. We will always have setbacks, as a marathon runner I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hit that proverbial wall, either during an actual race or more often while training for one. You have to accept that setbacks are guaranteed to happen; it comes with the package… However you can choose to let them frustrate you and allow the possibility of quitting creep into you mind or you can dig in your heels and take the challenge head on. 

This week has been no exception, for many of us training for road races in the southern US it has been especially brutal. Temperatures in the mid 90’s (°F) coupled with extremely high humidity has benched many runners and has slowed all of us down. Even waking up at 4am for a run has proven futile against the relentless heat. So how do you overcome all this doom and gloom? For me it has been to go out and embrace the challenge, not being afraid to run in the middle of the day, always being focused on the goal with unyielding determination #BQorBust and most importantly accepting that today I may be slow but I am stronger as a result. It also doesn’t hurt knowing that come the fall race season running in all this heat will pay off.


In the spirit of embracing the heat I decided to wait until after work to go running. Today started with the normal Monday morning shenanigans, herding the kiddos off to school was especially challenging. I didn’t have a ton of meetings which allowed me to catch up on a few things I had been putting off. Out the door at a decent time, meant I was able to hit the trail right 5pm, this is a recovery run so no need to go to fast 3.92 miles in 32:41.


Ok so it hot this morning, the temperature says 72°F but with the humidity it feels like the mid-eighties. It doesn’t take long to be drenched in sweat even at 5am… my first run of the day is complete 3.6 miles in 30:21. Today is a bit busier at work, I have several client meetings and a team outing followed by more meetings. I’m trying to be sensible with my diet, but today was not one of those successful days… Have I mentioned that you should not get nutrition advice from me? Well you shouldn’t, as a full blooded Puerto Rican I eat like it’s my last meal and I will eat anything you put in front of me, which usually does not fare well in the later miles… That’s my long way of saying I stuffed my face at lunch and I still have another run today which is going to suck… So I’m mentally prepared and I #embracethesuck out the door at 9:26pm 8.01miles in 1:12:10.


Today is an off day!! And guess what I did!?! Absolutely nothing…


I’m up bright and early today, busy day ahead so I have to get my run in before I head out to my client meetings. 5am run 4.05miles in 32:54, which actually felt good for a change. Today has been extremely busy, between meetings, interviews, more meetings and kid activities I had to modify my plans. Rather than running another run late tonight I will forego my day off tomorrow and run my second run then.


Ok, so maybe I shouldn’t have moved my run to today… It’s ridiculously hot and I have another meeting with my client today which means traffic and a longer commute time in the morning and afternoon. I also have a late afternoon meeting today which is always fun on a Friday… I have to improvise; I don’t want to run too late since I have to wake up early tomorrow. I take my last call from the car and I get on the trail at 3:45pm. It literally feels like 100°F, at this point I’m committed to getting this run done… 10.02miles 1:32:55


I have to work an event today so I’m up early for my first run 4:45am to be precise, recovery run is 3.85mile in 30:44 I feel much better about this run. It’s still hot, even that early in the morning, but the fact that I ran under an 8 minute pace is encouraging. Today was a relaxing day and I think that influenced my results for my second run I headed out at around 7:45pm and ran some hill repeats 5:51miles in 43:23.


Today is my long run, I had all the intents to go out at a faster pace but I decided to take it easy. The weather was certainly nicer this morning than it has been all week, which made for a great run. 14miles in 2:06:55 and even though this was not my best pace, the run felt good. I wish I could say I’m taking the rest of the day off, but I have yard work on the to-do list and a crap ton of laundry to do too.

This week started out rough, the weather was unforgiving and the temptation to quit had been knocking on the door since the first run, to be completely honest the frustration had me borderline depressed and I don’t say that lightly. Unexpectedly along the way I found encouragement in the fact that I wasn’t alone in the struggle, my fellow Charlotte Marathon ambassadors were feeling it too, but as I read other runners’ posts I found the strength to push on through. The running community not unlike other groups provides for a support network of people just like you that encounter similar challenges and find strength in each other to overcome them. As you set out to accomplish your goals my advice is; be prepared to encounter setbacks, surround yourself with a support network and most importantly stay focused and determined I promise you will come out stronger in the end.

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