A Bad Day At The Office

I ran my 9th marathon today along when I tackled 26 Extreme’s Causeway Coast Marathon. It was brutal. Hilly trails, clifftop sections, slipping and sliding over stiles and through muddy fields. Not forgetting the windy beach sections where you literally clambered over rocks and little else. I won’t tell you my finishing time, for it was horrible. But I did finish. Somehow.

I fell twice, once in sheep poo. I was stung by nettles, I ache all over. I endured a nagging toothache for the entire 26.2 miles, which erupted at the finish line leaving me nauseous and dizzy in the recovery room. I was disappointed and embarrassed crossing the finish line, but now that I’m home I realise, if nothing else, I didn’t give up. Even when all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and die.

We all have bad days at the office. This was a tough one for me. I’m used to success during races. Personal bests and attaining training goals. That hasn’t been happening this year and it most certainly didn’t happen today. I flopped. I’m not sure, but this could well have been my last marathon. I had set myself a target of ten but don’t know if I could put my body through that again.

Time will tell. I realised today I’m not Superman. I bit off more than I could chew and ignored the advice of people who advised me not to run today. I’m physically and mentally exhausted. I will take a break from marathon training for a while and give my body time to recover. Which will mean less running related posts. Every cloud has a silver lining, I guess. They’re usually my lowest viewed.

HHow do you handle disappointment?

83 thoughts on “A Bad Day At The Office

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  1. I have always said “a finish is a win.” I’ve only completed one marathon in my life so you’re way ahead of me! Congrats on the 9th! I think you have earned some rest & recovery, so I hope you enjoy that.

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  2. I have never done a marathon, but I have done mountain climbing, before I got sick. And, to be honest, that was harder than mountain climbing,vwuth all the obstacles you describe here, though not of the samebtype. But hinestly,bto do alk of that, and to actually complete the race is a HUGE achievement, though you are disappointed in yourself. Okease don’t be. Pat yoyrself on the back. I had someone say to me today “Don’t beat yoyrself up’ when I did not do too well. Again, syccess is not to be measured in the way we think of it. Welk done for completing the race, especially with that toithache. I hope you reciver and feel better soon

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  3. Sorry about the multiple mountains you climbed today. But you did climb them and therefore you were a success. When I face a bad day, I usually grumble, groan, spit out a few epitaphs, feel sorry for myself and yell “Why me?” But after I have gotten all that ruckus out of my system I simmer down and realize there might be two sides to the moment. The actually tough time and then the message behind it. Pace yourself, listen to your body, listen to God (always a good one) might be a few messages and then I feel like I have a good take away from it all. Now there is no guarantee that I will remember this message for I tend to repeat my failures but…hope springs eternal and God has patience.

    Rest my friend. You done the best you could and God is smiling 🙂

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  4. There is no greater testimony in any avenue of human experience than “I didn’t give up”. You will do a tent marathon the same way you will finish your book the same way you will honor your family and employer by giving them all you have… none of us can give beyond what we have, being able to accept our limits is a gift of wisdom also. You are an inspiration brother!

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  5. Congratulations! You finished despite sheep poo, nettles, toothache AND while you’re working and revising your book AND still doing husband and father duties. Running isn’t just about times…you are still an accomplished runner in my book! (As an aside – I don’t know what happened but my WordPress reader had stopped following your blog for a bit. Just realized it today and fixed it! Sorry about that as I do enjoy reading your blogs. That was my accomplishment for today.)

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  6. Congratulations! It sounds like you made it through one hell of a meat grinder, I can’t even imagine the sheer act of will it takes to keep going through all that, it really is an incredible achievement. I’m sure after a few days of recuperation you’ll be able to look back on it more positively. You should really consider completing you ten marathon goal, maybe drop the rock climbing 😉

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  7. Oh my dear man! Stop giving yourself such a hard time! It takes true grit to run a marathon, and many, many people don’t finish! I can’t do ANYTHING with a toothache, God bless your heart. I mean it, that is bloody hell-my weakest link until I cried out to God for relief! Pray about this, we have Irish teeth-and that’s not a good thing. 🙂 Well done~

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  8. Thanks for writing about your bad day. For whatever reason, I think we all relate to a person’s disappointment more than his success. I suppose it’s human nature, that when we’re having a hard time, we want to know we’re not alone. And since I’ve been sick this week, and I’m feeling depleted physically and emotionally, your persistence in the marathon — despite the intense struggle — encourages me. Thank you!

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  9. One day you may realize time is not that important. Ask yourself how many of your same age friends have ran a marathon. After all it’s only .01% of the population.
    However I have a friend who started running and is up to 9 minute miles. I will never see this pace for she is a 5 mile or less gal and I’d rather go slower and run for hours. I mean last week my boss asked me if I could come in on my day off. I said yes when I finished my 19 mile run. How many 50+ can do 19 miles and then offer to work as a nurse where it’s easy to walk 5 miles in 12 hours cause the floor is so spread out.
    Now be ready for my post in three weeeks when I don’t meet my marathon goal. I think I may be a little lofty!!

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  10. To be honest, I’ve always enjoyed your running posts. Not merely because they’re fantastically descriptive and often quite humourous, but because you pull a lot of life lessons to the fore. Be proud that you finished but also remember that listening to what your body needs is okay too. Sometimes I think we forget that; what our mental selves need becomes all.

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  11. Well done for meeting the gazillion challenges thrown at you today and finishing that marathon. Live with your disappointments about it for a couple of days. Then when you’re truly sick and tired of beating yourself up, turn that corner and revel in what you accomplished.

    I for one am high-fiving you. Let me know when you’re up to high-fiving me back😏

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  12. As others have said, the finishing is the important thing…You didn’t stop and give up. Lord knows I wouldn’t have even started! I would have found a million excuses. OK, so it’s not your best time, it’s not even the time you envisaged or hoped for – but I imagine the weather, the conditions, your health (toothache, ouch) were not what you had envisaged either. So, shit happens (literally!) You are, as you have shown, more than capable of dusting yourself down and restarting from this point now. So pull on your big girl’s knicxkers and do it!! 🙂

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  13. Beyond well done! Beyond well done because you know, we know, that this has been a pretty full on year for you and yet despite everything, you did it. Perhaps not in brilliant time, but I don’t know many who have actually done a marathon at all … The fact remains that you did it. And it’s probably a bit like childbirth, you’ll forget the pain and do another one – just one last one because it would be good to end on a high. Leave the party when it’s still fun so to speak. And as for your question about how we cope with disappointment? Well, that’s rather apt at the moment … I guess I batten down the hatches, take stock, cry a lot, consider my options, consider running away, and then take a deep breath, face life and all its hardships head on and get up and try again … after all, isn’t that what all good warriors should do?
    Well done Stephen.👍👍👍

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      1. Yes, for the time being I’ve had to make it private so that the ex wife stops reading it all as it’s being used against me as regards the children. I don’t really know what else to do apart from close it all down and start again somewhere else but chances are she’ll find it again. She looks very hard for stuff like this that she can use and I should have been more careful. All in all it is a shame as I don’t think that new people can read my drivel … Were you able to read it? By the way, honestly well done with the marathon. With everything else in your life I’d say it’s a fairly monumental achievement. X

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  14. I just signed up for my first half marathon (in February), and I’m really excited! I try to focus on how far I’ve come as opposed to what went wrong or how bad I feel. But the fact that you did it is a job well done!

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  15. Hey, sorry I’m late reading this and commenting, but I was out of town and had almost no internet access. I’m sorry it was a rough race for you! It happens to everyone eventually. Congratulations on toughing it out, AND on the training you put in. Training is usually the hard part! Don’t be too hard on yourself. I hope your tooth is no longer killing you. I saw your other post. I hope you are okay. Praying for you.

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  16. I, too, am awed by your perseverance and grit. In my book, you were not a flop. And by the comments written here, you’ve got a lot of fans who would say the same. Hope that you’re feeling much better about it all, now that the toothache is resolved and you’ve been able to rest up! P.S. Thank you for visiting my blog a few weeks back!

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  17. Disappointment?? Not sure what to be disappointed about after completing your 9th Marathon despite everything you mentioned?!?! I see a long list of lessons learned, and that’s wonderful! Will keep them all in my mind as I venture my FIRST marathon in 2 weeks.
    In fact BIG CONGRATULATIONS … and may you have many “happy returns” in the future as you keep getting better and looking for more in life!

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  18. You finished, and that right there is a huge accomplishment. It sounds more like a very long Tough Mudder course than a marathon! Sheep poo? Stinging nettles?
    And you had run eight marathons before this one?!
    Your commitment and perseverance (especially with a toothache on top of it all!) are to be commended, and are inspiring!

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