Sports psychology - it's everywhere. Everyone thinks they're a shrink, and everyone into sports thinks they're a sports shrink. Every day you'll see these cheeky little phrases that people love to use to pump themseleves up. You know which ones I'm talking about: pain is weakness leaving the body. Runners get more done before 6am than most people do all day. If you can think it, you can do it. Be the ball. Etc.
I was running Disney's Race for the Taste 10k, my first 10k, in October 2006. I remember it very clearly because one of my co-workers, who racewalks, walked with me during the first couple miles while I was warming up. Toward the end of the race, around mile 4, I started to blow past everyone. It was my perfect "second half" - I had very few fatigued spots - I just keep soaring right on by.
At everyr ace, there are a group of women who plan matching outfits and run together. They often wear their race shirts from previous all-women's races, and even though there's nothing wrong with all-women's races, I always considered them more a place to bond than actually race. And I couldn't help but smirk at the some of the other shirts I saw, especially those sporting this equation:
Those of you who have ever done any kind of race, (foot, auto, cycling or otherwise), know what these acronyms mean, but in case you were a non-racer, or someone who just didn't get it, here's what it means. Underneath this catchy little blurb were the following words: A Dead Last Finis (DLS)h is greater than a Did Not Finish (DNF), which is greater than a Did Not Start (DNS).
Great. Another dopey sports psychology mantra. I had a good chuckle, I'll tell you that, as I sailed past them. Mean as it sounds, I thought, if you need that slogan to pump you up, you're obviously not as tough as you think!
But now, after my recent DNF at the TriAmerica triathlon and a DNS at the OA Corporate 5k, I'm starting to wonder if I was the dope. The spirit suggested by that hokey equation is probably the spirit I should have had all along. I have finally learned that finishing is the more important part. A runner with the ORC told me one night, Pain is temporary, but a finish lasts forever.
Tell me about it. So does a did not finish.