by Dathan Ritzenhein | Apr 01, 2010 |
It is always hard to watch from the sidelines. This past weekend was the World Cross Country Championships and waking up to the results on Sunday was a tough pill to swallow. As I was looking through the results all I could think was “I could have won this race”! Looking through the top guys in the field I know knew that I had beaten all of them in my previous races, and I am a great XC runner to go along with it. But it is always easy to say “I could have” or “I would have”. Running is not theory and that is the beauty of competition. You find out who is the best on that day. I wanted to be there and it was difficult to put that behind me, but Joesph Ebuya was the best man on the day.
On thing that has always helped me come back from the disappointment of injury in watching the results go by. I would not say that it is a sense of bitterness at not being on the line, but more a sense of missing a big opportunity. Each time I have a “missed opportunity” such as this past weekends WXC Championships, it fuels my fire for the next target. I have such high goals for this year, but the marathon is the big prize. Knowing that pinning down my re-debut in the marathon this fall is close really helped me as I watched my colleagues battle it out in the mud in Poland.
Sometimes the hardest thing we face in the sport is that goals are not met all the time. I have had so many more failed attempts than I have had goals met. What makes the 12:56’s, World Championship medals, and US titles so special is that they were mixed with moments of disappointment and struggle. Crossing the finish line in an American Record is a feeling that is indescribable but knowing that I came back every time I fell is what keeps me hungry to exceed the next goal.