What I learned from running a Half Marathon…


It can be scary setting a goal, knowing there is the chance you will not achieve it.

Two years ago my goal was to finish a half marathon under 2 hours. My time was 2:02. I was disappointed (while still pleased to run the 21km).

Mrs. Lamarche, Mrs. Miller and I trained with a running group from January until last weekend to run in the Oak Bay Half Marathon. Again, my goal was to run the distance under 2 hours. I did it.

At the start of the running clinic, I tried to recognize changes I would have to make in my training discipline and attitude if I was going to meet my goal….try not to miss the long runs, talk less during the hill / speed sessions, and get a bit more comfortable in the “dark place” of running (where it doesn’t feel very good and you still have to keep going). Not meeting my goal 2 years ago, made me very clear on what I needed to do this time.

Goals may be identified, and not achieved. Targets will be made, and narrowly missed. These provide opportunities to reflect, learn, adjust, and apply what you have learned to other areas. That is experiential education. The great thing about not meeting a goal, is you realize how important it is (or isn’t) to you and likely there will be a chance again or a different opportunity around the corner.

As we approach exam review and study season, I asked the students (in my weekly email) to consider the last time they didn’t do as well on a test or exam. What will they do differently to achieve there potential this time around? (The Learning Strategies Seminars are a great place to start and there are two left next week!). How can they (we) learn from previous experiences?

This week, the grade 11’s who nominated themselves for leadership positions found out whether they had been successful in their bids for these positions. Of the 99 students who nominated themselves, 43 students will be elected into Prefect positions. Fifty six people will be disappointed to some degree. How those 56 reflect on the disappointment, refocus their attention and look for ways to make a positive impact next year, regardless, will show true leadership.


Consider the following:

  • When was the last time you set yourself a goal and didn’t achieve it? What did you do? How did you handle it?
  • How have you grown from disappointment? How do we help our children grow from disappointment?
  • How have you refocused your energy to make something good out of something challenging? How do you encourage your children to do the same?
  • How do you discuss failure and disappointment with your child?

There can be more to learn from missing the mark (building skills, reflection, resiliency, learning to refocus) to become effective leaders in the future.



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