After a disappointing run in the Pittsburgh Marathon two weeks ago, I rested up and signed up for the Cleveland Marathon, which ran today. For this race, I too decided to be "The Opposite" to see if it would improve my odds. I skipped a few training runs, I didn't plan what I ate or drank this week, I stayed up late on multiple occasions, I got a bad cold (not by choice but it helped with the narrative) and was out of commission for a day or two, and I took my time getting up to Cleveland rather than getting there early and getting situated. I basically did everything wrong (though I made sure not to have any super spicy wings the night before. I'm not that crazy).
And? It worked! Despite multiple hailstorms mid-race and a poorly attended course, the race went much better than last time. My time was better, sure, but more importantly, I had way more fun running this one. I was in the zone and on pace from the beginning to the end, I made no walk-breaks with the exceptions of my five 1-minute walks every 4-5 miles, and I felt strong in the final four miles as everyone else starting walking and slowing down. It was one of those races that keeps you coming back...and being that this was number 13, I'll definitely have to do another one...or two....or seven at some point.
So the next time you're "doing everything right" and still not getting the results you want, maybe it's time to do the opposite. Sometimes just approaching something in a different way is all that it takes to shake up the old patterns and get some great results.