Like many Mother Runners, I’m a huge book nerd. My goodreads account is packed with trashy romance, mysteries, historical fiction and a ton of non-fiction books. If I hear a podcast with a tip on improving one’s life, you can bet the book will soon be on my bookshelf.

My latest read: The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward by Daniel Pink. Regret’s a big word that I think many folks try to avoid. But, as Pink quickly points out, it is the most powerful negative emotion that humans experience AND it can be channeled for good.

At its core, regret can improve decision making, boost performance and deepen your understanding of what’s important in life. Not a bad consolation prize for making a decision you truly regret. I highly recommend the book for anyone trying to turn a negative into a positive.

When it comes to running, I have a few regrets that immediately come to mind:

  • Eating an entire Jack’s pepperoni pizza the night before a long run. The consequences were felt running down my leg the next morning.
  • Going along with bad life choices the night before a run: namely, drinking a few too many margaritas and not enough water prior to a long-run in high humidity. I lived to tell about it but the run involved multiple attempts of rehydrating mid-run and a lot of resting.
  • Running injured so I wouldn’t call myself a quitter. Also, shortening my training time by skipping stretching (hard to believe I got injured). Enough said.
  • Convincing myself that my size meant I could never run a race. I’d be in my 30s before I crossed my first finish line.

    No regrets—just smiles—on this run.

  • Due to feeling imposter syndrome, delaying Grandma’s Half-Marathon for nearly a decade because I felt I hadn’t earned a right to line up at a major race.
  • Running solo. I absolutely love running alone but after nearly a decade of running, I finally roped a few friends into running and have found immense joy and camaraderie that comes with the running community.
  • And last but not least, I regret not running a full-marathon in my early 30s. At least I’ve done a half but someday I’d like to check that off my bucket list.

One regret I don’t have: making a promise to myself that I would not allow myself to lose a toenail. I’ve come close but am grateful to have them all in-tact.

These are all choices I’ve made. Some better than others. Playing them back, I often find myself wondering what if I had made different choices in life. The conclusion I always come to is at least I started running. I continue to show up at starting lines on my terms. I am always amazed at what my body is capable of when I try. That’s pretty awesome when you think about it. And as they say, better late than never, right?

What running regrets do you live with?