Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Getting over a Bad Race

Alright, I am currently licking my wounds from running Grandma's Marathon at about an hour more than what the Prediction Charts had me at. I've had a great past six months of training and for what? Run a 5:10 when I should've had a 4:10.

Have you ever these thoughts? You train for an extended period for the planned race and fall well short of it?

I can give you my thoughts on why I failed. But before I get there, let me tell you how I succeeded.

I succeeded in the fact that I ran for the past six months while many of my colleagues didn't. I succeeded in losing 18 pounds in the past 24 weeks. I achieved a 2:00 Half Marathon that I haven't accomplished in three years. I accomplished a sub 25:00 5K that I hadn't accomplished in 3 years. I ran a personal best 53 total miles in an 8 day stretch, something I've never done in almost 30 years of running.

But I still came up short in the Marathon.

The Marathon is not your typical race. You can be in what you believe you best condition is, and a 5 degree temperature change can put all that training at risk. I'm not making excuses, but the Marathon has been for me, and many others, a crap shoot at best.

The point I'm making is that running and/or training for a race has its own internal 'Ying-Yang' balance. Yes, I had all of those positives during my training along with a bad Marathon. But all of those positives could have, I not saying for sure, but could have, led to my bad Marathon. 53 miles 3 weeks before the Marathon could've been a bad choice. Races the two weekends before the Marathon could've set me up for being tired on race day. But the key message that it taught me is that a one day race doesn't mean the past six months were all a waste. Sure, I was disappointed, but when I stepped back and thought about the successes so far this season, I wouldn't have traded a 4:10 Marathon for all of the mini-successes that I experienced.

In coming blogs, I will share some thoughts that I have, and things I've learned on what I believe makes a successful Marathon run. I've tried enough programs to know what works and what doesn't. I hope you will learn from all of my past mistakes. And also, for the successes.


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