Thursday, November 17, 2011

a.k.a. when it all goes to h*ll despite all the training


What happens when you train for something for 20 weeks, and when that day comes, it’s a total cluster f*ck?

That’s how I feel about my race.  

I trained.  I worked hard.  I conducted an experiment of one.  I did my homework.  I kept logs and journals. I know exactly what I ate, when I ate it on every run.  I gu’d, stingered and liquid aided myself for 20 odd weeks.  I did tempo runs.  I did long runs.  I did hot runs.  I ran with people and I ran alone.  I mentally pictured myself on the course.  I crossed on cross days and I rested on rest days…  and …

Nothing I did to prepare myself for the marathon made a difference, because I was sick.

I was sick and I sucked, only, I didn’t know that at the time.  I thought I was just sucking for some reason.

Bad runs happen.  They happen to all of us.  They could happen to anyone at any given time.  I know this.

But somehow, in my mind, I feel like the world was my witness at my suckage.

I guess there are a few ways I could handle this.

1)  I could quit running marathons.  Give them up.  Walk away.  Embrace other distances that are less mentally challenging and physically demanding.  Distances that require less recovery.  And distances that are easily raced.  Not because they’re easy, but because the races are easily found.  If you screw up a 5K, wait till next weekend, they’ll be another one 3 miles away.  For that matter, there are probably 8 to choose from, so you can pick the flattest course or the one with the most spectators or the one that supports the charity you prefer.  And there’s no shame in a 10K.  I think shorter distances are really underrated.  That’s where you gain your speed.  So there you go.  Option 1.  Quit marathons.  Get Faster.

2)  I could find another race to RACE, and figure out if this was an isolated occurrence.  It’s risky.  What if I suck at the next one?  That will be the nail in the coffin.  It could be so mentally crushing that I don’t bounce right back and recover.  Or.  What if I RULE the next one?  What if I own it? Destroy it?  Blow my expectations out of the water, or at the very least, meet the expectations.

3)  I could find another race to run, and see what happens.  Instead of shooting for some UBER GOAL, I could just go for a run and see what happens.

It really comes down to two things.  I am faced with the choice to walk away or to walk on.

Just, the thing is, that the old me… the one you all don’t know... she would have walked away.  She would have said, “well, that sucked, we probably hated running anyway.  Let’s take up roller blading” and that would have been that…   

...and that’s just not who I am any more.

So I will decide what my heart wants to do…

In the mean time, I’m just going to run without any pressure or plan.

~savor the run~

14 comments:

Jesser said...

It sucks. It is completely unfair. But as you said, unfortunately, it's a part of life. You will keep going because that's who you are and before long you will reach this goal and then another and then another. Just keep running. Just keep running. ;)

christa said...

It does suck.
RIght now I am in a run for fun, when I want to mode, as my next training cycle doesn't start til January.
Good Luck!

Jen said...

;-)

Well... I say Number 3... but what do I know?

Alili said...

The run for fun cycle is GREAT, particularly after it all the prep work goes out the window. Savor the run, indeed.

Ewa said...

"In the mean time, I’m just going to run without any pressure or plan."
--this is when I enjoy my runs the most but then again I am not much of a racer.
Hope your heart speaks to you soon :)

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

I think, somehow, you'll figure out how to do #2 and #3.
Girl, you were really sick. Remember, you don't lose your starting position for being sick.

Char said...

I've just started following your blog after following a link on Tonia's (I think it was hers) page. I'm so sorry you had a bad day. You need to take some time to get over the disappointment first - a day, a week, a month - and then you'll know what you want. No need to make the decision immediately.

MCM Mama said...

It does suck that the race sucked, but I totally know you have it in you to kick butt at another race, whenever you decide to try again. Remember, you are GBA!

Allison said...

The timing of your illness totally sucked, especially after your great training cycle. Remember to focus on the fact that the reason your race went so poorly was because of something totally out of your control! You are still an amazing GBA runner.

I'm a big fan of the redemption marathon. I did a short turnaround last year after a sucky marathon and got a big PR in race number 2.

Jenny said...

I know you won't stop! And I know that you will reach your PR, and when you do it will feel even better, because u will have worked even harder and waited even longer for it. It sucks that you were sick, but what an inspiration that you still finished. Can't wait to hear what you do, but I know you WILL get your goal time eventually!

Michelle said...

What happened blows. There is no sugar coating it. But from reading your blog, you are no quitter. You'll bounce back and I'm excited to see what you accomplish. chin up.

RunHapi13 said...

Yep, just let me know when you decide what marathon you are going to go kill in the next few weeks, you know you are gonna, and you know you will. I will always be your cheerleader!

Jessica (Pace of Me) said...

Wow, I really know how you feel G. Two years ago I trained so hard for my fall marathon and then race day came and I totally sucked. It just was not my day and mentally I let myself give up. I finished the race but never felt good about it, it depressed me. I vowed then that I would never let myself into that negative space like that again - the time on the clock was disappointing sure but more than that I was disappointed that I let myself give up mentally. Two weeks later I went to Richmond and was signed up for the half. I debated whether or not to do the full instead and I wound up chickening out and sticking with the half. I enjoyed the half a lot - it was a great race for me and reminded me that I was strong and that one race does not define my abilities as a runner. Marathons can be heartbreaking and they also can be exhilarating - isn't that part of the reason we keep going back for more? You will find the right answer for yourself, I have no doubt. Just keep running!

Pam said...

May as well keep running. Roller blading sucks too.