You know when you have a really bad race? Lorna does.
Goal: To finish better than last year!
Marathon history: One marathon under belt – London 2013. Finished in 4hrs 54 mins
What I learnt this week: Not all races are good races
Following on from my last post I think it’s important to share how I got on at Silverstone half marathon on Sunday. I wanted to love it, I wanted to kill it, I wanted so desperately to prove my inner demons wrong and reach my (oh so high) expectations of time. In my (harsh) opinion none of this was achieved.
After four days of reflection (read: sulking) I can now hold my head high and say that I’m proud that I ran that race and I’m proud that I took 12 mins off my previous time running this race even if it wasn’t a PB. After four days I’ve accepted that not all races will be record breakers and that you can’t always have a good run. But it’s taken four days to reach these opinions.
Let’s start at the race. I was ready. My diet had been spot on, I got a great night’s sleep, I ached a little from Friday’s session but not too much. My mind was in race mode and I was ready to smash my PB. Then I stepped out of the car in Silverstone and froze. Literally. It. Was. Freezing. The wind was destroying. The heavens threatened to open above me. As I waited for the race to start I began to feel doubt creep in. Something just didn’t feel right today.
I got to mile three and I gave up. I didn’t have enough fight in me to battle the CONSTANT wind. I didn’t have enough energy to keep up my goal pace. I didn’t really want to go on. As the miles past me so did my pacing – I got slower and slower and felt heavier and heavier in my legs. It was a battle not to give up. By mile 10 I could have passed out with exhaustion. Something kept me going but I have no idea what. The combination of the shock of the weather conditions and the battle of my defeatist attitude meant it was not a day to be proud of my achievements. I was overwhelmed with emotion throughout the two hours plus it took me to run, and I could quite honestly have burned every bit of kit I owned when I finished. (I haven’t, don’t panic).
The drive home was every bit as hideous as the race – it was long, arduous and full of too much time for reflection. The longer I was in a traffic jam the longer I had to berate myself. The prolonged exposure to time in the car also meant my muscles seized and I grew crankier and crankier as a passenger. I was cold, tired and angry (read: not the best company for a four and a half hour journey).
I collapsed into a heap and woke up the next day in physical agony. My legs were not the problem – it was all in the back and arms. The cold and the wind must have played havoc with my muscles as I couldn’t move from my sleeping position. This meant I beat myself up all the more for the next 24 hours. I wanted to stretch, I wanted to move and I was incapable of doing so which I can tell you did not improve my mood. I whinged, cried and poured my heart out to anyone that could listen. I considered packing it all in.
Tuesday wasn’t much better for my body or mind and I was still in too much pain to do any kind of exercise. I dragged myself into work to go about my normal day and hoped to be distracted into forgetting what a mess my running was, however this was not the plan – I have amazing colleagues who care about me, and they wanted to share my experiences and be proud of the achievement. They were not going to let me sulk – they made me see the error of my ways and made me start to accept the fact that although this race was tough I needed to view it as just part of my training. It was done, my time was an improvement and it was just one run in a series that’s leading up to the biggie in 5 weeks time. I needed to move on and stop sulking.
So that’s what I’ve done. It’s taken nearly a week to get my mind back into training mode, and I’ve really not done very much this week, but maybe I needed the rest. Next week I’m confident I’ll be back to knocking out the miles and throwing the big weights around. What’s telling is that as the weeks pass I’m accepting that my training for a second marathon is much more about training my mind rather than muscles and I need to stop giving in to every little doubt that comes into my mind as well as not getting too cocky. Mind games – totally exhausting!!!
Weekly training stats: 26km run this week
Friday 28 Feb
60 min strength session with a personal trainer. Mainly focused on arms and abs – today I mastered my first set of assisted chin ups
Saturday 1 March
Sunday 2 March
Silverstone Half Marathon
Monday 3 March
Rest / sulk day
Tuesday 4 March
More resting / sulking
Wednesday 26 Feb
5km run, home yoga
Thursday 27 Feb
Home yoga and a light core/hamstring session