January 13, 2015

Fight for it - the new meaning

With nearly no exceptions, I think about the Richmond Marathon every time I run. Most of the time, I feel sad and have a bit of negative self talk going on. After training very hard, it's been tough to move on from that race. I still feel a bit sad about the outcome, but on Sunday, everything changed. I was FINALLY able to mentally move on.

After agonizing over the fact that my training pace was significantly faster than my race pace, I told myself enough. I told myself that I couldn't change the events of the morning of November 15th. I did the absolute best that I could in the moment and got myself across the finish line with a tear-stained face and limping.

My motto for Richmond was fight for it. At the time, this meant fight for a PR, preferably one under 4:10 and ideally under 4:00. I trained hard and was prepared for those times and yet neither of those goals happened. But I did PR. And by golly, I crossed a finish line despite the previous ten miles sucking beyond belief.

I've had more than enough time to reflect and consider this race. I was ready to abandon everything about it - the clothes, shoes, mental mottos, etc. On my run on Sunday, I reconsidered that maybe this motto means something a little different now. Maybe I need to fight to regain my running mojo and find my confidence. It's time to identify some new goals, ones that I'll fight for. After putting to bed the disappointment, "what ifs" and challenges of Richmond Marathon, I'm ready to start fighting again.

How do you get back on track after a tough race?
{Christine}

23 comments:

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  2. Christine, I am in the same boat and trying to fight for my running mojo back! It can be very difficult, but I think having inspiring quotes and to write them on your hand, but also to remember why you're doing it helps push you further, Farther and faster.Love this post, I'm struggling with this too!!

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    1. Sarah, Thanks for your kind words...it sometimes helps to know you're not alone. I find that running comes in and out like the ocean tides...I'm ready to be back on track now! :)

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  3. Gosh! I Love this!!! at the end of the day, the time on the race clock doesn't mean anything. You fought hard during Richmond. It's so hard to watch your goals slip out of reach (I saw mine disappear in Richmond too!) - I think your running on Sunday was spot on. Fight for yourself right now because you deserve it. YOU deserve it and have everything to be confident about. You survived a tough day and disappointment - it's going to make you that much stronger on the day you leave your goals in the dust.

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    1. Thank you, Kristy! You are so kind and I really appreciate your support. Now let's plan our Garmin-less run date :)

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  4. You PR'd at a race you feel sad about. I think it's absolutely awesome you could finish when you felt so bad and manage to get a PR too. Own that! You should be extremely PROUD. There'll be other races to get the faster time you wanted.

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    1. I know, I feel silly at times for being disappointed with a PR. The discomfort definitely was part of my disappointment. But time for new races and new goals! :)

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  5. I think all races are a learning experience no matter what happens. Time aside, if you learn something from it and it helps your future races and runs, then the race is worth it. Sometimes you learn what to do but sometimes you always learn what not to do in the future or that you made a mistake in training or racing. Everyone has bad days and bad races, we are all still learning what works for us!

    As for me, I try to just mentally digest whatever happened post-race, I eat some ice cream, and I usually sign up for something else pretty quickly. Maybe it's a redemption thing, I dunno.

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    1. What an insightful comment, Amy. This race taught me so much and after thinking about it (probably too much), it's time for new races.

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  6. I felt the same way after the NYC Marathon. NOTHING about that day/race went the way I had dreamed of since 2012 when I first attempted to run it and it was cancelled. I trained all summer for it only to injure myself 3 weeks prior. I had imagined an amazing race and truly thought I would want to run it again. Not only did I end up at least an hour slower than I trained for because of my knee and being sick, but I have no desire to even attempt it another time. I finished in tears and was depressed over it for awhile.

    I have no doubt that you are more than capable of having your marathon wishes come true. You train hard and are very dedicated. I bet if you run another full, you'll end up doing even better than you wished for Richmond. :)

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    1. Marathon training is so grueling and having a race day that doesn't go as planned kinda sucks! I think I'm going to take a break from the marathon and sign up when I *want* to run one again. Right now, I'm content running halves.

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  7. I felt exactly this way after MCM. The key for me was taking some time off, that usually works. You will have your marathon dream come true, I just know it!!

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    1. Yes, time definitely has helped both in terms of a break from running and mentally moving forward. Maybe I'll be at MCM this year ;)

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  8. I know a lot of people will disagree, but you need to run another marathon to erase Richmond. I was distraught after NYCM and shared the same feelings (I hated marathons and vowed never to train for one again), but they all vanished after Thunder Road. Still, whenever I thought of NYCM, I'd get mad. I saved my NYCM finisher blanket and wore it to the start of the Disney full this weekend. At mile 2, when I went to toss it, I told myself that I was also throwing away all negative feelings I was harboring towards NYCM. The Disney marathon was seriously the most fun I've ever had in a race. At mile 20, I even told Jeff that I loved marathons and that I'm going to BQ in Disney one day. I never would have gotten to that happy place if it wasn't for NYCM!

    I know you're capable of a lot more than what happened in Richmond, and that one day you'll go sub-4!

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    1. Ah Jen, thank you so much for the kind words. I've been toying with the idea of a redemption marathon and I was on a race registration site before I told myself no. Other than just wanting to erase Richmond, I don't really want to run another full right now and I know my heart wouldn't be in the race. I think I may take 2015 as a break from marathons and come back next year. But who knows! :)

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  9. So glad to hear that you're ready to move on from your Richmond experience. I know it isn't easy to remember now, but know that you'll have a kick ass marathon experience down the road which will kick your Richmond race's butt.

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    1. Thanks Kathryn! For a little while I was toying with doing the Shamrock full but have decided to put full marathons on hold for this year. :)

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  10. Yes, fight to get back your mojo and to not let one bad race ruin you.
    My best full was in the pouring rain, with strep throat, on a hilly course, but the other ones just didn't work out... I know I can do better and soon I'll be fighting for it too.

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    2. That is amazing Abby! I am always amazed at the conditions that runners will deal with...and it sounds like you had one of those super-human race days!

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  11. I think when we put so much time and effort into something and then the "something" happens, the rush is gone and leaves you drained. Not a bad thin necessarily, but the residual of all the effort is still there. I wasn't completely happy with my marathon performance either but there were so many factors that made it what it was. I took almost 2 months off before running again. I'm just now starting to get my mojo back but i'm feeling really good these days. Maybe time is all you need. I can't say whether you should go after another marathon or not, but eventually you'll heart will catch up to your head :)

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    1. What an insightful thought, Mar. I had never thought about heart catching up with head and that totally makes sense! Marathons are so tough because of the training cycle...and when race day doesn't go the way you had hoped, it can feel catastrophic. But it's just a race and I'm excited to move on to new things and get rid of all the negativity I had about running!

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  12. Such a thoughtful post. It can be so hard to get over a bad race and get your mojo back. For me, it usually takes some time and perspective, like the new one you've found. I often think of good running mojo like happiness--you have to appreciate every day you have it and fight for it every day that you don't. Glad to hear you're back in fighting form!

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