Tuesday, March 31, 2015

TFT; My 5th Half Marathon; RnR DC

First off, I know not everyone is into running or talking about running or reading about running, so feel free to skedaddle.


So. Half #5. I wish I could take this off my record. I don't even really want to talk about it but I need to.

Remember, you are supposed to get better, not worse. I am supposed to run a sub 2 hour half marathon this year. What kind of runner gets worse? Who does their worst half marathon 3 years after their best? You are not supposed to do that. You are supposed to get better. Or you are supposed to maintain, not backslide.

Supposed, schmopposed. Whatever. Moving on. For more information about the actual race, read Tracy's recap (here) or Alyssa's recap (here).


Basically, here's how my race went:

I stayed with Alyssa and Tracy for about 3 miles, I think. Maybe less. I couldn't keep that pace the whole race, and I didn't want to slow them down either. I started getting a bit dizzy around mile 6, I think. Nothing crazy, just a few black spots here and there. Sounds scarier than it is, but it's something I have dealt with all my life. About mile 10, I started to feel sick as well as dizzy, and I saw a medical tent - if it hadn't been raining, I would have sat down at any time prior to this, but I didn't feel like sitting on the wet ground (even though I was soaked, logic is not my strong suit). I told the guy I needed to sit down for a bit, he offered me a gatorade (vomit) and I drank it. From there, I guess I got a bit more dizzy because I don't remember how long I sat there - 1 minute or 5? I 'came to' with my head in between my knees. The guy didn't even realise really, so it wasn't serious, he just thought I was sitting there. Like I said, happens to me all the time but it's never happened during a race. The guy told me it would be best if I walked the rest of the race, I didn't say anything, he said he really strongly advised me not to run. I run / walked the rest, of course booking it when I saw the finish line. I felt fine after that, the 2 chocolate milks I got as I crossed the finish line helped.


So, what happened? I happened. I didn't train properly. I got cocky. I wasn't prepared. I'm not trying to say I got dizzy and blacked out to make an excuse. It slowed me down but  I was out of the game well before that. I was slow. It took me over 2 hours to run 10 miles. That embarrasses me. Whatever the circumstances, it still makes me cringe. Sure, it rained the whole bloody time, and I have never run in the rain, but that should have encouraged me to go faster - get it over with. Instead, I grumbled and moaned about how cold and soaked I was, like I was the only one out there. If I had just gone a little faster I would have been done sooner. I know I could have done better, but my mind gave up before my body.  If I had trained better, I would have been ok both mentally and physically. But I didn't, and it shows.

How did I stack up?

2011: 2:37:15
2012: 2:04:48
2014: 2:39:15
2014: 2:33:21
2015: 2:50:36

One of these is not like the other. Ok, two of these aren't but one is really bad. I can't even look at it without cringing. So let's look at this awkward photo of me instead (side note; I need to find a new outfit, I've worn this far too many times. Another side note; why are race photos so expensive? No.)



No use dwelling on it. I'm not looking for pity. This one is all on me. I wish I could say this would be my turning point, this will make me train better and harder and it will never happen again. But who knows. I have been trying to get back to where I was for so long, I just keep doing things - or not, rather - that set me back. I am ashamed of where I am today. Regardless of what anyone says, that's how I feel. But I am trying to be nicer to myself. Being mean isn't going to get me that goal. Comparing isn't going to get me there.

In the meantime, I'm not dwelling on this race. I'm not focusing on how slow I am compared to 2012. I run, I am a runner. Onwards and upwards. Every fiber of my being wants to berate myself and be disgusted, but I am forcing myself to be nice and faking it till I make it. I am proud of myself. Not for this race, but for not giving up. One day I will be proud of how far I have come, but until then I am proud that I am not giving up.


I don't feel ready for the Derby half, so I'm not sure if I will sign up for it. I need to stop expecting so much from myself without putting in the work. I am not going to get back to 2012 by running 3 miles once or twice a week. I need to put in the work if I expect to see results.

Tracy's Shamrock marathon recap inspired and motivated me and I feel a little light inside me (corny?) that I haven't felt in awhile. I love to run, but I love to run well so it's easy to get discouraged when I'm not doing well. I need to get better in order to love it as much as I used to. I'm not going to get better unless I work hard, and I need to learn to love it now even though I'm not very good. It's like an ongoing cycle or something. Love it, work hard, get better, love it some more. I can do this.

Anyway, this post is rather pointless. There are no goals, no PRs, no revelations. Just something of an update and a glimmer of hope. Wish me luck. The next Training For Tuesday is 3 days after the Derby half. Maybe I'll have some good news. Maybe not. Either way, you'll hear from me!

alyssagoesbang

How do you get back on the wagon after falling off a few thousand times?

40 comments:

  1. The fact that you finished is something to be proud of - even if it wasn't the time you were hoping for!! I'm glad you said you weren't dwelling on this race, because it was just a blip and the next one will be better than the one three years ago! So proud of you girl! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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  2. I missed out on the Nike half last year but that's one I want to really do when I can get myself ready for it! And running in the rain sucks! So good job!!

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  3. Those rough runs/races make the good ones that much more kick ass! I tend to put so much pressure on myself to always get a better time in each race I run, which takes the fun out of things.I am trying to be better about just enjoying the run and moving on after the bad ones!

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  4. I've got a 10 miler in a few weeks that I'm not prepared for. I've decided that doing the miles is more important than being able to run for all of them, but I can understand the frustration. I had a training plan! I was supposed to be ready! And yeah, there were some ankle issues, but I also let things slide a bit.

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  5. Girl, I think my favorite thing about running is that it's a personal thing. All you can do is to do your best--and at different times in our lives, our bests vary. I'm sorry you had such a scare in the middle--I get dizzy while running (ha, and the furthest I've ever run was 3 miles), but it is scary!

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  6. I'm just impressed that you ran through a cold, rainy half marathon AND finished it after having to stop at a medic tent. The only races I've done in the rain have been 5Ks and it was more like a misty/fog thing than actual rain. At least you now have some good motivation to get the training in for your next half! :)

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  7. so i know of a (blogger) runner who loved running but she just wasn't feeling it. no motivation to run, her races weren't as spectacular and she was just feeling bad about the whole thing...so she took a break from tracking and training and ran without a watch. no timed paces, no goals - just running for the sake of running. she did this and it invigorated her somewhat and then she took a break entirely from running and started hiking mountains. i don't recall her posting about a run in a while but she's totally in love with hiking! she knows that running is her heart but sometimes, you just gotta step back and try something different only to go back and fall in love with your #1 passion. maybe that's what you need to do? try something different.

    sometimes that happens - we fall out of love with something we were so passionate about. it happens. happened with me and lifting. i will always be a lifter at heart but right now, not so much and besides, muay thai is my life right now. i've recently started going back to lifting but lighter (more maintenance) and i think being away from it has rekindled my passion.

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  8. But you finished dear! I actually always love reading about your running posts, it motivates me because I can barely run a mile and you are so honest about it. It's all about going forward and doing the best you can. Go Kristen! I bet you will only be improving yourself from here!

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  9. My suggestion: stop running. Find a fall half to make your goal race, and take a break. You won't have to start training for a fall race until summer, so that would give you a couple of months to regroup. Find a training plan that fits your goals and lifestyle, then kill it. I know you have it in you to go sub 2, but when you're just "eh" about running, it's hard to be motivated to properly train. Suggestion 2: run with me. You set that PR when we were running together. :P

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    1. You are so right Jenni. You totally made me a better runner! Whenever you are ready to run together again, let's do it! I'll drive over or we can meet halfway or something. I'm serious.

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  10. My suggestion: stop running. Find a fall half to make your goal race, and take a break. You won't have to start training for a fall race until summer, so that would give you a couple of months to regroup. Find a training plan that fits your goals and lifestyle, then kill it. I know you have it in you to go sub 2, but when you're just "eh" about running, it's hard to be motivated to properly train. Suggestion 2: run with me. You set that PR when we were running together. :P

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  11. I agree with B, I'm proud that you finished when you could have quit at anytime. Feeling ashamed or like a failure is never fun, but do see the good in the fact you finished the race, that is an accomplishment in itself.

    I agree with Jenni, too. Find a race, maybe a shorter one and train for it to get the mojo back. It's tough to do those long runs when it's cold outside, but as the days warm up longer runs are more feasible. You can do it, lady!

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  12. Love the intense running picture! And you are amazing for having completed all those races. Awesome times!

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  13. You are amazing. The fact that you run races is such an accomplishment. There are those of us that dont even exercise. We just eat Cadbury Eggs and make mean memes about Disney stars.

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  14. You still beat me ;) NOW who should be embarrassed?! ;)

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  15. During my particularly horrible run when everything is going against me (mostly the wind and all my achy parts), I have to repeat to myself, I'm out here, I'm not sitting on the couch. Over and over and over and over and over. Even when I'm walking and feeling like a lazy slob, which is completely incorrect because I'm still out there getting sweaty and not on my couch eating potato chips, over and over and over.

    ANNNDD you still got the medal. That's what matters. :)

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  16. I hate HATEEEEE that feeling of dizzy & seeing black spots. That happened to me on my first race where I wasn't prepared either.
    I'm glad you were OK.... & proud you made it to the finish line anyways!
    Screw the time - you made it ... in the rain!!!!
    Good luck doing/deciding about the Ky mini...
    ... & you CANT change your running outfit - that's how I can find you :)
    & yep... I only buy race pictures where my hubs is in with me. I like to wait until a few months go by & they give a discount too.

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  17. Two things:

    I honestly just commented on Tracy's blog that she actually looks cute in her race photos, because she DOES. So, she's one runner who can say that! Me? NOPE.

    I got dizzy and felt sick like you in my first road race. I nearly passed out crossing the finish line. I had to run/walk the middle miles of the race, and it was only a 10K. If you start out too fast, your blood can't carry enough oxygen to your muscles, lungs, etc and you basically screw yourself. Not just for a few miles, you're down for the count for the rest of the race. It takes a few hours to get your oxygen levels back to where they should be. I'm guessing this happened to you. I always make myself start out slow for the first two miles after that race experience because man is it a bad feeling, and it's such a bummer to ruin your pace/race time, too!

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  18. sadly sometimes even when you do train you can have a crappy performance... I learned that far too many times during my swimming career :/ but i agree with some of the commenters above, maybe try taking a break from running! Go hiking with Kasey

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  19. Girl you are lapping my bootie on the couch ;-) Seriously though you look fierce in that picture pushing through the elements. I did one half marathon and it was such torture I vowed to never do another one so you are rocking it that you have done that many!

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  20. Before you go all self-bashing about that RnR time, can you pause to think about what was really happening that day? It. was. miserable. It was hard. It was hard to see, your shoes and body were waterlogged. And yes, your time is high compared to your other ones, but you WERE NOT moving that whole time. You had to stop because your body told you something important. And I'm proud of you for listening to your body. THAT's the most important piece of all this, if you ask me. You were smart in that respect, and you deserve a lot of credit for that.

    Also, it took until my fourth 5k to beat the time from my very first 5k. So supposed, shmuppposed (?). Don't get hung up on supposed to. Weren't we just talking about this the other day? There's no supposed to other than what you decide you really, really want to and CAN do. It sucks, but we ARE all human. And we DO have limits. Perhaps your limits in 2015 are different from your limits in 2011. And what's wrong with that? Nothing. It just is. You're not the same person you were. So maybe it's time to revaluate that goal of a PR or set it as something different until you know that that goal is a realistic one. And it won't be until your body shows and tells you it's ready to do it.

    Listen to your body, not your competitive mind. Listen to your feet. Listen to me: You are still incredible because you're still trying. THAT is worth far, far more than I think you let it be worth.

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  21. I am so proud of you for signing up for that race, actually showing up on race day when it was raining and miserable and then finishing it. I am going to be so very honest, had it been me and I saw the weather? I would have bailed on it.

    I hate running. I have never in my life been a runner. I used to be in much better shape than I am not, but even then running sucked. I am doing the C25K program to prove to myself that I can do it. I needed something that made me push myself and what better to do that with something that you hate? I am truly amazed every time I jump on that treadmill and see that I ran for 8 minutes straight instead of just the 5 that I was excited about last week. I say all that to say, find something you are passionate about right now. For me, my passion is seeing myself getting better at something I am awful at. I still don't "like" running but I am loving that self accomplished feeling. Maybe take a break for awhile and try something else. You will either find that running isn't your true passion, this new thing is. Or the new thing will make you miss running and you will get your mojo back.

    Either way, you and I need to stop being mean to ourselves!!!!!

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  22. It is so hard to not get down on your self when you expect better from yourself but sometimes just focusing on the fact you finished is pretty cool. Most people can't say they have done a half, let alone 5. Keep pushing forward or give yourself a break and try a new sport.

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  23. As a nonrunner, just the fact that you finish a half marathon is impressive to me. You could take 12 hours and I'd still be impressed. I know you're not thrilled but you still did it. Most people can't say that.

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  24. Ok can we just talk about how it is the MOST discouraging thing to do worse in a race. I did fine, then terrible, then amazing and I never want to run another half because I'm so scared I'll do worse again and I don't think I can handle that feeling again! Even when I didn't train for this 10K I was so upset when my time was so bad. ugh

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  25. Your honesty is refreshing!

    LOLOLOL @ the runners/non-runners ecard

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  26. Sorry that you ever experience dizzy spells but especially that it happened during the race.
    And, there aren't really rules that say you have to get better each race:) Running is enough - it should be just to make you feel good!! (my version of a pep talk!)

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  27. I've never been a runner, I do tons of different workouts that involve cardio, but I just cannot run (I kinda look like Phoebe on Friends when I run or I might as well). I was going to run in my first 5K next month, but I don't want to shell out the cash for something I'm kinda meh about. I can't imagine experiencing a dizzy spell during a race, you are a trooper girl!

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  28. I totally understand why you aren't happy about your RnR time and I would beat myself up over it if I were you too...but that's because when I'm dealing with myself, I'm highly irrational and mean and self-deprecating. Speaking not only as someone who is not you, but who was there that day: you did the best job you could have done that day, no doubt about it. I know you don't feel like you trained properly, and maybe you didn't, but come race day, there was nothing you could do to change that. But you showed up anyway, you ran your race, and more importantly, you FINISHED your race - something I'm not sure a lot of people (myself included) would have had the strength to do after landing in the medic's tent.
    With that said, I don't think it's fair for you to group that one in with your other times - like Alyssa said, you weren't even moving the whole time! It's not fair to compare that with all those other races when you didn't have such horrible circumstances. You know you are capable of more than that, as you have proven time and time again. Remember that we only get one shot at race day - the odds aren't really in our favor that it will end up being the best representation of what we can really achieve.
    And I have to say I think Jennifer is brilliant in suggesting that you bail on Derby and find a fall half that you can really focus on. Honestly this sounds just like what I went through last fall when I was trying to run the Richmond Marathon. I really don't think that race would have gone very well if I had gone through with it. Instead, I took a little step back, regrouped, found a spring race (hello, Shamrock!) and crushed it. Maybe you'll start to feel better now that it's warming up, but if not, I think you might find that sitting Derby out this year and finding a fall half you can really get excited about will serve you well. And whatever you do decide to do, you know I'm always a text or email away to support you no matter what :)

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  29. Always talk about running and I'll always read. Running isn't 'easy' for anyone and it's something that takes practice. To get better at running you have to run, and sometimes the day or the conditions and the elements can significantly change the way you're able to cope. From everything I've heard about the race and the weather and now hearing about your tent-break, you should be SO amazed that you finished under 3 hours!!! Then think about all the people who didn't finish. You're you and I'm really happy you listened to your body when it told you to take a break. That's strength no matter what way you frame it up! :)

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  30. I applaud you for being a runner. I've always tried but I have a heart murmur and I make it not even a mile and I feel like passing out! Also, don't be hard on yourself you did a great job!

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  31. Not at all a pointless post. Quite a real and relevant post if we're being honest. I can totally understand your disappointment. You have done better so in your mind you should do better but in reality not every day will be your best and not every race could be your best. You are indeed a runner and a better runner than a lot of us. I have never even attempted a half and I still consider myself a runner. You did the best you could on that day given the dizziness and raininess and had it been me I would have called it quits. I took so much inspiration from this post because you know what YOU FINISHED! You crossed that line and don't you forget it! A wise person once told me (ehem you) that we need to be kinder to ourselves. Give yourself a pat on your back for finishing five halfs. I haven't finished one.

    You rock chica :)

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  32. You SO do need to be nicer to yourself!! I know it's so different when you have goals in your head, but I still think with all the circumstances it's amazing that you finished-- and kept running somewhat. Even if the time is higher than you wanted and it doesn't fit with the others, I think the amazing thing is that it IS another time on your list. It's another race that you ran and you finished and regardless of the time, that in itself is huge. It really encourages and inspires me because I feel like if I was in the situation I would have just quit-- I wanted to quit the other day just running two miles, haha, so I can't even imagine having the energy or the inner drive to keep going. So proud of you!

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  33. I think it's awesome that you finished. If I blacked out, I probably would have just called a taxi or something. You'll get there!

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  34. Aw, I agree with Carly ^^ You definitely need to be nicer to yourself. So what if it wasn't your personal best!! Was that the entire point or was it also about doing something you enjoy and connecting with other awesome people in the process? It's not total loss. Just like every blog post won't be our best, some will be memorable, some will be forgotten, I'm sure it's the same with some races. It wasn't your best- oh well! They can't all be!! Ask yourself: WWTSS?? (What would Taylor Swift Say??) SHAKE IT OFF. That's what.

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  35. I'm so impressed you finished after that! Seriously, in those horrible weather conditions, and what you were going through, you are amazing!
    I completely know what you're talking about by your times getting worse though, that's how my marathons were. My PR was 5:12, and then a few months after that I ran Chicago, and my time was almost an hour later!! So I know how discouraging it is. I blame that bad race on the gatorade though. I'll never drink that crap again.
    Well, I want you to run the derby for selfish reasons, so I can see you. :)
    I have no doubt your next race will be amazing!!

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  36. I don't even know if I'd do a marathon, so you are already better off than me! I run 4+ miles several times a week and at times up to 8 or 9 {pre-pregnancy}, but I tend to get bored. I'm sure that training more will help you in the future, but it sounds to me like you hadn't eaten correctly prior and had low blood sugar. Food is fuel, so you have to do it right for a run like that! Either way, you are still awesome, and as we age, we may not be as fast as we once were and that's okay too. Age isn't a handicap by any means, but it's a great 'crutch' when we want it ;)

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  37. I followed along with you on Instagram- what a great accomplishment. Congrats!!

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  38. Based on what I've read about the horrible weather, I wouldn't beat yourself up too much. But I am REALLY sorry you felt so crummy. That just totally sucks and makes running not fun AT ALL. :(

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  39. I missed out on the Nike half last year but that's one I want to really do when I can get myself ready for it! And running in the rain sucks! So good job!!
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