It usually takes a couple days to absorb details and emotions that occurred during a race. From the moment I crossed the finish line I was happy about my performance, but disappointed because i thought I had a little more in me. Hence, my MMM (McKayla Marony Moment) that the photographers just so happened to catch. When I saw this picture, I realized what a brat I was being. I did my best on the given day and landed a PR.
Instead of a traditional race recap where I take you mile by mile of what happened, I thought breaking down the positive and negatives of the race would help me take away what I need from it and move forward.
-Sinus issues. You guys know i’ve been dealing with it. During the race, it was the only thing annoying me the entire time. My nose was running right along with me and my throat was super dry, making it impossible to take deep breaths. I had to make extra water stops just to wet my throat which i knew was killing time. That was frustrating.
-Wind. There were definitely decent headwinds, which made the dry throat worse.
-Hills. These killed me. I forgot how hilly the course was. I tried to pretend it was an interval workout every time I headed up a hill. I had to stop on several just to shake out my legs and catch my breath. Stopping on the uphill is where my mental game started falling apart in those last couple miles.
-Course tangents. I did not study the course map at all, and I never knew where the turns were, so it made me anxious trying to figure out the shortest distance. (Sidenote: the total distance from last year on my Garmin read 13.3, and this year again it was 13.3. I spoke with a few runners after the race that also thought the course was off by 2 tenths.)
-The Rock N’ Roll race was MUCH more organized than last year, making it a breeze to get to a port-a-potty, gear check and the start corrals. The course was so cool. Running it a second time, I got the chance too look around and see monuments, then cute neighborhoods, and I loved getting to see the Capitol during the final miles.
-I hit a goal I was chasing for a year now, earning a sub 1:40 half marathon!
-I felt really great with the pacing. I felt totally in control almost the whole race. My coach said I ran a “smart race” and I agree with that.
-Fuel intake! I ate a GU (Jet Blackberry) about 15 minutes before the start, another at 5 miles and another at 9 miles. I felt well fueled and hydrated during the race.
-I finished 209th female overall. I’ve had a secret weird goal to break into the top 100 women of a major half for a while now. It’s finally in reach!
-This was my 1st half where all mile splits were sub-8s!
-I had a kick at the end! This hardly ever happens, 6:46/pace for the last .3. It took a lot to dig for that energy, but I knew if i didn’t I wouldn’t have snuck under 1:40.
Already looking at the +/-‘s I’m feeling much better about this half. Most of the negative problems were out of my control and that’s the way it goes sometimes! But hey, I’m getting faster and more confident running races and I HAD FUN. Someone at the start line said “if you’re not having fun, it’s not worth it.” I repeated that mantra throughout the race, only having small moments through miles 11-13 where I
hated running had negative thoughts.
Things I need to work on for my next race: get more comfortable with hill running, study the course maps better, and work on my positive mental game. I realize I am hard on myself, but I’m human and I want to constantly improve 🙂
How do you deal with negative feelings during or after a race?
How much time do you take off after a race before running?