Saturday, December 11, 2010

10k RR: I totally lost it (before the race even started)

I am that kind of a runner who does well when I am confident that I can do well. I don't run well when I don't feel ready. I have not learnt to push past that mental barrier telling me that I cannot do it.

And I felt ready. I really did! I was confident I can run sub-40 and was ready to work hard to get there.
But then my confidence plummeted big time on Thursday* and I was not able to get it back.

So the result is 40:02. But I honestly think that the course was short, so add couple more seconds, maybe 15-20sec.
I have not even tried today. I just ran what felt like a jog the whole time and did not even push the last couple meters, because what's the point since I was persuaded that I could not do it (and I did not see the clock because of fog so I did not know I was that close to 40min, otherwise I might have sprinted last ten steps to get those 2 seconds).

(Good news is that I submitted my last final assignment yesterday so semester is over and it is officially winter break and tomorrow I am going to enjoy couple days of skiing.)

LITTLE UPDATE: Apparently it was not as easy as it felt because my legs are sore. Weird.


  1. WOW! Congrats! Great time! You will get there...

  2. Thanks Keri, but really, it is not a great time.

  3. Sorry about the race. To me, the time is excellent, but I understand it is not to you.
    I think there a few things when it comes to confidence/mental training. One is making sure that all aspects of your life are in check. I think outside stress can affect running big time. Second, is caring for the race enough so that you push through. Third, it is confidence that you can achieve your goal. I think you had the second or third covered, no?
    About books - I liked mental training for triathletes (author?) a lot, as well as brain training for runners and run by Matt Fitzgerald.

  4. Thanks AM! Right now it seems that I had none of those aspects of my life covered - school finals and internship/visa drama and then on Thursday I totally lost confidence and eventually stop caring about this race.
    I will check out those books. Thank you.

  5. Wow!! Awesome time and I can so relate to how you felt about being ready etc.

  6. hey there,
    sorry it did not go as you would have wished. it's funny how a major barrier (like 40 minutes) can have such an impact on our perception of performance. I can't help but wonder, say you had run the exact same race but saw the clock in the homestretch and wound up running 39:59... then would you have been satisfied? perhaps the answer is still no because of how you perceived your effort during the race but if the answer is yes, then you would have been satisfied... you have to think, it's only a 3 second difference - 3 seconds is lost in the signal to noise ratio of a 10 km. But I certainly don't want to tell you how you should FEEL about your performance. From my perspective though I think you ran a brilliant 5 km a few weeks back that really expressed your fitness level. It's hard to have a brilliant race EVERY time (and perhaps you are one of those runners who should race less often) but I think given the givens, your season has been pretty solid. I also thin it says a lot about how you have improved as a runner that you are dissatisfied with a 2 minute and 11 second PB. Being hungry is a good thing - leads to faster times down the road. Anyway time to shorten it up and get your speed face on. I owe you a training program - here's the first part, take tomorrow off running to protect that IT band.

  7. Even if I had run 39:59, I would not have been satisfied. First of all, I think that the course was short by at least 100m (if it was not short, then I would feel better about my performance, but I guess that I will never know). It was the whole experience.
    I felt super pumped after workouts last Sunday and Wednesday but after I have learnt that those workout times did not mean that I can indeed run a solid sub-40, I totally lost the confidence that I can do it and it all went downhill from there.
    For that 5k few weeks ago I "knew" that my workout performances mean that I can run what I wanted to. I had doubts but was able to get over them. But not this time.
    I know I need to do something about this.

    And about that PB thing. I kind of think that I cannot really compare my times now and in March therefore I am not that excited about it. Back then it was all "whatever, with no real structure or plan", whereas now I follow a real plan so it is just normal that I should be running faster.

    Yeah, it is time to get my speed face on since I filled out an application to join an official club in Slovakia that will allow me to run that 3000m indoors.
    And let's do that 5k race on Dec 26 for fun and for some socializing with my formed coach and his new athletes.
    Although it will be such a shock to my Californian body.

    I do not know whether I will have access to my email in Tahoe...And I definitely won't have access to track until Thursday:(

  8. Hey Mmmonyka! Awesome time! I have two thoughts:

    1. Think of how happy you would have been with this time, say, a year ago (whether or not the course was a little short) - and since you could run it faster if your head were in the game - THINK about what great shape that means you are in. Just saying, I'd be jumping up and down in joy if I were in that shape.

    2. That visa issue sounds really frustrating. You would think that with all of the globalization these days, it would be easier. I clearly remember the day I was standing in Charles de Gualle airport in 2001 and they told me I was not allowed to reenter France (despite the fact I had a job, an apartment and a life there) because of a visa problem.

    Now, I am trying to figure out from your comment if you are really moving back to Slovakia so soon - is it true?

  9. SLG, you are right that I could be jumping up and down because I am nicely progressing! So I am going to be happy about that. However, all fitness is good for nothing unless I manage to be mentally stronger:(

    You really were going to move to France and they did not let you in??? Horrible. But I bet you are glad now because your life would have been different now.
    I am going home to Slovakia in about a week. School is over so I have nothing to do here, plus I have 30 days to leave the US:)

  10. Keep at it. You've been making such improvement so rapidly--that you will be running how you feel you should be, and will even surprise yourself with what you can achieve. I think there are some great races in store for you! Trust me...keep plugging away. I've been in the same boat.

  11. I understand you are not pleased....but amazing time!!!!!