Friday, October 5, 2012

Doubts in Myself

I was talking with some friends of mine while running, and the topic of blame came up.  When you don't do well in a race, do you tend to blame other things--like the weather or the course, or do you "own up" to the failure?  I think I do some of both.

I definitely can find reasons to blame myself if I don't do well.  The task of training rested on my shoulders over the last 10 weeks.  I did many things well, but I see lots of things I didn't do so well either.  Over the past few days, I've had a running list in my head of all of the things I don't think I did right this time around during training.  I guess this is the list I will pull from to get my excuses if I don't do well next week!

1. Lack of hill training.  My training program called for 6 hill workouts, and I did a grand total of 2 of them.  And the course I am running has two sections of big uphills.  I don't think that is smart.  One of the only workouts that I skipped this time around was 7xhills, but it was when Rick was out of town so I felt like I had an excuse.

2. Shortened training schedule.  I started training with only 10 weeks to go until the marathon, so I just omitted the first 7 weeks of training.  I wasn't doing nothing, but I wasn't doing the quality workouts that the plan called for either.  On bad days I question whether not doing those 7 weeks will come back to haunt me.

3. Running roughly 10 less miles per week than called for by the program.  I could not run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I settled for doing workouts on the elliptical machine.  That cut my mileage by roughly 10 miles a week.  And that made my highest mileage week only in the 40's.  That seems like too little to me, but I know that most of the rest of the runs were good, quality miles.

4. Not running a single 20-miler all the way through.  I mentioned this a couple of posts back.  I really think allowing myself to stop in these runs could be a problem for me race day.  I haven't forced myself to push through a long run.

5.  Eating issues during the run.  I have struggled with being able to eat on runs and having similar fuel to race day to train with (I actually don't know what is on the course--they just sent us a change--and I don't know what I will carry yet or when I will plan to eat it.)  So race day, I will be winging it and hoping my stomach doesn't revolt.  I've developed a pickier stomach more recently and have had to force things down in races and runs.  A smarter strategy would have been to test different foods/drinks out during my long runs.  I failed to do that.

I feel better just sharing these things.  No training plan is perfect, but I do see these flaws in mine.  I like to think I am really tough and disciplined, but some days I question whether I really am disciplined enough to be a marathoner.  I would like to follow a training program all the way through and also practice race day fueling more next time I train.  I think this would help me feel more prepared and quiet some of these pre-race nerves.  


  1. Replies
    1. Katie, I will try to post some "fun" things from this marathon for one of my favorite former students! :) I know she can't like all of the "boring" posts about my training! The mascot for the Baltimore marathon appears to be a crab, so maybe I can put a picture of that on here for her :)

  2. Goodness, friend, I don't think you should ponder these things right before racing time!! You are strong and you have trained well. I have faith that you will do wonderfully and I think you should believe that too until actually proven otherwise. I'll be thinking of you and looking forward to the race report.

    1. Jane, thanks for your kind words! It always helps me to go over the positives and negatives in my mind during the taper phase. For the most part, they've been positive--good track workouts, good pace runs, haven't missed too many workouts. But these areas I mentioned are not so good, and they are all fixable in a later training season. It's good to blog about them so I will remember for next time what to improve on! Can't wait to run with you again soon! :)