I spent a very uncomfortable night, trying to relax through gale force gusts of wind shaking the caravan, listening to the contented snores of my husband who decided that sleeping on my side of the bed was preferable to sleeping on his, trying to stretch sore legs with a small dog sleeping on them, struggling to get a full breath as my asthma rebelled against the run and wrestling with impure thoughts about my race yesterday.
I was fairly content at bedtime, tired but quite happy. I’d made all the excuses that I could to explain my poor time, relative to the time I’d put in at my last half, and was OK with myself. Then I made the mistake of comparing my time to that of others. My self esteem plummeted. A fickle thing, my self esteem.
I was annoyed with myself. I worked very hard in an effort to improve on a 2:22 half, really very hard. I was running two lots of 45 minutes a week on top of my long run, the longest of which was a massive 17 miles. The first 45 minute run was comprised of intervals and, not only that, some of my long runs were intervals too. Up to 12 lots of 800m. Gruelling.
And for what? For nothing, it seemed.
I’d gone backwards. Instead of doing a fast last Magic Mile in training, I’d done the worst one I’d done in a long while. Regardless of the weather yesterday, I should have been faster. By just a minute at least! I would have been happy with a minute faster.
I made more improvement doing the straight half programme last year than I did following the improver plan this year.
Where am I going wrong? Am I concentrating too much on running? Has the fact that I live in the countryside meant that my winter training has softened me up with too many treadmill runs? Should I be hitting the gym? Am I carrying too much weight? Or am I just not a fast runner?
I’ve got all these self-depreciating thoughts racing around my head, but I’m trying hard to not let them get to me. I have to pick myself up and move on. I need to sit down and decide where I want to improve and how best to get there.
And start enjoying running instead of beating myself up with finishing times, unfairly comparing myself to other people and relax a bit.