Friday, October 29, 2010

Problems in Your Own Head

Well, now that the road to physical recovery is semi-ending it was time for me to refocus and get back out there. Other than some residual pain, like a bruised heel-I felt good enough to run a week and a few days after the marathon. My ego was still really suffering though, any time I thought about the marathon this black hole started eating my stomach, and made me feel empty.


Living with that let down for a week was hard enough, so I knew I couldn't wait long to race again. Luckily, my sister and I already were planning on running the Gobbler Grind Half Marathon on November 21st. Having a race lined up is pretty key in getting over a bad race, but there's more to it. I've outlined some of my personal tips in getting over a poopy race for all my lovely readers:

Julia and Goliath's Ways of Getting Over a No-Good-Terrible-Awful-Downright-Bad-Race
1. Sign up for another: We went over this, but this will give you something to look forward to. It takes the edge off the sting because you KNOW there's another, which means another opportunity to rock.
2. Talk about it: When people ask you how your big day went, don't be afraid to tell them. Especially if they are runners, everyone has had a bad race. The beauty of being a runner is that every one's training peaks and troughs. Our troughs aren't what we tend to share, we are inclined to fudge our times, our mile splits, etc-but when you can look someone in the eye and honestly say "I didn't do my best," it gives you the vulnerability to accept comfort and advice.
3. Wear your shirt: Weather it was a 5k or an Ultra, wear your shirt the next day. You deserve to wear the shirt because you STARTED, not because you finished. Half of the mental race is getting the balls to get your but to the starting line. On lookers will see a runner in a race shirt, not someone who struggled to finish-and will envy your back full of sponsors.
4. Treat yourself: To a meal, to a massage, to a new pair of jeans. Anything. This may be some sort of instant gratification, but allowing yourself to splurge a little to overcome your mental anguish is pretty priceless isn't it?
5. Do not look at your training log more than once: Your inclination will be to look at your log and figure out where you went wrong. You'll agonize over every mile, every minute before the race-just trying to figure it out. Let it be. Look forward. Plan ahead, look at your next race as an opportunity to a clean your slate and succeed in training. Yes, it's important to evaluate and identify mistakes-but do not dwell on them.
6. Run: When you're ready, run again. Fall in love again. It's natural to be discouraged, and paralyzed with running fear. Find the motivation to just run again, for one mile or a few. Chances are you'll remember that you're not running for glory, it's bigger than that.
7. Cry, if you have to: Hey, it's a big deal. Don't be afraid to shed a tear. You looked forward to this day all year, you trained for six months. There's no shame in letting it out-silently, alone in a dark closet. No, I'm kidding-cry, real women cry. You're only allowed to cry once for a marathon: so chances are if you didn't cry at the finish line, you can do so later.


So there that is. Rest assured, I have tried all the above. They seem to work for me. Especially, number six. My first run back was a four mile, easy run with Emily in preparations for our half. We promised to take it slow, easy-but like that ever actually happens? We did a typical TBB out and back on the trail, without gadgets and just talked. It was pretty magical. I was totally gushing about my trail to Emily the last time we ran, and promised her she'd fall in love with it.

Sho' nuff. She did. There is just something about that trail, it totally has my heart. Other than my bed, it's my favorite place to be. Lucky for us, our upcoming half is ON THAT TRAIL! win. Love.
Everyone have a magical weekend! Don't forget Goliath still needs people for his Gang, so email us your doggie picture and story!!

6 comments:

Becky said...

My first race is tomorrow. Yes, it's only a 5K - but I am so glad I finally got up the courage to run one after 3 years of running and wishing I could be a "racer".

Your tips are always wonderful and as always, thanks for being such an inspiration!

ashley & sundance said...

Love the tips! Wish I lived closer so we could run a race together!

Michelle said...

Great tips! I love the pictures of G as well! :)Talula says she loves seeing her picture on the interwebs!

Holly @ couchpotatoathlete said...

I love your tips -- and yes, we all have bad races now and then. No big deal. I had a not-so-good first marathon either -- and it bothered me for a long time. Now? I'm just happy to say I FINISHED A MARATHON!!!!

Kathykins said...

Love the tips. All those tips have helped me thru the toughest of race times over the years. Another awesome blog.

Michael said...

the title is kinda "beautiful mind"y