A week and a half ago, I ran a 32:27 10,000 on the track. Easily my second fastest 10k by a mere 15 seconds. Considering I ran close to four miles leading and it was a little cool out it was a really good race for me. However the depths of my feelings about that race and especially about the half marathon are not so simple.
1. On the surface I am happy to be healthy and give a good effort. 32:27 is not terrible. That is better than most humans will ever run. Same for my half marathon, 5:51 pace for over 13 miles is still netted me 33rd out of 1585 people.
2. I am disappointed I did not PR. Training has been going well and I thought I would PR despite having to lead, the slight wind, and the cool temperatures. I am in great shape but it was not to be, similar to last week. In fact 7s/5k off my personal record was the same. For the half marathon I'm disappointed I didn't even come close to a PR.
3. Considering how the race was run and my continuing tapering am in great shape! I am on the platteau that happens just before a significant PR. It is just everything (taper, fitness, weather, pacing, race morning routine, sleep the week of, etc.) falling into place. I wrote that last bit before my half marathon. It hurts a little to read those words after such a bad race. However, my racing season is done, and I am taking a rest. Despite not setting a PR from my great shape.
4. I hate myself for not running faster.
Expressed in a picture that emulates a pond with the deep dark depths of emotion:
|The Truth About Bad Races|
The feel good epilogue is age. Eventually everyone slows down. I see older runners all the time who are certainly not setting personal records any more. The thought of getting slower every year is not encouraging. I avoid thinking about it most of the time. However, Meb and Michael Wardian and Carlos Lopes are three examples of guys who clearly ran most of their best races in their late 30s. Regardless, I'm looking at about 12 years or less. At my rate of development the last few years, that's cutting it close. I will have more bad races, you could say that to succeed more I need to fail more frequently to show that I am putting myself out there.
Fail, learn, repeat. Do that enough and find success.