First of all, this is my 75th post on this blog! Wow! That’s the longest I’ve ever blogged, ever. And I had a few blogs in my time. This is very exciting.

Second, I may not PR this coming weekend at my race. I’m trying to be okay with this, but I’m not. I’m really not. I want to PR so badly.

Why I think I may not PR

1. My half an hour training runs have not come close to 5km

I’m currently training (6 runs so far this month out of 10 scheduled) by following a Jeff Galloway plan and running twice a week for half an hour as well as a long run on the weekends. I’m getting faster, which is good, but I haven’t made it past 4.01km in 30 minutes. Taking my fastest time, I’m running at an average pace of 7’34km.

Which puts my 5km at 37’50.

Which is frustratingly over 36.22.6 (my last 5km PR)

2. Music is “not recommended” on Sunday

I’ve become startlingly comfortable with running with music. Eminem kicks my stride and pace into high gear. I can literally find where the music came on when I am looking at my Nike+ stats.

I’m going to try a naked jog tomorrow (you should have seen Manfriends face when I told him this without explanation) and see how it works out.  They haven’t said no to music, so if I can’t run very well tomorrow (I’m aiming for 2.5km, half of the race that’s on Sunday) I will consider having it anyways.

3. I lose the mental race

Yoga and meditation have been helping me out, as have some mantras and positive thought processes I try to adopt while running, but at some point I think “Man, I’m not going to PR” or “I can’t believe I’m trying to run a half”

I’m starting to lose the mental game, which is a surefire sign that I may not be able to kick it into high gear when necessary.

Why this may be

1. Lack of sleep

2. Lack of proper fuel for runs

One and two both stem from the fact that I’ve worked mainly mornings at 4:30 or 5:30 am, and I run around 1:30 or 2:30 before napping. I’m usually exhausted.

My lunch breaks and snack breaks run approximately every 2 hours, but they are 15 and 30 and 15 minutes in length, and I am rarely hungry for the appropriate meal. For example, today my last food before my run was at 10:10am, and it was half a bagel with low fat cream cheese, carrot sticks and yogurt. I ran at 1:30pm. I should have had that other half a bagel.

3. Hills

The course on Sunday isn’t hilly and the hills around me get me every time! So a factor in my slower times is probably hill related

4. My muscles were killing me today

Dallas (the yoga teacher from Monday), managed to surprise me by finding muscles I didn’t know I had, or could use. I was still super sore today and didn’t stretch. Lesson learned. Hopefully Sunday I will remember to stretch.

Why I hope I surprise myself

1. My most comfortable pace is around 7’10km.

When I get into the groove and feel good about running, I hit about a 7’10 pace. Sometimes faster.  This would put my 5km at 35’50 and that would make me a happy panda

2. My mom and Manfriend will be watching.

This will probably kick my running into high gear. In addition to them watching, the fact that I’m racing people will probably also help me.  I tend to try to catch the next person.

3.  I’ve learned a lot since my last five km.

I have the knowledge, and I have experienced a race before. So hopefully, that will kick into gear and I will beat my time.

4. I will have gotten sleep and eaten better

The last few training runs I’ve done have been after being at work for 9 hours and after waking up at 4:00 or 5:00 am with less than 6 hours sleep. Probably getting more sleep will help.

5. Nike+ discrepancies

I actually have been running longer than I thought… so that should help.

6. There is hope in my only successful long run thus far

See that hope? Its right there in the 7’13 pace (a 36’08 5km). I ran 5.62 km that day in just over 40minutes.

So there is a little hope here 🙂 Also in my fastest km this month at 6’11


With music or without?
What do I eat race day?
When do I start resting?
Public transit or drive or combo?

Tell me about at time you wanted to PR but didn’t. How did it affect you and your training? What mental strategies did you use/do you use when running to weed out the negative?

I’m sure I’ll be fine, I’m just trying to accept the fact I may not PR, in case it happens on Sunday.

Positive news: Two days till the Mom arrives in Vancouver! Yay!





7 responses to “Realization

  1. Sarah

    My last half marathon was an absolutely brutal one for me mentally. I was injured and had been training for the full but had to switch my bib registration to the half instead. After spending the first 7 miles on pace to PR, something literally POPPED in my foot and I had to sit down. I spent about 10 minutes sitting and crying before I got up and ran. My time was 24 minutes slower than my half marathon PR. I had trained better, felt stronger and had overcome the back injury I had been struggling with.

    My race this weekend is my redemption race. I will PR!!! It took me 2 years to get over that race and be willing to run the half distance again… I didn’t handle it well. This time I am more prepared mentally and physically for the race and I’m so excited for Sunday to come!!!

  2. I know how challenging it can be to set a goal, train hard and post your goals for the world to see online. Of course you want to hit that PR. But just remember that getting a PR isn’t the most important thing. The most important thing is that you are going to be there on the start line. And you are going to cross the finish line and do something you didn’t even think was possible several years ago. Don’t ever lose sight of how far you have come. That is the real victory at the end of the day. Believe in yourself! Be positive. Start saying some motivating mantras to yourself this week: “I can do this.” “It’s going to hurt but I will push through. I’ve got this.”

    As for music, not recommended does not mean no allowed. If the race doesn’t prohibit music in the rules, I say strap on that iPod and go with it. I always listen to music in races where it is permitted. One idea you might want to try is just having one ear bud in so you can also hear what is going on around you in the race. We runners need all the help we can get to cross the finish line and hit our goals. If music helps you, even just a little, I say go with it.

    And finally, one thing to consider moving forward is that to run faster, you have to — well — run faster. It is important that you start incorporating a fast speed day into your weekly training if you want to keep gettting faster in your races. Fast sprints that push you out of your comfort zone will make you a stronger, faster, runner.

    Good luck this weekend! I’ll be cheering you on virtually!

  3. First off, don’t be so down on yourself. Paces in training runs, while helpful, usually don’t translate well to race day (especially on short runs like 5Ks). You’re going to be surprised how much running on hilly terrain will help you in a flat 5K. I live in a very hilly area, too. Example – last Thanksgiving, the fastest of my 9 training runs (not counting a planned tempo run) before my 5K was a 9:37 pace. I ran an 8:38 pace in the race. This past July, I hurt myself 2 weeks before a 5K. My fastest training run in those 2 weeks was a 9:21 pace. I ran an 8:01. You’ll be fine, and I bet you PR as long as you go in thinking positive.

    As for eating, there’s no need to carb load. Just get some food in you; maybe a banana & bagel. Don’t over-hydrate; it’s only a 5K. Just reeee-lax!!! It’s all good!!

  4. I echo most of the comments. Esp Dave and Jessica.

    A PR isn’t always the only gold. Sometimes the gold is that you have improved SO MUCH and that you take all this so close to heart and that it means something so important to you. There’s enormous value in that. I know it’s very common in runners to always want to beat themselves, do better, better, better. And this *is* really important.

    And then there’s the variables that you mention: food, sleep, stress, mentality. They are sometimes REALLY OFF and it’s frustrating. Add to that overthinking the living crap out of this stuff as we all have been guilty of and you’ve got this situatiion where you just feel set up.

    If I do a 5K, I ALWAYS realize afterwards that they’re just so fun. SO FUN! I do them with friends and that makes them even better. I don’t overeat or anything. Just hydrate day before and that morning. I have water with me but damn, I’m running my heart out and can’t barely lift the dang handheld. I alway have toast/bagel/banana or oatmeal combos race morning. I may have a little can of Rockstar. All done before the race starts by at least an hour.
    I like having music but the last 5K I did, I honestly cannot remember a single song I heard. It was all “IN THE ZONE.” If you can have music and it works for you, use it.

    I just cycled last day before my last 5K. Seemed to be a good thing.

    Lastly, when I’m in that place where it gets really ugly and I don’t want to let the negative creepy crawlies in, I imagine the finish line. I imagine me running over it, happy, joyful, victorious, maybe with my arms up, a smile on my face, looking for my loved ones. I picture myself, my body, my emotions in that positive place. Earned it, did it and happy with what I did, even if I’m not very fast. It’s that vision of me in a good and happy place that does it for me, even on regular runs. The ugly place might try and pull me in but I won’t let it take me.

    I hope this helps, I really do. You will be great. Remember what Jessica says about how far you’ve come. Reinforce to yourself the miles you have run and worked so hard traveling to get here.


  5. Pingback: Is your training pace to fast? « Every Run's a Winner

  6. Pingback: This is my 100th post | Live. Travel. Eat. Run

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