Monday, September 13, 2010

The Day After - Undoing and Self-Loathing

(a more upbeat race report will follow when i am able to muster a better attitude. if you don't like self-loathing, skip this post...)

I have a very bad habit of undoing my accomplishments. Of deciding that they weren't worth much. Or that despite my accomplishment that it doesn't reflect anything about me.  

My dear friend Cathy just sent me video of me running down the beach to the finish line yesterday:

The first time watching my heart rate went through the roof. How exciting! As I come into focus, my attitude toward this person (me) changes. I look like a tank. Okay, fine, I'm running through ankle deep sand at the end of a half marathon, at the end of half ironman. Okay. Okay. But I look like a tank. Or a bull. Not a runner. I hate that. 

Seeing official race results and realizing my 3:09 on the bike was 6/7 in my age group wasn't awesome either. 3:09 blew away my projected time. 3:09 blew away my A+ fantasy time. 3:09 was faster than I have ever ridden before. 3:09 felt amazing. But today 3:09 sounds about 10-15 minutes too slow. And I know I could not have gone faster. (Or I could have gone faster but I could not have run 13 miles afterward.)

Mostly I'm angry with myself as I watch this process unfold in my mind.


  1. Oh, you and I should hire each other for some cognitive restructuring. I do that, too! I always criticize what I see in race pictures, and always feel i could have done better. I don't talk much about that in the blog but it is something I am working on.

    I'll say it again, you did amazing. You had a smart race, pushed hard, and gave it all. And you look very strong in that video, with perfect running form!

  2. You look like a strong, determined and fit runner in that video - I want to be like her is what I'm thinking! Put those thoughts aside, be proud of yourself!

    All that said, I get the blues hardcore after a race or even a long run thats an exhaustive effort. I swear its the neurotransmitter backlash being the opposite of runners high. Like Day After Depression. Be nice to yourself.

    I'm subscribing so I'll be following :)

  3. You did the best that you could at that specific time.

    Now be satisfied with your best.

  4. You PR'ed every bit of that race! Can't do much better than that! Just think about how you will do next year?

    This performance is your new base.

    Next year you are going to rock n'roll!

  5. Thanks for the comments everyone! I'm over it...pulling together thoughts and photos for race report. Up soon!

  6. I do this too, even though I know I shouldn't and that it doesn't help anything. Of course it's easy to look back ad go "why didn't I try harder at mile x?". Eventually I get over myself, this isn't my job, the world did not end because my splits were "off" from what I have made up in my mind post-race. I know you'll get over this hump, dont feel bad.