Note: I wrote this on Saturday evening, my thoughts have changed a little, but I thought I should share my raw, unedited feelings, rather than making it seem like I am always positive….. I too, am subject to negative thoughts, and hold myself to standards that are sometimes unattainable.
I am still cherishing every second with my dad, but while he is “napping” in the chair, I thought I would get my race down on paper blog to reflect on how it went today before I get too scared to write my true feelings.
Before I begin to assess, please keep in mind that running is SO relative! I hope I do not come across as a brat, I know a lot of people would literally kill to run what I did today, but I would literally kill, okay, maybe not literally, but you know what I mean….to run in the Olympics. I am being honest here, and this is my most inner thoughts out on paper my blog, I hope it does not come across as arrogant, but it is as much for me as it is for you to take a sneak peak into the inner mind of Tina Muir…..a scary place!
Firstly, I am very proud of my result in this race for a number of reasons:
- I finished 3rd female out of 13667 women!
- I finished 41st overall out of 25587 runners!
- I never gave up. I continued to push myself as hard as I possibly could, and did the best I could on the day
- My stomach did not give me any problems (thanks Lindsay….Kombucha helped!)
- I picked up, and successfully drank water from 3 aid stations
- I managed to race totally healthy, which is astounding considering how I juggled four classes, working full time, and a ridiculous inability to sleep this semester. I honestly believe a big part of this is the introduction of Enduropacks into my life, as well as a nutritious diet.
|Before dad left me, relaxed and ready….well, I thought I was!
That being said, how could I not be happy with the race?
I felt horrible. From mile 1, all the way to the .1 at the end. Mile 4 was about the only mile I felt somewhat decent.
Warning; this part may make me sound spoilt! Please understand the reason elites are able to race at such a high level is by fine tuning those small details to get the race right.
I am used to the special treatment elites are given at races, and this race was not very friendly towards my usual warm up routine; I had to be stripped of all layers by 6:10am; I only managed to do one stride, I had to stand around for 10 minutes to get back through the security gates after my warm up run; and we were standing still in the packed corral for 30 minutes (including a 10 minute race delay).
I really appreciate how most events allow us to do what we need to do to be fully warmed up on race day to perform at our best, and I became even more grateful for those past experiences today. I felt very out of it the first few miles, as if I was sprinting, but really not moving very fast. It was as if my body had to re-warm up. I remained calm and worked with the groups around me.
|Trying to remain calm early in the race
I settled with a group for a little while, but when it came to the hills, I followed my plan of remaining conservative…..but ended up taking it to the extreme, and running a 5:54 5th mile. Immediately followed by a panic, and shift of my attention away from relaxing into a pace, running by feel….towards my Garmin, and getting my average pace back under 5:40.
For the remainder of the race, I obsessed over my Garmin, checking the average overall pace a few times per mile, and becoming increasingly frustrated as it seemed to be stuck on 5:40. I was hurting from mile 6, and I really did not enjoy the race as I felt so bad. Somehow 5:30-5:40 miles allowed me to catch a female to put myself in 3rd, which was a slight confidence boost, but the 5 miles to the Boardwalk seemed to go on forever. I even whimpered “help me” to a man running past me at one point…..how pathetic!
As I turned into the finish, disappointed with my time, my finish, and how flat my body felt, I was pretty upset. A 1:14:29 may sound smoking fast to a lot of people, but it was well over a minute slower than what I was hoping for.
I have worked so hard this season, especially after what happened in November; I did my best to rest; organized my time so I would not be so stressed; and planned ahead to fit my training in around all the track meets without getting injured, but somehow it doesn’t feel like it was for anything worthwhile.
I ran a 40 second PR. I should be happy considering all I have on my plate, but I just feel so down about it, like I may as as well have just carried on as I was the first year, running, but not as focused. I know that was not the case, and this all builds for future seasons, but I feel as though I have nothing to show for my hard work. I KNOW I am better than this, I KNOW I am in shape to run some fast times, but I just cannot get it to translate to the races that matter.
It is so hard when I am on a ticking time bomb here in the States, my training indicates big things on the horizon, that I am ready to earn that Great Britain Jersey, but I cannot reach those precious times that will allow me to prove to them that I am an Olympic hopeful!
Please help me feel better, I know I have a lot to be happy about from this race, but I am such a good racer, I give my heart and soul to my racing, but do not seem to be rewarded with the results I feel I deserve.
Note: This is the end of my inner post race thoughts, I am leaving it as it is, but now I have had time to reflect a little, I am feeling better.
So I do not come across as a grump, lets make this a criticism sandwich shall we?
It was nice to be presented with my 3rd place award, meet Karla in real life 🙂 , and have a good chat with Craig and Jason from Enduropacks! Oh, and my time was an Olympic Qualifier for the 2016 marathon trials! If only I was an American citizen and could race it…..or Great Britain had a set standard like that!
|Finished my cool down onto the beach, enjoying the water for a few minutes
|Shows the finish, not a bad sight huh? I was too tired to notice when I finished though!
As many of you have wondered what it is like to be an elite athlete, here is a video that Enduropacks took of me racing through Go Pro! Now you can see what life is like when you feel terrible in a race, but have to keep pushing through that pain barrier….doesn’t look too different to anyone else right? 🙂 We hurt just the same as you! Note: click the settings on the video and make sure you watch it in HD 🙂[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFSZZYBay8s]
Have you ever stretched yourself too thin, and noticed your running paid the price? Do you ever write down your thoughts immediately after a race? Did you race this weekend, how did it go?
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