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Another Miracle Miles 15K under my belt!

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This was not my best race, and as a result, this race recap is not going to be as happy as usual.  :(  I’m trying to keep in mind what really matters…. The important thing is that I had a good time and was able to physically run 9.3 miles — something I thought 4 months ago might never happen again.

 

Alright — here’s the recap.  Please bear with me!

 

For breakfast, I had banana oatmeal and a coffee.  Then, I woke up the Husband, who came with me to the race!  I was so excited to have my support crew with me.  We arrived to the race a little late and dashed to the start line, where I found Meghann, Megan, and Debbie.

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And then we promptly lined up and got ready to go!

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I felt great the first two miles.  I was strong and maintained an excellent pace (about 8:30).  It was fun to start the race with Megan and Meghann, but after Mile 2.0, I knew I needed to drop back because those girls were SMOKIN’ ME!

 

The race weaved through downtown Orlando, which is really beautiful.  Although it was hot out, a lot of the course was shaded.  However, I’m not sure if it was just me, but there were NOT enough water stations.  There were about 5 or 6 stations and between each one I was DYING for a drink.  I think I started the race dehydrated, which made the situation worse.

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By Mile 7.0, my pace completely deteriorated.  I felt so horrible when I looked at my Garmin and saw a 10:40-mile pace — I was striving to maintain 9:00 and I just couldn’t do it.  I took a pack of Goo to see if the calories would help, but it didn’t.  My arms started to get all cold and goosebump-y, and my vision started to swim.  I actually thought I was going to faint at one point.  It was miserable. 

 

I had walked through 3 of the water stations, but at that point I just started to walk.  I hardly EVER walk during races.  I couldn’t believe I was walking so close to the finish line.

 

I didn’t even bother to sprint at the end. 

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I have no idea what my chip time was because I didn’t bother to check the boards, but I think it was about 1:30:18.  I was flabbergasted that I had just run my slowest 15K ever.

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Here are my Garmin statistics:

 

  • Duration: 1:30:15
  • Distance: 9.41
  • Mile 1: 8:30
  • Mile 2: 8:22
  • Mile 3: 8:55
  • Mile 4: 9:38
  • Mile 5: 9:35
  • Mile 6: 9:34
  • Mile 7: 10:15
  • Mile 8: 10:35
  • Mile 9: 10:40
  • Mile 9.0 – 9.4: 4:13

 

I realize your knee jerk reaction when reading this post might be, "But 1:30 is a good time!"  When I talk about my paces, a lot of people comment that they’d love to run a race at a 9:36-minute/mile average.  But I’m not comparing myself to other people — I’m comparing myself to my previous times

 

Considering that in February I ran a 15K 7 minutes faster, today was rough.  I’m more bothered by my poor mental attitude towards the end of the race than anything else.

 

The Husband and I had a huge conversation in the car on the ride home about how I’m doing this race season.  Obviously, I am grateful to just be running after suffering from a debilitating injury, but it’s really hard to run two races in a row that are so far off from my previous PRs when I’m training so hard.

 

I realize I’ve been very busy and I’m generally exhausted.  I realize it’s been an emotional week.  I realize I’m still building up my base after my injury.  I realize all those things — it’s just that I’m very competitive (with myself).

 

It feels good to have an honest blog where I can talk about this.  I’m glad I don’t have to pretend like I feel awesome.  I don’t know what the answer to my slower pace is (besides speedwork).  I’d love to hear your thoughts on how I can emotionally bounce back from two rough races. 

 

At least I got a finisher’s medal:

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And the other girls did GREAT! 

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Meghann set a new PR and I was really happy for her!

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And Megan beat everyone, setting a new PR in the process!  Debbie rocked the race out as well.

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Ryan did the 5K and was very proud of her time!

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We had a picnic after the race for Ashley’s birthday.  Happy 21st Birthday, Ashley!

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I had a cupcake, 1/2 a bagel with Barney Butter, and OJ:

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And a cookie:

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All in all, a great race because I was running and hanging out with friends — and that is all that REALLY matters.

 

Time to shower and eat more — I’m starving!

{ 80 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Oh She Glows September 26, 2009, 8:21 am

    I'm sorry that the experience wasn't what you had hoped for. I know what you mean by being competitive with yourself..I am the same way. I also agree with you about it being an emotional week. Think of all the change you have had…whether we think it does or not, things like that REALLY affect our physical selves. I am super proud of you for all the progress you have made. You WILL keep improving your times…that I know! Keep your chin up. (hugs)

    Reply
  • Brie (The Fit Bride) September 26, 2009, 8:22 am

    I know the feeling–it's like you know you should be proud of yourself in the grand scheme of things, but you can't help but be disappointed.

    Anyway, just remember that perfection isn't the goal–balance and happiness are. You ran an insanely long race most people (including myself) could only dream of doing, and you had a good time with your runner friends. It could be a lot worse! :)

    Reply
  • Matt September 26, 2009, 8:22 am

    It sounds like you might be training too hard or even overthinking everything. Just got out there and run, have a good time, and do the best you can. It sounds like you are putting too much pressure on yourself. Sometimes you just have an off day.

    Reply
  • Jocelyn September 26, 2009, 8:25 am

    I'm glad you are happy and realizing that its great just to be able to RUN that race..alot of people probably would love to be in your shoes :) congratz

    Reply
  • Susan September 26, 2009, 8:26 am

    I think it's partially because you're just getting up there in the number of races you've done. Statistically, you can't expect to PR every single time. I'm sure there are other factors (injury, dehydration). But as a runner, I'm starting to get to that point where I'm not beating PRs every time, just because I done the distance so many times already. Being able to get out there and participate with friends is an amazing experience in itself! Hope you're recovering okay :)

    Reply
  • Anonymous September 26, 2009, 8:33 am

    I started reading your blog about a month ago. Normally, I don't comment on blogs I read (I have this thing about comments…) However, your post today immediately prompted me to tell you that I think you are a great runner. My definition of a great "anything" is someone who has ups and downs. A person who strives for the best but realizes that there will be times where things just don't work out the way we intended. We learn, try to improve but at the end of the day, we must keep things in perspective. Remember, months ago, you couldn't even run! How far you've come…

    Reply
  • Rosey Rebecca September 26, 2009, 8:36 am

    All that matters is that you made it through it and had a good time! Don't stress too much over it!

    Reply
  • VeggieGirl September 26, 2009, 8:37 am

    Caitlin, I understand; but PLEASE know that you still did a great job and that this is just one of even MORE races to come – you got this xx

    Reply
  • runnerskitchen September 26, 2009, 8:39 am

    I'm sorry that you're bummed out :-( Not running as fast or as well as you'd like is disappointing. Next week I'm running a 1/2 marathon and I'm prettyyyy sure it's going to be a solid 15-20 mins slower than my PR (seriously). I've been injured for the better part of 2009, so for now I'm just focusing on how happy I am to be running again. I recently started a gratitude journal and it is helping me see the positive! It looks like you have a great group of supportive friends and a loving husband PLUS you're no longer in pain – have another cookie and cheer up :-)

    Reply
  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point September 26, 2009, 8:39 am

    Anon – Thank you so much. Its important for me to realize there are ups and downs… after all, the downs make the ups that much better!!! :) thank you!!

    Reply
  • Leah @ L4L September 26, 2009, 8:41 am

    (hug)

    Halfway through reading, I was thinking, "No wonder! She's been stressed and crazy busy these past few weeks and had a terrible long run recently and has so much going on!" Props for finishing! Seriously! You should be really proud!

    Reply
  • Siobhan September 26, 2009, 8:43 am

    I still think you're amazing Caitlin- don't let this one race get you down. You have a marathon to look forward to! Enjoy the rest of the day :)

    Reply
  • Sam September 26, 2009, 8:44 am

    I just want to echo what everyone else has said really. I'm so sorry the race didn't go as well as you wanted, and I know this is easy for me to say, but try not to beat yourself up about it too much. Your running hiatus has obviously affecting your running – but that's normal. The fact you can still run 15 kilometres in a fantastic time (yes it was fantastic!) is amazing. Actually, the very fact you can race on top of everything else in your busy schedule is pretty damn inspirational. The more you run, the better your times will get. Look at all these races as practise for the marathon that you're going to rock :)

    Reply
  • Mrs. LC September 26, 2009, 8:45 am

    I know you're frustrated and I know it's your slowest 15k time – but earlier this year you didn't think you'd really be running races again. You thought you'd never be able to run a marathon. Today's race definitely wasn't what you hoped it to be, but it's just part of the bigger picture – you're going to be fulfilling one of your lifelong dreams in January. You'll be running a marathon. (And do NOT let today's disappointment discourage you in your marathon training). Run in confidence through the good runs and the bad and know that you ARE a runner, you ARE an inspiration to many, and you should truly be an inspiration to yourself. :) Love you. :)

    Reply
  • Kim September 26, 2009, 8:47 am

    Caitlin,

    I know you are frustrated, but you did a great job! You may have just started out too fast. That, I have been told, can really, really impact you for the remainder of the race. Sometimes you just have a bad race/run. It is still hard to have a positive attitude after it, though. I think you need to just focus on going forward. Don't dwell on this. It does not define who you are. Chin up!!

    Reply
  • Melissa September 26, 2009, 8:51 am

    Smile!

    You are beautiful!

    No matter how quickly you run a race, no matter how many projects you undertake…you are amazing and inspire so many other people!

    http://www.operationbeautiful.com

    Reply
  • Sharon September 26, 2009, 8:52 am

    Caitlin, I know you're disappointed with your performance, not because it was bad, but because you expected more from yourself. I just want to tell you that I think you did awesome, even if you don't think so yourself. Just a few short months ago, you started running again after a long layoff. You are just getting back into your groove and it's going to take some time to work out the kinks. I have been out injured for 9 months now. Having just gotten the green light from my doctor to resume physical activity (since I am healed), I am slowly returning to running. In fact before I can run I need to spend 5 weeks just walking (2-3 miles at a time). My first "run" will be on October 12th and I will only be allowed to run for 30 seconds at a time. I am scared to see how much endurance and speed I have lost once I am able to run again. I look upon you as an inspiration – your experiences coming back gives me confidence & makes me feel not so alone. It is definitely hard to watch all my friends out run me, but I also know that they haven't been through what I have. The last 9 months have definitely taught me patience & how to persevere. Keep your chin up and give yourself a break. You will get back to where you were before and you will then be able to start shattering your old PR's. What you went through made you a stronger person and runner- you will soon reap the rewards from your difficult journey. I just KNOW it!!

    Sorry this was so long as usual! :)

    Reply
  • christie, honoring health September 26, 2009, 8:53 am

    I'm sorry you are bummed about how you did in today's race. You are still a superstar in my opinion!! At least you are out there trying!

    Reply
  • Katy Hill September 26, 2009, 8:55 am

    I'm sorry you're so bummed! But I think you're great and inspiring..seriously! I know you're going to be feeling blah today and that's okay..at least it'll push you to continue competing with yourself and just realizing how great it is to be able to run! :) I had to remind myself that a lot today. It was so fun meeting you and the girls and I really hope to hang out soon. Oh and there was only one water station in the 5k and I desperately needed at least one more. I thought it was strange! But it was only 3 miles and you kicked a 9-milers butt! Congratulations on running and finishing a race! :) Smile today. You deserve it.

    Reply
  • Glo September 26, 2009, 8:57 am

    I'm so impressed that you have still been able to keep up with your training schedule with all of your huge life changes! It's never fun to feel disappointed, but remember this is just the beginning of race season… think about how amazing you're going to feel on January 10th when you cross the finish line at Disney!

    I hope you have an awesome rest of your weekend :)

    Reply
  • Runeatrepeat September 26, 2009, 9:03 am

    You did great!
    Not too long ago you almost thought you would have to quit running all together and today you ran a 15K! You came through injury to run a 15K and now are training for a Marathon – keep it in perspective!

    It takes longer than we'd like to bounce back from time off of running. If I take one week of for vacation I come back to slower times and harder miles. You are still coming back from where you were a year ago when you ran this race, but the great news is you will get there!

    Running is not easy. Give yourself credit. Enjoy every mile :) One day you're going to be too knocked up/old/out of town/other and not be able to run. So have fun with it. Training and running will always have ups and downs, it's part of the journey.

    Reply
  • Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries September 26, 2009, 9:06 am

    I think not having the normal time to dedicate and focus on running always takes the toll. Even mastering the art of prioritization can't nix the fact that you have a lot on your plate. You should be really proud of yourself :)

    Sarah

    Reply
  • Heather September 26, 2009, 9:07 am

    I know you wanted to beat (or come close to) your PR, but I still think you did amazing. You finished, and it seems like you ran into a bump with dehydration, which will definitely throw anyone's game off. I know it still bums you out, but look on the bright side: you are an inspiration & motivation to SO MANY people for just doing the race (and finishing) and doing what you love, even when you've been faced with some obstacles (the knee pain). In fact, as someone who has been *trying* to run (ahem, power walking with jogging spurts in between), I was thinking of all the amazing bloggers running races this morning and it inspired me to get out there. You rock, Caitlin!

    Reply
  • Paige@ Running Around Normal September 26, 2009, 9:10 am

    Keep that head up high, girl. You are awesome!!!

    I really do appreciate your honesty on your blog. I'm very sorry you didn't do as well as you'd hoped. I know what you mean about being so competitive with yourself. I'm the same way, and when we don't meet our goals, it's natural to feel bummed out.

    But just think that you are still so early on in the race season! And think more of how far you've come since your injury. And most importantly, think of the reasons why you're running these races and ultimately running in the marathon next year. Keep you're head up, girl :-)

    Reply
  • Julie September 26, 2009, 9:16 am

    I know you're bummed about the race but I just want to say congrats anyway! You ran a 15k girl! Don't get so down on yourself. I know it stinks and it's hard right now to think of anything other than how poorly you THINK you did, but you really did great. Obviously, due to your injuries, you're not the same runner you were last time you ran this race. It takes a while to bounce back and get back into your groove. Don't beat yourself up because you're not there yet. Don't let this get you down!! You finished, you had fun with your friends, and you had barney butter. I'm pretty jealous.
    Cheer up and have a FANTASTIC day Caitlin!!!!

    Reply
  • insideiamdancing September 26, 2009, 9:19 am

    I'm sorry it wasn't all you hoped for, Caitlin. I think it's amazing that you are so honest about your difficulties… If you can't be honest in *your* blog, what's the point? Every runner has not-so-great races and you definitely have a lot to be proud of right now. The very fact that you ran in the race and completed the race is personal progress- 4 months ago it wouldn't have been possible. And THAT is a comparison that is worth making.

    Reply
  • Leah @ Simply Fabulous September 26, 2009, 9:29 am

    I don't want to pull out the "but you are such a good runner" card, but I can't help it. Maybe I don't know what its like because i'm not in your shoes and I didn't run a race today but I want you to know that what you did today was something a lot of people only dream of. You ran, you raced, and in my opinion I think you did a great job… hang in there and I hope you start to feel better about it soon!

    Reply
  • Jenna September 26, 2009, 9:33 am

    i am sorry you didn't beat your PR but the most important thing is you didn't give up, you finished the race! congrats girl :)
    jenna

    Reply
  • AbbyH September 26, 2009, 9:45 am

    I hope that you have bounced back from your post-race blues, and realized that you are still doing awesome!
    I had a very similar experience with my training run this morning. It was my last long run before I start my two taper weeks prior to my first half-marathon. I started out doing great and then started feeling super fatigued after mile 6. I stopped for water at mile 7 and kept on, by mile 8 I was walking (i never walk). Each time I would try to start running again, I just didn't have the energy. I cried, even prayed a little for the strength to push through 5 more miles. In the end, my body won over my mind and I called it quits. For some reason, my body was not up to it today and I just had to accept that. I was frustrated but also very proud of myself for doing what I was able to and not being disappointed that I could not do the run that was planned on paper.
    Keep your chin up and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    Reply
  • MelissaNibbles September 26, 2009, 9:45 am

    Congrats on finishing! I'm sorry you had a tough race. It can be frustrating. I actually think you have a good attitude about it. You know all the things that have affected your time and you know you're bounching back from an injury. It doesn't sound like you're mad at yourself, just frustrated with your situation. Things will get better with each race. Just keep on going!

    Reply
  • Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries September 26, 2009, 9:45 am

    I think not having the normal time to dedicate and focus on running always takes the toll. Even mastering the art of prioritization can't nix the fact that you have a lot on your plate. You should be really proud of yourself :)

    Sarah

    Reply
  • greensandjeans September 26, 2009, 9:46 am

    Our biggest competitor is always ourselves! Like many of the above people have said, stress and emotions can play such a huge part in what we can do physically. You did hit the nail on the head though when you said that you need to be thankful for what you can do coming back from an injury. You really do start from scratch!

    Reply
  • Shannon September 26, 2009, 9:46 am

    it's definitely hard to be happy with finishing a tough race when you know you've run faster. But I seem to recall you've had quite a past few months ;) you've been going hard on all fronts, and taking SO many positive steps in your life that there is so much to be proud of! you'll be knocking off seconds before you know it :)

    Reply
  • Leah September 26, 2009, 9:48 am

    I've been reading your blog for a while now, and I just wanted to say that I think you are such a great athlete! You are running times that I can only hope to run one day, and you work so hard! The race you ran today looks like it was so much fun, and even though you may not have had your best race ever, you learn something from every race, and it will all help you to improve in the end!! Good luck with all of your future races!

    Reply
  • caronae September 26, 2009, 9:49 am

    It sounds like you tried your hardest! I'm sure you were stressed out, maybe you were tired or hadn't done enough speedwork or started out too fast — a million things can get in the way of a perfectly food race. But you persevered! I've had that feeling of tingly, goosebumpy arms before too…

    Reply
  • Amanda September 26, 2009, 9:50 am

    I'm really sorry that you are bummed about the race – it is a completely normal reaction if you weren't pleased with how you did … especially since you feel like you can be doing better because you have! Do you think there is ANY way that since getting your Garmin, you are a little too up in your own head with your pace, splits, etc etc? I know that at certain points during my run I am slower and then I'll get a burst of energy and be faster … I don't like knowing my pace for the most part. Maybe you could wear it, but set the mode differently so you don't ALWAYS see your pace??? Just get your groove back and enjoy your runs!!

    Reply
  • Leah @ Simply Fabulous September 26, 2009, 9:51 am

    OH – and I also wanted to say that I think this is the perfect example of how our bodies can really surprise us and sometimes we just don't know how they are going to react. I'm glad you didn't push yourself!

    Despite feeling so shitty about how things went, the pics sure look great!

    Reply
  • Just a Girl September 26, 2009, 10:04 am

    With everything you have had going on recently it's no surprise that you are physically and mentally tired. I think you should applaud yourself – 15k is a fantastic achievement, especially when you have been so unbelievably busy of late.

    You're an inspiration to many, don't forget it.

    Reply
  • Julie September 26, 2009, 10:04 am

    Caitlin, you are AMAZING! The most I ever was able to run was a 5K so your training and accomplishments are inspiring to me, especially in light of revealing this week all that you have had on your plate. Maybe sometimes we learn more from our disappointments than our accomplishments? I know I do!

    Reply
  • Food Makes Fun Fuel September 26, 2009, 10:08 am

    Sorry to hear about the bad race. In my opinion, you're doing the right thing by sitting down and thinking about why it went wrong. The shaking in particular sounds like a bit of prerace underfueling, which would stem from how you eat the week before, not just the night or morning of. Overall, stay tough and be proud of all that you have done lately.

    Reply
  • Carrie H September 26, 2009, 10:18 am

    Caitlin, I'm really sorry you had a bad experience this morning. I ran a mountain trail run last Saturday (10.6 miles, 7,600 feet elevation up to 9,600 feet) and had to walk A LOT and was feeling down and dejected afterwards …
    The worst part was that I was so sore after that I couldn't run again until yesterday. (Insert dreaded elliptical. Ha.) I literally went into a sort of depression and had all these negative thoughts about myself all week … Then yesterday I realized on my run (4.5 miles by myself along a river) why I run — FOR ME. Not for races (which sometimes are awesome but sometimes aren't) not for PRs (which are also awesome, but they aren't everything), not for competition (though I am competitive, he he) but for me — for those moments alone on a run when my thoughts, worries, dreams, whatever, come and I can literally run them away. When I am running I don't have the time/energy/ability to think give my thoughts as much attention as I otherwise would, and that gives them a clarity that I can't find otherwise. That is why I run. And I'd venture to guess that that part of why you run too. Everybody suffers "bad" runs or races sometimes, but you'll have good runs (regardless of your time/speed — I mean mentally) again because YOU ARE A RUNNER. That doesn't go away with one bad run/race. I learned that this week too.

    :)

    P.S. Sorry for the novel. A lot to say, I guess. Ha.

    Reply
  • Anonymous September 26, 2009, 10:22 am

    Caitlin, I haven't commented on your blog before, but understand how frustrating it is to feel like your body and mind aren't completely in sync. Earlier this week, I set out on a run and had to stop and walk partway home about 2.5 miles into my normal 7-mile out-and-back run. I never walk during my runs, and it was a rotten feeling to not be able to run even 5 miles, which is usually a "short run" for me. Then I came home and read your post on "Fat Talk", and started thinking about how beating myself up over a crappy run is kind of similar, and about as productive. My advice is to allow yourself to be upset about this race for a little while – because I think acknowledging feelings and allowing ourselves to have them is important – but not to let it ruin the rest of your day, weekend, or week, because it's just one run, one race, and one morning. On a more logistical note, though, there was an article in Runners World over the summer about how much heat decreases pace, so if it was warmer than previous 15ks you've done, I'd guess the heat played more than a trivial role…especially because our bodies struggle more to adapt to high and low temperatures when we're tired to begin with. Sorry for the long comment, but I hope that you have a wonderful rest of the weekend basking in all the good things that are going on in your life right now!!

    Reply
  • Lee September 26, 2009, 10:27 am

    Everyone else said what I wanted to say and probably more eloquently!

    I'm sorry you're bummed.

    Reply
  • runsarah September 26, 2009, 10:39 am

    I am so competitive with myself that I can understand how you feel. 15k in 1:30 is still amazing though, and with your injury and your busy schedule, I think its so awesome that you still make the time to run, train, and do races etc…you are definitely an inspiration for me.

    Reply
  • Tina September 26, 2009, 10:48 am

    Just remember-you can RUN! So many people can't even do just that. Even people that can't simply walk. You've come so far, and in the scope of every race you've ever ran and will ever run, what's this one going to matter? In 50 years, you won't be remembering this race, you'll be remembering the ones where you felt amazing and strong!

    http://www.thenaturalterp.wordpress.com

    Reply
  • shawna (balancing me!) September 26, 2009, 10:49 am

    I agree, I think because of all the emotions you went through this week, your body was probably just a little worn down (not in a bad way at all).

    Definitely keep your chin up. You have lots to be proud of. This is just another learning experience. Emotionally your upset, but I bet you'll do great next time!

    Reply
  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) September 26, 2009, 10:50 am

    I'm sorry you didn't have a great experience but you are awesome and you have all of us bloggers supporting you! And like that anon commenter said, "My definition of a great "anything" is someone who has ups and downs. A person who strives for the best but realizes that there will be times where things just don't work out the way we intended."

    Very well said.

    I don't want to echo what everyone else said but you definitely have a lot of fans :)

    Reply
  • skinnyrunner September 26, 2009, 10:51 am

    everyone has a bad race sometimes. im coming off an injury and my pace now is minutes off my previous pre-injury pace. if i think about it too much, i get down on myself so as trite as it sounds, i try to find the positive. at least i can now pain free.
    good luck with the next one. and remember the joy that comes in running pain free!

    Reply
  • Liz September 26, 2009, 10:53 am

    I'm sorry the race did not go as well as planned. Everyone has good days and bad days, but you probably already know that. Just a few weeks ago, I was running slower than ever yet I was putting in all the work. For me, the problem was overtraining so I cut down on my double days and things turned around. I don't know what the issue could be for you…but for what it's worth, I will tell to you to just try and stay positive and stick with your training, because eventually, you'll have a good running day again and you'll PR again. I know it's frusturating to not be working up to the level that you know you're at…I know, I've been there…but you just need to keep on keeping on. Running is a blessing! Try to enjoy being active and healthy as much as you can! Sending much love and positive vibes you're way!
    Sincerely,
    Liz

    Reply
  • Niki September 26, 2009, 11:03 am

    I'm sorry you had a rough race today. There's nothing worse than starting off a run or race feeling so great and positive, and then having to struggle through the end. Just remember that every race is a new race and a clean slate. These last couple races were challenges that will make you a stronger racer in the future!

    Reply
  • Taylor September 26, 2009, 11:15 am

    Hey hon -
    I'm sorry that your race didn't go just as you'd hoped or expected. It's a hard thing, but sometimes our bodies just have better runs than other days. And there's no reason for it. We can rest, train, and fuel properly, but a 3 mile run could feel harder than a wonderful 10 mile run. Don't ask me why our bodies do that to us – sometimes they do. What's important is that you RAN IT. Just like you said – it's such a great thing that you could finish that distance. It's hard to compare yourself to how you were in the past. But every situation is different. Chin up girl! Keep chugging along – you have a huge race coming up that will lift your spirits so much!!

    Reply
  • Sara September 26, 2009, 11:17 am

    Of course it's disappointing to not make your goal, but do you know how many people would like to run ONE mile with ease? Much less at a quick pace like you can? You run fast, long, AND far. You're an inspiration, seriously. I'm really glad I've stumbled onto your blog :)

    Reply
  • runninghealthy September 26, 2009, 11:34 am

    Caitlin- congratulations on finishing the race! I know it wasn't what you wanted. I'm coming back from an injury and i understand how frustrating it can be when your times aren't as fast as they once were. just try to keep in mind how far you have come in other things and remember that we all have bad days. It WILL get better!

    - Krista

    Reply
  • Lauren September 26, 2009, 11:40 am

    This is nothing to be ashamed of, you ran your heart out and did your best. Hands down, that is what matters.

    It's so hard when we have a bad run, but honestly, every run is not going to be our best. There will be those days when its just not working…and you know what…that's okay! It makes every reason for the next race to be so much better! :)

    Great job girl. I hope you don't spend a single moment getting yourself down. YOU JUST RAN 9.3 MILES!!! No matter how fast it was. :)

    Take care sweetheart!

    Reply
  • Kat (Kat's Daily Plate) September 26, 2009, 12:06 pm

    Caitlin, You have been doing soooo much in the last few months! Stress has all kinds of effects, including just exhausting our bodies. I think that in order to move on and not let this way on you is to say "If things were calm in my life right now and all I had to focus on was running, then I would be running faster. But given EVERYTHING I am dealing with, my body is doing pretty damn well." Be proud!
    As someone who has soo much on my plate right now, I feel like my body just gives out on me more. I'm more achy, tired, and always feel like I could be getting sick. So to think of running a 15K, even if I was a runner and trained for it, would be verrrry hard right now.
    I admire you and I hope you don't let this get you down. You are awesome and just know that when things settle down and you can focus on running again, your body will be stronger and more relaxed and you will be faster! :)

    Reply
  • Jenny Vester September 26, 2009, 12:34 pm

    I'm sorry it didn't work out how you'd hoped :( But you're right, you've had a huge week AND you're recovering from a knee injury, so it's ok to have "off days" sometimes :)
    You still kicked ass for getting out there and carrying on even though you felt dreadful. That's really good sportsmanship.
    I just ran my first 10k yesterday and would NOT be able to run 15k yet so I do not think any less of you just because you ran a little slower than usual :) Take it in your stride girl! Coz you know you'll rip through that PR next time ^.^

    Reply
  • *One Step at a Time* September 26, 2009, 12:44 pm

    Caitlin,
    I think you did GREAT!!! You are coming off of an injury, and there is only SO much your body can do without getting re-injured! Just be thankful your knees are doing so great and you were STILL able to finish with an awesome time!

    Reply
  • Happy Feet 26.2 September 26, 2009, 12:49 pm

    You and I have similar tendencies. Very competitive with ourselves. I always get upset at first, but upon review I always become thankful just to be able to compete and I also analyze all of the training, life, etc.

    In addition to all of the "life stuff" that you have had recently, you also mention the fast 1st 2 miles. For me, especially in the longer races going out fast rarely pays off.

    Getting back into shape is a long process, which includes getting back into "race shape."

    Keep up that training. You will be back to prs soon.

    Reply
  • Jojo September 26, 2009, 12:57 pm

    Just remember you didn't quit. Focus on that. You were determined to finish and you did. And there is nothing wrong with being competitive with yourself. We all do it. I say, just keep doing what you are doing. You'll push through this, just like you did your injury.

    Reply
  • Kirsten September 26, 2009, 1:21 pm

    I think it's pretty awesome you are balancing training/racing with everything else you've had on your plate. Congrats!! :)

    Reply
  • Julie @savvyeats September 26, 2009, 1:29 pm

    I'm so sorry you didn't do as well as you had hoped. But what you DID accomplish is so amazing, with all your big life changes coming up! You've been a very very busy woman, so the fact that you ran a 15K at all is awesome!

    Reply
  • Lori September 26, 2009, 2:19 pm

    It is disappointing when you don't meet your own expectations.

    However, don't underestimate the factor of all that has been going on in your life at the present time. Those things seem intangible, but can affect your running times quite a bit.

    I still think you did a great job and your next race will be even better!

    Reply
  • Samantha September 26, 2009, 2:32 pm

    Oh Caitlin…so sorry to hear it was a rough race day for you. At least you're positive about being physically able to run, and to experience it with your friends. But that doesn't completely temper the disappointment. Reading your blog has helped me remember that being halfway around the world in a place I physically can't manage distance running is only temporary and one day I'll be back stateside so a-run , b-work on PR's and c-run with friends again.

    Enjoy all the exciting new changes in your life and remember you're still a rockstar!

    Reply
  • Tami September 26, 2009, 2:33 pm

    with all that you have been going through Caitlin I really think you need to give yourself a break. But I do know how heart breaking it is not to do well and be so discouraged and I have those horrible thoughts like "i am not the runner I thought I was" but you will get there. We all have bad days sometimes. I think the emotions you went through this week probably played a huge role in this.

    I know there are many thoughts on carrying your own water but I will never run a race without my own water. I have been where you were in a race, wondering when the next time a water stop would appear, it's a horrible feeling, it makes you even thirstier

    I highly recommend a fuel belt.

    Reply
  • kirsten September 26, 2009, 3:24 pm

    You probably had one of the craziest weeks of your life!! Totally understandable if you were a little distracted during the race. Please don't be hard on yourself, all of your readers are SO proud of you for what you have accomplished. It is SO inspiring to me to see you run a 9.4 mile race after having such bad runner's knee! It gives me hope that I will one day be able to run that far again too :)

    You are going to rock your marathon this January!

    Reply
  • NYgirl@heart September 26, 2009, 4:51 pm

    Hey there–I know you already have a ton of comments but I really wanted to add my thoughts.
    First-I know how you feel. Training your ass off and knowing what you're capable of all feels like nothing when you end up so far off from your goal. You wonder what the problem is…is it ME? Am I not training enough? WTF?
    But-when you have it in your head it's even worse to overcome.
    And you DO have a TON of things going on in your life that mentally make you tired. Add the stress of wanting to perform at 110% and it all goes down the tubes.
    What you need to do is take a few days off to clear your mind and let your body rest, breathe, and prepare yourself for the next race. It is impossible to meet EVERY goal you set for yourself in certain situations…you can't control everything!! Also, you took 2 months off to recover from your injury. That's huge. Remember how you felt when you couldn't run??
    Anyway, smile and realize your achievement. Was it your best? No. Could it have been worse? Yes. Keep smiling girl. You still rock!

    Reply
  • arunningstart September 26, 2009, 5:04 pm

    I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your honesty! I had a bad run last week and it really got me down. I think it's easy to forget that it happens to everyone sometimes. I personally thought a lot about your coworker's comment that you tweeted. Thinking of it that way, what would have been bad was if you'd never been in the race at all! You rock Caitlin!

    Reply
  • Kiersten September 26, 2009, 5:47 pm

    I'm sorry that your race didn't go the way you hoped. You should still be proud of yourself though! You still ran a good race! It's okay not to be perfect all the time. The point is that we don't let it discourage us and we keep trying. There will plenty of other races in the future. Stay positive Caitlin and believe in yourself!

    Reply
  • starsinthecity September 26, 2009, 6:53 pm

    I'm like you, very competitive with myself and I'm sorry you're disappointed in your race but if that's how you feel then let yourself feel like that for a bit and just remember that you rock!

    You're not defined by a number or a time, you are your effort and, perseverance – things you demonstrate in spades every day… keep rocking it!

    Reply
  • starsinthecity September 26, 2009, 6:53 pm

    I'm like you, very competitive with myself and I'm sorry you're disappointed in your race but if that's how you feel then let yourself feel like that for a bit and just remember that you rock!

    You're not defined by a number or a time, you are your effort and, perseverance – things you demonstrate in spades every day… keep rocking it!

    Reply
  • Heather September 26, 2009, 6:55 pm

    Sorry about the not so great race. I am trying really hard myself not to be super negative about my half tomorrow, but my hip hurts, it's supposed to rain and i've barely trained enough. like you, i am just going to try my best to be positive.

    Hangry Heather

    Reply
  • Lizzy September 26, 2009, 9:29 pm

    aw girl i'm sorry that the race didnt turn out as well as you would have wanted it! but hey you have good health, friends, and family that were alll there to support you today, an in the end thats all that matters just like you said! :)

    Reply
  • Oxidaisy September 27, 2009, 2:38 am

    Hey Caitlin, I really don't think that 7 min above your PR is so bad, given the circumstances. The other day when I was reading about all the changes in your life, I thought to myself: how does this girl even stay up on her feet? I would just crash and burn after a while if I had so many things going on in my life. So the fact that you even went out to run 15k (and that is far!) is amazing!
    Don't be too hard on yourself, you did great! Something you might consider next time is start off with 9 min miles if you hope to run 9 min miles. Then you might be able to keep your pace the whole time instead of getting tired because you have run too fast (even though you may feel great) at the start.
    Have a great sunday, and rest!

    Reply
  • Lauren September 27, 2009, 4:40 am

    I'm sorry that you were disappointed with your time. Even when you compare yourself to no one but yourself, it is still possible to be competitive. I think you're putting a little too much pressure on yourself right now! Like you said, you are just coming off a major injury, and have also had a very life changing week! These factors can certainly influence your running. As much as you train and prepare for a race, you cannot completely control the exterior forces that may affect your overall time, speed, mood, etc.

    I think a lot of runners don't give their injuries the 'credit' they deserve in impacting their runs. An example: eight years ago, my mom was training for a marathon in DC. Several months before she was set to run the marathon, she ran in the Susan Komen 5K. During the race, another woman tripped and fell on my mom. They both crash to the ground, and my mom broke her hip. A totally unforeseen, uncontrollable event that had major repercussions on my mom and her entire race season. I felt so badly for her, and she was obviously very depressed. About a year later, though, she was up and running again; not at her same pace, but running nonetheless. This was aggravating to her, but she finally had to *acknowledge* that she'd had a debilitating injury, and recovering her normal speeds was going to take more than a couple months. Once she gave herself 'permission' to not run an 8 minute mile, and to work at a pace that was sustainable to her, she felt immeasurably better; she said it was like a weight was lifted off her shoulders, and she could really enjoy running again.

    I hope you're feeling better today. Runners are driven people, and we are sometimes too hard on ourselves. (I know that I'm pretty competitive with myself in many aspects of life, and in particular running). You have to give yourself the props you deserve. You're doing great!

    Reply
  • Ali September 27, 2009, 9:09 am

    I am sorry you had a difficult race. I was the SAME way last Sunday. It was awful and discouraging. I just reminded myself that we have bad runs and we have good runs and that is just the way it is.

    You did a great job after coming off an injury even if it is hard for you to see that now! It is just a bump in the road and you are very resilient, so you will bounce back from this mentally for sure.

    Not being hydrated played a huge role for sure, I know with me that was the case, I almost passed out as well during my race. Lesser people would have just quit! Cheer up ::hugs::

    Reply
  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance September 27, 2009, 10:30 am

    I am sorry that the race did not turn out the way you hoped and was sorry to see you so upset after! However, I can feel your pain, totally. I ran that way last year and was happy that this year I came back strong. Of course only in the 5K for me as I am no where near close to you in racing yet……..but I will be some day.

    =) Laura

    http://www.findingahealthybalance.wordpress.com

    Reply
  • Jess September 27, 2009, 11:57 am

    Thank YOU for being such an HONEST blogger. I'm sorry you didn't meet your goal, but you learned a lot, I think (dehydration to start out, listening to your body, and remembering that having supportive friends is the best thing).

    I love the first picture you posted, even though this wasn't your best race, you were totally in the moment, showing us that famous "Caitlin Frown". You rock, no matter what!

    Reply
  • Jolene - EverydayFoodie September 27, 2009, 3:20 pm

    That's too bad that you are not happy with your last 2 races … maybe speed work is the answer. You have more races to come, so just continue to focus on your training, and I am sure you will set new PR again!

    Reply
  • Whitney@whitsgettingfit September 27, 2009, 5:35 pm

    I'm so sorry that your race did not go as well as you had hoped. I think that with as busy as you have been though, you are doing awesome just to keep training! The speed will come back, it just takes time.

    Reply
  • Nicole September 28, 2009, 9:22 am

    Don't be so down on yourself about your race. You are still coming back from an injury! You will not be 100% right away. I know that it is hard, trust me, I would would be upset too. You have also been working really hard with school, training, blogging, writing a book, work, etc. With all of these things going on in your life, you WILL need more sleep than you probably have been getting. When I am training, 7 hours is NOT enough sleep a night. I need at least 8-10 hours of sleep a night to feel rested and ready to run, swim, and bike. On the other hand, you have come so far considering you weren't running a all a few months ago. You should be proud of all of the work that you put in to your training!

    Reply

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