I mentioned in my race recap that I had some post race thoughts.
So my post race thoughts? Happy that I succeed. I got the PR I was after. But by that evening, I was replaying the race in my head. I wouldn't have done anything differently really. I wouldn't have done anything else differently in training. I would have still gone into the race with my 3-6-9 walk break/fuel/text plan. If I wouldn't have done anything differently, then why wasn't I feeling so elated that I succeeded?
Because I walked away from the race knowing that, while I left everything I had out on the course, I could have done better. The things that slowed me down (crowds and a narrow course) were out of my control but it made me start to think what could I have done on a less crowded course? Sigh. It's the truth, that's honestly what I was thinking within hours of finishing the race. And as that negativity started to slide into my brain, so did my overall attitude of the race.
Sure, the conditions were out of my control but I was sort of disappointed in my attitude. When I saw The Pilot at mile 4, I complained that I was having trouble getting up to pace. When I saw him at mile 8, I told him that it might now be my day to PR because of the crowds. That's not my MO. Normally during a race, I just hang in there, knowing that somehow, some way, I make it happen. For some reason, in this race, I let doubt and negativity get into my race.
While I went into this race more confident and less nervous than any previous race, I came out of it wondering what my deal was. Is that what happens when you start to get too competitive with yourself? Did I take the fun of the challenge out of it by trying to run faster/further than I ever had before? With the exception of the Goofy Challenge last year(that goal was to finish and not die), my goal is usually to do better than I did in a previous race of the same distance. I know that a PR isn't going to happen at every race. I don't want that to always be my goal. I want to be able to do a race for the fun.
I'm not exactly sure if this is the reasoning for my negative thoughts during the race, just a theory. I didn't expect to feel anything but elated after getting a new PR so I was surprised by the thoughts that would nag me for the two days after the race.
I am incredibly proud that I did it. I put in the work and I succeeded. I haven't yet decided if I'm going to try to find another 1/2 marathon in the near future to see if I can do better on a less crowded course or if I need to just take a little time off.
Time off is a challenge for this type-A though. Before we even left for Orlando, I was already contemplating what my next goals would be. All the other bloggers were laying out their 2012 race plans and I didn't have anything on the calendar other than the Disney 1/2 marathon. I thought I was OK with that but it sure got me thinking.
I just finished the book You Are an Ironman. I haven't identified if that is a long range goal for me or not but I got to thinking that if it is a goal, then how am I going to get there. I'm not ready for that or even a 70.3 event (half Ironman). I need more tri experience if I'm going to get there. So maybe I'll shift my summer focus to tris again this year. Or maybe I won't.
I took the week after the race off(no workouts!). I coached with TNT on Sunday...my first time coaching since October! We have just started training our spring season and I always look forward to meeting the new walkers and watching this new group do things they never thought they could do.
Maybe I'll just relax a little, try some new workouts at the gym and see where the next couple weeks/months take me before deciding on my next goals.