Next Steps

I still have a runner’s high from completing my first marathon last weekend. I’ve decided that I want run another one, but I don’t know yet when or where. There are a few races I’m interested in running this fall, but I’ll wait to decide on fall races until my hip flexor heals…hopefully it will be back to 100% within the next few weeks.

Until then, I’ll be cross training, and I might resume easy running next week with the predetermination that I’ll stop if I have any hip flexor pain. Then I’ll work on rebuilding my mileage base and slowly incorporate some speed work. I really want to start signing up for local 5Ks and 10Ks as soon as possible, but that won’t be smart until my hip flexor is healed. Even then, it might not be smart given my lack of recent speed work, haha.

I’ve been a little disappointed this week about running a huge positive split in the marathon. However, I keep telling myself, “Dude – you just ran a freaking marathon, and you did it on reduced training with a lingering injury.” I can’t help competing with myself (or my expectations, at least) when I run, but I also need to keep things in perspective. I’m not fast enough to ever have anything at stake when I race, so the only pressure I really have is from myself. And I missed several long runs and speed workouts due to my hip flexor. I’d like to think I would’ve been able to hold up at least a little better during the second half of the race if I had a full training segment. I’m thrilled to be a marathoner now, but there’s that little part of me that occasionally thinks, “Positive split?! WTF?!” I guess the positive thing about positive splits, other than them being positive (haha), is that they’re great incentive to run better next time…

I hope you have a great weekend and run (or cross train) happy!

Are you racing this weekend? If so, at what distance?

Do you ever get disappointed when you don’t meet a goal, even though you should be happy with what you accomplished despite missing the goal? If so, how do you balance any disappointment with the sense of accomplishment?

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8 Responses to Next Steps

  1. Josh says:

    Not racing this weekend. Big 5k (for me) next weekend.

    I’m almost always initially disappointed when I miss a goal, but after a few minutes, hours or sometimes days I’m usually able to put it into perspective and appreciate accomplishments more than I dwell on disappointments.

    • Matt says:

      Good luck next weekend! Try not to put too much pressure on yourself between now and then (easier said than done, I know).

      I’m usually the same way about accomplishments vs. disappointments…sometimes it just takes me a day or two longer than it probably should to put everything in the proper perspective. :)

  2. Ty says:

    While running a negative split almost always makes for a more enjoyable race, I’ve had multiple very fast/good runners tell me that it’s actually “better” to have a slightly positive split. (from a 2:55 marathoner). That way you know you left it all on the course and didn’t have anything left at the end. (Meaning that you gave it your all and couldn’t have done any better). Contrasted with finishing fast/strong and feeling like you had a little more left in the tank.

    • Matt says:

      That makes sense, and I’ve wondered about that. If the split is too negative, it indicates that you weren’t running as hard as you should have or could have during the first half. But I know first hand that going out too fast can cost you even more later in the race (it’s happened to me many times). I read a quote from one of the Hanson brothers (I can’t remember if it was Keith or Kevin, or where I read the quote) that basically said for each second you go out too fast in the first half, it’ll cost you two seconds in the second half.

      I don’t mind a slightly positive split for the reason you mentioned…I just have to make sure it’s not almost 7:00 next time. :) At least this time it was due to my legs failing me instead of my usual reason of poor pacing/race strategy!

  3. Firstly thanks for your amazing comments on my blog, means a lot! :-) Sorry to hear about your hip, that sucks, I know all about injuries, all we can do is cross train to try and make weaknesses stronger…

    I can completely relate to what you said about competing by your own expectations and then feeling like you in a way failed as you didn’t reach them, well I use to feel like that anyhow, now not so much. I still have my goals and pbs but I don’t think I place as much expectation on myself and a few yrs ago I thought I was expected to win and do well and when I didn’t I felt like a complete failure… thankfully now the only expection I have is my own! :-)

    I am probably not racing this week, need to get back into some quality training as I’ve had another 3 days off (break over)… Hope you have an awesome wkend! :)

    • Matt says:

      You’re very welcome, Auds – you have great insight and perspectives! I’m getting used to cross training, though I’d much rather be running. I plan to start some easy running in the next day or two, and will ease back into it over the next few weeks.

      I’m glad you’ve been able to stop placing as much pressure on yourself – it can really make racing more enjoyable, and not having as many expectations often seems to lead to better performances. It sounds like you’ve been doing an awesome job even when you’re not planning to run hard or race all out! Good luck with your upcoming training. I hope you enjoyed your time off, and that you also have an awesome weekend. :)

  4. Barry S says:

    Congrads Matt on joining Marathoners !!!! Great job on your first at Bayshore Marathon……I dont race for time much anymore but still get runners high and enjoy just my inner thoughts and moving across the earth under my own power!!! Running has meant so much in my life and has helped me through the loss of my parents …….and other grief…….
    As far as feeling down about not achieving personal goals in running I remember a time when I let those feelings push my body too far and then was not able nor could I train……I then adopted a rule…….I take one day off from any training for each mile I race….example…10k I enjoy walking for a week……etc…..
    since adopting this rule I have went on to met many of my goals in running……including 4 sub 3 hr marathons…..2 completed 50 mile events and 36 min 10k……..most importantly this rule help me to see the bigger picture about what running means to me besides times…….it is a way of life!!!!!……Enjoy your running with your wife Matt…….run on !!!

    • Matt says:

      Thanks, Barry — I appreciate it! It sounds like a good idea to take a day off for each mile raced. I don’t know if I could take 26 days off after a marathon, but my body would probably thank me, haha. Congratulations on your many great running accomplishments, as well as on your ability to see the big picture and never lose sight of how great running is regardless of goals or times. I hope to be able to do the same regardless of how fast or slow I run!

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