Chronic underachiever

Failed to reach my target again!

21 to 40 of 79 messages
02/09/2012 at 23:37

I had a similiar issue to you, but with my marathon time. I wanted a sub 4 marathon, came close a couple of times but failed and felt terrible about it. I got ever more fustrated and annoyed and eventually it started to suck the fun out of running. I was so wound up about this that twice I ran marathon PB's and was angry at my performance! That's how stupid I got about it.

This year I cracked my sub 4 marathon and ran Paris in 3:49. I stopped checking my watch when training. I'd start it at the begining of a run and never look at it until I stopped it when I got back home. Funnily enough when I did that I started to enjoy my running again. I also started to get faster as I'd push depending on how I felt rather than what the watch was telling me. 

I did the GSR today too. I ran the full thing not looking at my watch once and was five minutes faster than the time I wanted for the day (a 1:45). There are two things I'd recommend. One stop thinking about the time and just enjoy the run. Secondly look at your training and see if there is something wrong with it. If you were on target until mile 12 today did you have the stamina? Had you done too many long runs, not enough? Was the course more hilly than what you train on?

I hope you get your sub 2 in Aviemore, as I know myself what it's like to beat yourself up over a target that in reality only exists in your own mind.

03/09/2012 at 06:45

Sounds so familiar. Your story. Your disappointment. Your attitude. I could have written it.

Have you ever taken time off your training? A week maybe? 

I have found that every time I fall into that desperate place and I try try try and I "fail", it's because I've been trying too much too hard. When I've had some time off, and get back to running, I run faster and lighter. Could be overtraining you see. 

And like Eggyh said, one major thing is to stop looking at your watch.

One major thing that is stopping me from getting what I want is my head. Too stuck in the stupid "rules" and targets, that I forget the main reason why I do it... because I enjoy running. 

J1M
03/09/2012 at 07:58
Wow, I just looked up Aviemore half. The route looks spectacular, I wouldn't worry about a pb for that one, just run it and enjoy the view.

Also it's at 1,100 feet. I don't know if this is enough altitude to effect a runner but that might be worth considering.

The amount your running is plenty to sub 2 h but maybe you need to structure it better.

Check out the sub 1:40 plan here:-

http://www.209events.com/file/256.pdf
J1M
03/09/2012 at 09:04
Here's a story for you. Before the Olympics I went to an event where Victoria Pendleton, Kath Grainger and Anna Watkins were the speakers. All world champions, all Olympic medal winners who subsequently went on to win gold in London. All three of them explained how they hadn't started to make serious competitive progress and believe they could reach the top until they heard someone else tell them they could - either a trusted coach or another competitor. It's normal to have doubts about your abilities, whatever level you're competing at. If you can run 13 miles in 2 hours 4, you have the ability to run a sub 2 hour half, no question. Just make sure you have a proper training plan, that allows for a taper and rest before the race.


And yes, change your name. Why not call yourself something like 'Amazon Warrior Princess' - after all, it's all anonymous here .
Edited: 03/09/2012 at 09:05
03/09/2012 at 09:48

Thanks all.  A day later and my pride is still wounded but I'm trying to get past it. Still can't bear the thought of putting my trainers on tomorrow but I probably will when it comes to it.

My husband spent yesterday evening trying to come up with a different training plan for me, based on his own. He runs flat out every time, usually 6miles or so three times a week to the point where he can't run anymore.  He only runs more slowly when I've forced him to run slower on our long runs.  He thinks long slow runs are a waste of time because he believes they're just teaching me to run slowly.  It's a bit difficult to mount an argument seeing as he's smashed his PB.  Everyone on here seems to say to run more slowly though, with a little bit of speed thrown in .  I don't know what to do. Maybe I will look for some trail runs and stop entering half marathons for a while until I can learn to enjoy running again. 

I have a week's holiday next week so I'll look forward to that and not running for that week. 

It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who's felt this way and that those of you who have have managed to get past it one way or another.

Crash Hamster    pirate
03/09/2012 at 09:54

Your husband's plan is a recipe for injury, sorry. In the same way as some heavy smokers live to 95, it may have worked for him so far, but it increases drastically the risk of injury.

The one thing that strikes me about your plan is that you don't go above 13 miles for your long run. A long run of 15-16 at 3 and 4 weeks out from your next event would give you confidence in being able to do the distance.

03/09/2012 at 10:07

Yes, I would say it's a good idea to run over distance a few times for a half generally, but particularly so for you as you must have really blown up spectacularly in the last mile to be on target at 12 miles and and up 8 mins over. Similarly arriving at the start line fresh after a decent taper should help you last the distance.

 

There's been loads of good advice already on this thread. Why not set some other goals for the time being and then come back to the 2hr half once you've met some other goals.

A very rough guide would suggest target times of 5k 25:15, 5 miles 42:00, 10k 53:00 and 10 miles 1:29 being similar to a 2hr half. Or you might want to just aim for something entirely different - do some off-road running, explore a load of zones on www.fetcheveryone.com  with the conquercise game, talk part in marathon talk's magic mile challenge etc.

03/09/2012 at 11:31
Rubbishrunner wrote (see)

Thanks all.  A day later and my pride is still wounded but I'm trying to get past it. Still can't bear the thought of putting my trainers on tomorrow but I probably will when it comes to it.

My husband spent yesterday evening trying to come up with a different training plan for me, based on his own. He runs flat out every time, usually 6miles or so three times a week to the point where he can't run anymore.  He only runs more slowly when I've forced him to run slower on our long runs.  He thinks long slow runs are a waste of time because he believes they're just teaching me to run slowly.  It's a bit difficult to mount an argument seeing as he's smashed his PB.  Everyone on here seems to say to run more slowly though, with a little bit of speed thrown in .  I don't know what to do. Maybe I will look for some trail runs and stop entering half marathons for a while until I can learn to enjoy running again. 

I have a week's holiday next week so I'll look forward to that and not running for that week. 

It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who's felt this way and that those of you who have have managed to get past it one way or another.

Have you looked at what Smartcoach on here reccommends? I am using an app on my phone which was vetted by a running friend and it has a variety of runs including long slow ones (10 miles yesterday peaks at 12 miles for the long run), interval training (which I hate), hills, short runs and medium ones. Obviously yet to see if it works but at least I have enjoyed the training!

C

PS If my hubby was a runner there is no way I could run with him it would end in the divorce courts!

03/09/2012 at 11:35

Your husband seems to have found what works...for him... Well; my PB for the half is under 90mins; does that make me more authoritative? No... I have found what works for me (but still I beat myself up for being too slow!). Take a bit of time off (7 to 10 days) and then follow the advice as above (exiled claret). You need to find what works for you and PLEASE change your name!

03/09/2012 at 12:04

Lots has been said. Running flat out in training sounds like a bonkers training plan. At most I would run fast (not 'flat out') once per week in training. Sounds like you have the basic speed already, but you don't have the endurance. A handful of 14 - 16 mile slow runs would benefit you. I absolutely love half marathons, the last 2 or 3 miles really shows up who hasn't focused on endurance - you would be amazed how many runners blow up towards the end. 

WiB
03/09/2012 at 12:40

Ditch the watch for a bit and run for fun... it is meant to be fun after all! If you are not enjoying it why grind yourself down to do it?

All my racing is based on enjoying it. I certainly wouldnt go out and run races for 2, 3, 4... 12... 20... whatever hours if I didnt enjoy doing it!

 

WiB
03/09/2012 at 13:20

One thing that might help, if Disneyland Marathon in January is your first, is that a proper structured training plan for the marathon will include at least one half-marathon race in your preparation.  

I set my personal best for the HM distance in a race that was a training day for my marathon, and I know a lot of other people have done this as well.  It could be that by this point in your training, you should be able to comfortably complete 13 mile distance. but I think the main reason was that the HM race wasn't my focus as its was just a stepping stone in my marathon preparation and therefore I didn't feel the same (self-imposed) pressure.

 

 

03/09/2012 at 13:57

Had the same situation.

Did a half at a young age without any training and got a 1:56, spent the next 10 HMs flirting with the idea of being faster. Every event I did I would consider a failure if not under 1.56. I had so much negative/nervous energy/expectation at the start lines that I never did go under 2 again. I took 2 years off, played tennis, had fun getting fit and now I'm back with a fresh attitude and a properly structured programme. Regardless of whether my events are sub 2 I am enjoying training and for the first time I'm enjoying running..

03/09/2012 at 14:45

So many wise words, it's been really helpful.  Thank you all.

I've done a couple of marathons, believe it or not, so I've been over the distance before.  They weren't fast either but I enjoyed them more for the event and participation.  I suppose I don't have expectations for a marathon so maybe this makes it easier. 

I was definitely full of nervous energy at the start but not in a good way.  I don't think I helped myself on the day.

I have to start into marathon training fairly soon so if I concentrate on miles rather than time hopefully that will take some of the (self-inflicted) pressure off.  I was thinking I would change my watch to display only heart rate and distance and go back to training like that rather than by pace.  I gave that up earlier this year when I had low iron and every run saw my heart rate soar to 80% 2mins in!  Perhaps it's time to try it again.

I saw the Lakeland Trails website as well and there's a weekend in November that sounds very pleasant so I may enter the novice runs and have a go at off-road running one weekend, which should also help to break up the marathon training and keep things fresh. 

I don't want to lose my fitness and I'm not really the sporty type so running is at least easy to do on my own.

03/09/2012 at 15:32

absolutely right, than man. the aviemore half-marathon does indeed look like a cracker...sorely tempted..

03/09/2012 at 15:33

lots on woodland trails, fantastic scenery, and last 10k apparently all downhill.

03/09/2012 at 15:46

Aviemore does look lovely, that's why we entered.  The forestry track part sounds very pleasant.  I am going to run it without my watch though and do it purely for pleasure.  10k downhill sounds tremendous too

Feeling much better

Think it was just about full when we entered a couple of weeks ago, baldbloke, so you may be lucky to get a place at this stage!

05/09/2012 at 22:56
I have had similar experiences in the last 3 years, 2009 GNR was my first HM and I managed 2:06. 2 years later I managed 2:08 and no matter what in training I couldn't seem to get near it again.

Solution (for me) - don't train for a HM, train for a full marathon instead. Now in training I have already beaten my previous race time with much less perceived effort.

When your endurance is much better you can develop speed, without the endurance it is much harder work - and looking back, no matter how hard I thought I trained and was ready, when it came to it I was just not ready to push through the pain to get the faster time, pretty much all mental rather than physical as I was definitely fitter and faster than the first time I ran.

Now 12, 13, or 14 miles is a short run psychologically that I can cover twice a week - it has helped me fool my brain into thinking it can give a longer "effort". The proof will come in 2 weeks at my next HM (precursor to full in 5 weeks)... I may come back and post to say it all failed miserably!
05/09/2012 at 23:18
RR, it does sound like the extra endurance of 13-16 mile long run in your plan would help get you there, plus doing some off road running preferably with hills, incline to strengthen your legs...

Has it occurred to you, some other factor affecting you? Humidity, needing water, even needing some carbs.

I wondered what your routine was the night before food wise and breakie on the day.

Main thing. Dont beat yourself up about this. you are a tiny fraction away from your dream.

I find running with others has really improved my running the last year. Are you a member of a club, or someone you could run with at weekend? Club speed session would be my first suggestion.
06/09/2012 at 09:29

F-R-Thundercat and Daeve,

Thanks for the fresh comments.  I'd like to blame humidity, hydration and a whole host of other factors but I feel like I would just be making excuses for myself when the truth of the matter is the endurance wasn't there.  I had a good breakfast and had loads to drink and 6 jelly babies at the start line!

The 10-13mile runs were due to time constraints - I didn't have the time to go above this.  I have run more than this in the past and will again when possible, if I can drag myself back out there.

I did do one very hard plyometrics session on the Tuesday night before the race which left me pretty sore until Friday - maybe if I had skipped this I would have had that little bit extra on the day.  We'll never know.

I've followed Hal Higdon's plans for marathons in the past but for this next one I thought I would try and run 6 days a week - 5 weekdays with one speed session, one recovery session and 3 easy days for mileage, then a long run at the weekend.  In addition I do plyometrics/weights once a week as well so I'll continue with this.  I'm hoping to get my mileage up sufficiently that my endurance can't be called into question again but do you think that this is sufficient not to get slower?

I  need to do something differently to before.  I just haven't decided what.

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