COLL - my slowest race?

Oh, man... what a torturous 25k race. My goal was to run under a 1:38. I ran slower than 1:45. Not good.

The plan was to start in 6:15 pace for a couple of miles and then bring that down to close to 6:05s. I started off just fine, but after the 3rd mile I could just tell I was working too hard. Since when did 6:10s/6:15s become fast for me?

I got progressively slower throughout the race (seeing some miles around 7:05 or so… goal was sub 6:10). At mile 8, I started to get a little dizzy. At that point, I was just running for survival. My goal was to practice running while hurting & feeling awful – just one foot in front of the other, I kept telling myself.

Good news: I finished and I didn’t walk. I’m actually proud of that :). Bad news: 1:45:something for a finish – pretty slow. So slow, in fact, that a fellow Run N Fun men’s masters runner asked what had happened to me (“Did you stop to use the restroom?”). I laughed. Nope! Just a really slow race! :)

A year or so ago, I never had races like this. I ran pretty well 99% of the time, and the delta between my good days and bad days was very narrow. Runners who had days like this puzzled me. How was it possible to do so well one race & so poorly the next? But now I know that the problem was actually me - if you're racing well ALL of the time, you're not training hard enough & not pushing your limits. I'm finally pushing myself, and therefore there will be times when I blow-up in races.

I won’t spend time dwelling on the race, it's not worth it. It clearly just wasn’t my day. I think continued stress, lack of sleep, and the temps/humidity (I am seriously the worst heat/humidity runner, why is that??) all really affected me. Plus, I can just tell that I haven’t done any work at threshold pace. I feel slow (despite having done some good VO2 max work). But, nothing I can do about the race or these factors now, other than look forward and try to fix the things that aren’t going well.

So, instead, I'll focus on this week’s 85 miles and start to longer MP/tempo workouts!

Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

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