Thursday, June 10, 2010

Why I Did What I did

After spending the past couple of days reconstructing and analyzing the events of the Japan Day debacle (there are still gaps in the story where my memory still fails me), I realize that the main reason why I raced so hard and ran so fast at the start wasn’t really about the P.R. After all, I’ve been in plenty of similar situations before, where I started a race planning for or anticipating a P.R., yet have never lost control of my speed to the point where I’m threatening to pass out. So why was my Sunday race any different? Well, the truth is that beyond the time, beyond the PR, what I wanted the most of out that race was a personal breakthrough performance.

Honestly, it has been way too long since I’ve run a “good” race. It didn’t happen in Brooklyn (because I had to help a friend). It didn’t happen in Jersey (because I was sick and it was too hot). It didn’t happen in Ragnar NY (since my pace was far below what I had anticipated) and it didn’t quite happen in the Flushing 13.1 either (because well, I got lost!). In fact, the last time I finished a race in a somewhat respectable time was way back in March, when I ran the Blues, Salsa & Shamrock 5K and got a PR! That’s a long time ago! In between these races, my training has been a never-ending revolving door of sickness and injuries, false starts and DNS-es. So yes, it is readily apparent to me that my overwhelming passion to PR this race as a sign of my official comeback may have clouded my judgment and made me throw caution to the wind. But then again, I’ve never passed out in a race before. How could I have known that I could get in so much trouble with just a 4 mile race?

Yes, I do consider myself fortunate to have survived the debacle with barely a scratch on my body. However, I am still disappointed that I wasn’t able to finish the race with not even a mile left to go. I’m also disappointed that I allowed my personal pride to dominate and take my running to a risky and dangerous place. With yet another failed run, my summer of fruitless racing continues. My confidence in running has not been the same since the spring ended. I wonder if and when my next opportunity for a comeback race will be. I wonder if I’ll be ready. I wonder when I’ll be able to find myself in running and racing again. These are the questions I have that still remain unanswered. I hope I can find answers to them soon!

13 comments:

marathonmaiden said...

wow somehow i missed that original post but wow again. that is scary! but don't let this past spring get you down. i tell myself all the time that everything in life in cyclical so i'm confident that racing will turn around for you and you'll go on a hot streak! hopefully sooner rather than later :)

Lauren said...

I can understand why you might push yourself too hard in trying to get that "perfect race" because the recent ones have been so bad... it still sucks that this ended so badly but I don't think you should really be that bummed about it. You had motivations, you know what they are now, you can keep them in check. YOu'll be more prepared and ready next time to deal with a similar situation. There will ALWAYS be another race :D.

Jamie said...

After going awhile without having the racing experience you want can be very frustrating! Try not to put too much pressure on yourself though. Your comeback/good race experience will happen soon!

Teamarcia said...

In the scheme of things a really good race is quite elusive. Aside from having all your training ducks in a row, and the injury/illness monsters under control, the planets need to align and make the zillion things beyond your control cooperate.
Don't be so hard on yourself. Trust yourself and your abilities and know that you will be back soon.

J said...

Lam you are strong and competitive racer! You will have a great race, nothing can keep you down! Keep your head up and keep working hard!

Julie said...

Hi Lam,
You will get your confindence back...I know you will! You are a talented athlete:) Just keep the faith and stay positive! There is a race in the future that will be perefect for you and your PR:) Trust me:)

The Laminator said...

Marathonmaiden - I know it's true, but sometimes it's just hard to know if/when it will turn around. I just want to get there already =)

Lauren - Thanks! It's too bad I only figured out my motivations after the race rather than before. I hope I can learn from this experience and have a much better race the next time around!

Jamie - I hope so. I really really hope so. If I only have a crystal ball to know when it will be, I'd be so less stressed about it =)

Teamarcia - Yeah, I think I kind of wanted to ignore all of those elements and just run my race. It turns out brute force isn't the right way to run a race. I do have to trust myself more when racing sometimes. Thanks for the reminder

J - I used to believe that, but with each race I fail to do well, the confidence gets less and less. I must find so way to turn the tide.

Julie - Thank you. I will try and remember that. I know it will come back...just don't know when. Meanwhile, I'll keep plugging away at it!

Jesse said...

While I can appreciate your disappointment and frustration, I don't believe that this streak will last much longer.

If nothing else, the grace you display when you write your reports reveals your character and determination, and it is inspiring to me to see how well you handle the disappointment of your recent races. Not that I want you to have bad races so that I can be inspired, but I am impressed with how well you seem to deal with the disappointment.

Anonymous said...

You need a running coach; looks like your biggest problem is your training and expectations that a coach can assist you with. Don't feel embarrassed...all the best athletes in the world have coaches, us amatuers need them even more.

Chic Runner said...

Laminator. Don't worry and I totally know what you are feeling. Believe me. It was for the best and I'm glad you are okay and you made that decision. It was the best decision for your health! You'll be back out there rocking it in no time.

Anonymous said...

with all due respect. You think too friggin much.

(yes I am afraid of being flamed by the "hooray for everyone" crowd)

X-Country2 said...

Hang in there. Go on a couple fun runs with your favorite people, and you'll find that spark again.

RunnuRMark said...

I'm a newbie to your blog, but it sounds to me like you enjoy pushing yourself and finding out what you're capable of. I totally get that! Luckily I haven't encountered a situation like that yet. I'm still looking for a great, confidence-boosting race this year myself. Crossing my fingers that it comes this Saturday!

 
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