Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Choking on Race Day

In school I knew the material (as long as it wasn't related to history) and could generally talk about it and do well.  Sit me down with a piece of paper and a pencil for a test and all the information disappeared and I'd generally do much worse than I should have on tests.

Race day is similar to test day.  I'm ready.  I've run the miles.  I'm relaxed and ready to go.  And then I toe the line and something happens, or to be correct - something doesn't happen.

Almost every distance I've run a race there has been a time prior to the race that I have had a faster and much better training run.  Not on purpose, but it happens for almost every distance.  The marathon is the exception because my longest run was definitely NOT 26.2 miles long.

So, with this weekend's race in a few short days I want to put this out there.  I am running 4 miles on Saturday morning.  It will be wonderful.  I've done the miles and I'm ready.  But, at some point on Saturday I will step up to the start line of the race and it will all go away.  It is me and I'm fine with it (this time).  Knowing what I do about me and racing I am hoping to hit 40 minutes for the race (10 min/mile).  It is a relatively small race (capped at ~750 people).  40 minutes.  40 minutes.

Last weekend I went out and ran 4 miles by feel.  I didn't look at my watch, though I did listen for the mile chimes so that I could stop it at the four mile mark.  I had an amazing run.  I only felt like I was working for the last 1/2 mile or so, and that 1/2 mile was right after an uphill I really don't like.
4 miles...most of it on a bike path
Imagine my surprise when I got home and downloaded the data from my garmin:
yeah, it's small but you can click on it for the deets 
Here's the part that really surprised me:
Does that say 9:19/mile????  SHOCKING!  And I felt great doing it.  I'm still hoping for 10/mi on Saturday regardless of what this 4 miles was like.


misszippy said...

Oh I think you'll be way ahead of that pace! Never discount the adrenaline surge of a race, and having others around to help move you along. Good luck!

Darlene said...

have fun. You'll go great.f

The Unexpected Runner said...

That was a brilliant training run!!!! I think you will have no problem breaking 40 on race day..... Or even setting a new PR :)

ajh said...

New PR predicted here too. Have fun.

MomRunningFromCancer said...

Great job on the training run! Relax and enjoy the race for what it is . . . Another opportunity to run!

Teamarcia said...

FWIW (maybe nothing) I read somewhere that people who routinely under-perform on race day are frequently doing their training runs too fast.
All the best on race day! I know you have sub-10 in you. :)

Jen @ Run for Anna said...

That is an awesome training run!! Your race will be great!

Black Knight said...

I am sure you have run a great race. That 9:19 was a good sign.