How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

The week before last I had a bad race at the Phillies 5k. While yes, you can argue it was windy, my disappointing race wasn’t because of that.  Honestly, it wasn’t my day and these things happen.  While it stinks, I race so frequently there is no point to let one bad race ruin my day.

How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

So What Can You Do After a Bad Race?

Like the movie, Frozen, let it go…

Find the Positives:

When I finished the Phillies 5k, the first thing I thought was: Wow I felt awful. Then I quickly remembered I’m injury free.  The entire race was miserable, my mental spot was not great, but I finished healthy.

After cooling down, I caught up with one of my closest friends and still hung out. I saw many locals and chatted for a while. They asked how the race went, and I said: “awful it wasn’t my day for running, but it’s just running”.

Running isn’t my job; it’s a hobby.  If a hobby stresses you out or causes you misery, it’s time to find a new one. Sure, I won’t always “love running” but instead of dwelling on a bad race, look for the good.

It’s important to look at the positives of your race:

Did you finish healthy and injury free?  Could you smile afterward and have a good day?

Next, Reflect and Figure out Why:

Immediately after the 5k, I chalked it up to being “a bad race”.

Now that I’ve sat back and reflected, I know there are plenty of reasons the 5k was not a great race for me.

My body was still tired from the weekend prior. I haven’t eaten or slept well, and I’ve increased speed and racing. Plus, I ran a half marathon the weekend prior. I’ve done it a dozen times, but I’ve always been more fit.

None are excuses but they all contribute to why my race didn’t go well.  Reflecting back and having a few answers is better than, “it just didn’t.”

It gives you ways and reasons to improve.  You can make adjustments to your training, nutrition, or sleep patterns.

Most Importantly: Recover and Set New Goals:

After running a bad race, it’s important to take time to recover.  Even though the race didn’t go well, don’t go crazy. Take time to recover and relax.  Then set your sights on a new race or goal.

Maybe a marathon burned you out…

Or maybe you want to run longer races…

Find something to get excited and refocused about! 

For me personally, I have many races over the next two months. While I’m not looking for magical redemption, I’m looking forward to chipping away my time and getting back into better fitness.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

How do you get over a bad race?

What has been your least enjoyable race?

How to Run with your Significant Other

How to Run with your Significant Other

First, happy Valentines Day! Are you celebrating with a run?  LOL, or maybe not but anyway.

As most people know, my husband and I met through running. It’s a hobby we both share. You read the full story here. We both ran long before we knew each other. We aren’t always running together, and there are months we don’t run at all together, but there are also months we run many easy runs.

He is a faster runner, and there are very few periods that we run the same pace, but it is enjoyable to share that time with him. Running allows us to share uninterrupted time together. During the day, it’s hard to find these uninterrupted moments.

How to Run with your Significant Other

Many readers have asked: How do you run with your significant other? Or Could you share some tips to make running with a partner more enjoyable?

Keep in mind, running together is not always sunshine and butterflies. I can remember a significant moment in our running relationship. It was our first long run together. I’m a very chatty runner and if you’ve run with me (or even raced), you know I’m yapping all the way. My husband, however, is much quieter when he runs. This took us a few runs to figure out.

We started off doing a 15 mile run in San Antonio, Texas (near where we lived). All of a sudden he was running a few steps in front of me and silent. I began getting irrationally upset. Why were even running together? It was just silence. I continued to get more and more upset until finally I snapped and said:

“I’m tired of this dude running. Men just run in a single file straight line don’t talk much. Women don’t do that”.

(Yes, I called it dude running because it’s exactly how men run together. Silent, in a single line, and then they say it’s quality bonding time).

At the time, I didn’t know his life and running habits, and he didn’t fully know mine. Since then, we’ve had no more escalated running arguments, but my point is: it’s important to know any trainer partners habits.  He wasn’t angry, mad, or sad, that’s just how he ran.

So How do We Run Together?

The Short Answer:

We both put on running shoes and move one foot in front of the other.

The Long Answer:

Easy Runs:

More often than not, we run easier mileage together. I’ll speed up my pace 10-15 seconds per mile, and he slows down a bit. We agree to try and meet halfway.  That being said, my husband uses a watch even less than I do so we aren’t that numbers-oriented about paces.

Workouts:

We don’t do hard efforts together because our workout paces are not the same. He is a faster runner and also has different goals. (I like 5k-13.1 while he likes 5k-10k).

Occasionally he will do a tempo run with me, but that is the extent of workouts together.  Has he ever done a 400, mile, or hard track workout with me?  Absolutely not.  I know I go from nice to mean in 10 seconds, and so does he.

Racing:

We both like going to races. This year, my goal for racing a la Des Linden is “just show up.”   The fast, the slow, the good, and the bad, I want to be there.  Races for me, are always better workouts than workouts alone.

For us, going to races is quality time we spend together as well. We sign up for races together but the critical part here is we don’t race together.

We will warm up and cool down together, but when the clock goes off, we race to our own standards and feeling. The majority of the time, we do not stay together.

Racing for you is important because if one person is faster, it will create problems to stay on the course together. Part of being with a fellow runner is that you can’t expect to stay together or feel the same every race.

Does it stink to be dropped by your husband or a training partner during a race?

Of course, but that is the nature of the sport. We support each other, good or bad race.  I think this is important for any group running a race together. Someone will feel better, and someone will feel worse. Let them go and don’t be offended. You would want them to let you go too, and you’re still friends (or married at the finish line).

Don’t Be a Sore Winner or Loser.

There is no point to “racing” your significant other.  I remember one of my husband’s best races in 2017, the Double Bridges 15k. He ran a good amount with me and dropped me like I was standing still. I was so happy for him because he had no business lollygagging with me.  We both crossed the finish, and we were still married.

Running with a significant other can be a fun and pleasant experience. I know my husband, and I are fortunate we get to share that.

Finally, don’t force or guilt them into running with you. Don’t take anything personally; sometimes your spouse doesn’t want to run.  Some days I just want my me time and so does he.  That’s okay too!

Questions for you:

Do you workout with your significant other?

How are you spending Valentine’s Day? 

2018 in Blogging

2018 in Blogging

Around the end of the year, I like to reflect on both running and blogging. Typically around this time, I wonder if I want to continue my blog. Is it worth it to renew the $300 platform?

As it’s trended the last few years, blogging is dying.  Podcasts, Instagram, and other social media is taking over.  No one has “time” to read anymore. Not that I need anyone to read my blog.  I don’t have a coaching service or a product to sell, it’s just my life. The way the blog stays afloat is by the occasional sponsored posts as well as the sidebar ads.  To keep the blog running, it does cost about $300 a year.

blogging stats 2018

As you can see from the chart, my blog grew when I started in mid-2010, and then around 2015 began to fade.  Most people refer to quick and easy information now, and Instagram seems to be the platform of choice for race recaps, training, and whatever else. I don’t foresee myself writing long captions on instagram anytime soon.  A picture tells 1000 words, and I like to keep it that way.

I’m not sad or being negative; those are just the facts of blogging and my personal blog.  For me, the days of 1000 views regularly are gone, and that is okay.

So back to Blogging in 2018:

Most viewed posts

Tips for Morning Workouts

Blogging is Dying.

New York City Marathon Race Recap (3:07.15)

I Have a Fall Goal Race

Phoenix Half Marathon (1:22.03)

20 Running Podcasts to Keep You Entertained

What Will Happen in 2019?

I renewed my blog, so, for now, I’ll continue it.  I can’t say for 100% certainty that I see myself blogging through the entire year. I’ve said that every year, but truthfully I never know. Right now, I plan to continue blogging.  Maybe less, or maybe trying to find more sponsored posts to keep it worthwhile to keep going. I’ve thought about just going to newsletter format as well. A newsletter is cheaper and I could still have a record of race recaps and information, I could refer too. still something I’m very much contemplating but it would be a big change and a lot of work to get there.

In short 2018 didn’t change a lot. Blogging is dying. Instagram and podcasts are growing So I guess I don’t know what will happen in 2019.  Something completely new and different could happen in social media too.

Questions for you:

Bloggers and Readers, I would love to hear your thoughts on blogging, social media, and changes.

Marathon Recovery

Marathon Recovery

It’s been 10 days since NYCM. I haven’t run.  I won’t say I’ve focused every ounce of energy on recovery because that isn’t the case, but I have made recovery a primary concern.  I feel good, in the fact that I know I’m healthy and could run, but I strongly believe everyone needs at least 2 weeks of rest sometime during the year.

Most long-term readers know but I’m injury prone, so I can’t get away with not taking rest. At this point, I don’t even try too.

My old college coach told me that days off save seasons and I think it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten. Not only do I apply this with injuries, but also now with resting after a race.  There are some people that could get away from running

Here are a Few Ways I’ve Been Personally Recovering:

Active Release Technique:
I’m a big fan of active release. It flushes out acid from your legs and muscles quicker and you recover faster. I’ve always recovered faster when I opted to get a deep tissue massage or ART.

Active Release is a hands-on approach to injuries of the muscles, tendons, fascia, nerves, and the surrounding tissues. This manipulation softens and stretches the scar tissue which can result in an increased range of motion and improved circulation.  Both optimize healing.

If you are local, I highly recommend Dr. Kemenosh and his staff (and no they aren’t paying me to tell you that and I pay the same price as every other person who goes). They have helped me in multiple situations from fixing my hip/piriformis after my last marathon to loosening up my calves, and even feet.

active release technique

Compression:
There are so many different brands of compression out there. Many brands are just glorified tube socks.  I personally use CEP and have for most of my running journey.  CEP uses medical grade compression and forces blood to appropriate places.

Compression helps to enhance performance and recovery through the targeted compression which improves blood circulation and speeds up lactate metabolism.

Cross Training:
I’ve done a couple of short walks and I think I’ll do a hike this weekend.  Even though I could have done “a lot more” this week, I have walked as cross training. It feels good to get blood pumping through my legs.  I’ve been walking about 20-30 minutes which has been fun. I haven’t felt the urge to go further.

Take Mental Break:
Running can be exhausting.  For me thinking about adding a long run into the weekend, or workouts during the week can be mentally tiresome. Taking a mental break is one of the most important things I personally do.  Right now I’m not planning “the next big thing.”

Sleep:
This is an obvious one, but more sleep allows muscles to repair. We know sleep is important, but there are so many distractions that make it difficult to get to bed. I try and log off the internet around 9 pm. Sometimes I read, sometimes I go straight to bed.  I’ve been having a hard time adjusting to the time change. Has it really been nearly 2 weeks?

Recovery from anything, whether it’s a race or hard training cycle takes time. Just like training, there is no secret that does it all at once.

Questions for you:

How do you recover?  

How long do you take off after a big race? 

 

Training: Resting

Training: Resting

Another week of training down.  By training, I mean resting. I haven’t run a single step after crossing the finish line of the New York City Marathon.

Not running has been great and I actually do feel like I’ve recovered very well from the race, almost too well.  I’m not sore at all but I know it’s important to take time away both physically and mentally.

I did get outside twice for 2 short and easy strolls.  It felt nice to enjoy the beautiful fall weather.  It wasn’t tough, rigorous, or anything faster than a casual stroll.  It was nice to just be out and enjoy the day.

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 20 minute walk
Thursday: OFF/Active Release with Dr. Craig
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 30-minute walk
Sunday: 15-minute walk

 

Next week will be the same.  I’ll get outside for more casual strolls but I’m not going to push anything. I could 100% run right now if I wanted.

On Thursday, I got active release with Dr. Craig.  Active release is similar to a massage but a hands-on therapy breaks up adhesions and knots. It helps release muscles.  I’ve been going to the entire team since my second marathon and they originally helped to release muscles in my hamstring and glute that were not getting better.

It feels great to say that I made it through the training cycle strong, and healthy.  Does that mean I could have run the marathon faster? Maybe but maybe not.  I gave it my all for the day.

Anyway, next week will be about the same. I do plan to go for a hike towards the end of the week.

Posts from the Week:

New York City Marathon Race Recap

Collagen: Protein without the Protein Powder

Questions for you:

Do you take time off after a big race?

Is there fall foliage near you?

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