Do you know about or utilize the website Athlinks to keep track of all of your races?
I can’t recall when I first learned about this website but once I found out that such a site existed, it was pretty cool to claim my name and see all of my races and associated finish times listed.
I sort of forgot about this website until earlier this week when I started thinking back to my first 10k race, the Great Cow Harbor 10K, which I ran three years ago right around now, two weeks before my first ever half marathon.
During the Cow Harbor 10k, I recall approaching the finish line questioning how in the world I was going to run 13.1 miles at the Hershey Park Half when finishing the last .2 of the 10k felt like death.
Of course two weeks later in Hershey Park, I completed the distance just fine, but I always recall this pre-half marathon worry from my past because worries such as this are normal (right?) and in some ways, going through these thought processes helps to make us stronger runners.
Monday morning’s run is what sparked this 10k memory. Let’s talk about it.
I came out my front door flying, the temperature was around 59 degrees and I felt fast and glorious.
My only issue was that MapMyRun was giving me splits that did not seem accurate at all, at least for the first five miles.
I was in my groove and feeling light on my feet but my pace was telling me something different.
Each time that voice chimed in my ear with my current pace, I couldn’t help but slightly freak out wondering if the tracking was simply inaccurate, which it has been happening lately, or so much worse, that I was possibly off in judging how I felt in relation to my pace.
I easily felt as though I was running a good 30 seconds faster per mile than MapMyRun was telling me.
A part of me does think the tracking was slightly off but I will never know for sure (especially since I changed my route a bit so I couldn’t go by normal mile markers) so of course some panic started to set in.
If this is how an 8:30 pace feels right now, how the heck am I going to hold a pace 30-40 seconds faster than this for 13.1 miles on October 3rd?
Maybe I am getting old. Maybe I can’t expect to run any faster. Maybe my fastest half was in May 2013 right before I turned 35.
Am I really 37? That sounds old. But I don’t feel old. What is old these days anyway.
I was never one to put pressure on myself or allow life’s stresses to get to me and I am not at all competitive.
Unless you try to steal my dessert, I am a naturally calm person who goes with the flow on a daily basis in every area of my life.
This run though ignited some sort of fear in me for my upcoming half marathon mainly because I have applied some pressure in terms of setting a finish time PR goal for myself.
And, not only have I selected a PR time, I have announced it to everyone, including you.
I quickly pondered all of this in swirling waves of thoughts during Monday’s miles until I realized a few things which calmed me down back to my normal relaxed frame of mind.
This run felt terrific. Regardless of my pace, I was happy and feeling great, dancing to this 1980’s classic when it came on Pandora.
See, I am old.
I know that when the music I am listening to while running makes me dance, I am having a good run. So who cares what my pace was?
Next I thought about all of the positives of race day running:
*I will have the additional adrenaline of the race atmosphere which always helps me pick up my pace.
*My legs will feel even better after a taper week.
*The temperature on race morning should be nice and cool by the first week of October.
*My favorite running shoes are broken in and ready to go.
You know I love a pair of running shoes when I untie them before slipping them off.
*Rumor has it the Great South Bay half marathon course is flat and pretty, not to mention, sponsored by Entenmann’s which means goodies at the finish line.
*I am prepared and ready to do the best that I can, whatever my best is for that morning.
So long as you try your best, you must be proud of yourself. We cannot totally control what happens during any race or any run for that matter and we must accept that…and run with it.
Thanks for listening! Be sure to check out what everyone else is thinking about today!
[bctt tweet=”Putting Race Worries In Perspective #running #halfmarathontraining #athlinks #thinkingoutloud “]
Do you use athlinks?
What songs have you been loving lately while running?
How do you talk yourself down from the tree when you have pre-race worries?
30 thoughts on “Running Worries Out Loud”
I do use athlinks and I was just on there last night thinking “I wonder if other running bloggers use this?” It is definitely a cool way to be able to look back and compare all your race times.
Running is so strange with how the same pace can feel so different at times. A few months ago my easy pace was under 9 min miles but then it got super hot and I increased my mileage and now some days its closer to 10. There are times when I swear my watch has to be wrong because the pace its showing just doesn’t make sense!
I totally have recovery run days at 10:00 min/mile, especially this summer. As it cools down, I return to more normal but if 10 feels good, I am happy to stick with it. I tried commenting on your post a few times this morning but I don’t know that it ever posted!
That’s so weird- I never got it! And I actually check my spam all the time because alot of real comments get caught in there.
I have the same worries about pace whenever I track my runs – my Garmin really is off near my house and tells me I’m running an 11min pace! Then I start thinking I’m so much slower than I am. Although sometimes I really am running slow and deny that I am. So complicated!
In the winter my tracking sometimes gives me those kinds of 11 min mile times (or even 14) it gets so confusing! I know I am running faster than that but I lose complete track of the mile I am in.
You are going to do great! Don’t even think about it. Alternatively, make it about me: in order to PR my marathon, I need to knock more time than that off and do it for double the distance ;D
It’s been a while since you’ve raced–get out there and give it hell!
thank you 🙂 I will!
We all have runs like that! Mine usually ARE much slower, even though I feel like I’m going faster. Our USAFit coach always tells us to run by feel, but seriously, my body often feels like running 14mm or slower. And sometimes I do just that . . . and sometimes I push myself. Depends on the run.
Race day is a totally different creature! There will always be good & bad runs, but as long as you’ve done the training, trust it.
I believe in the run by feel, for sure.
Never used it as of yet…but now I think I may check it out! I really like listening to upbeat songs for running, like about half of Taylor Swift’s repertoire and old songs from cheer squad warm ups in high school (shh…my secret).
Hey, whatever motivates you 🙂
I’m so happy you mentioned athlinks! I feel like I’ve heard of it before but have never used it. It’s interesting to see my old times from when I was 10 years old running..I used to be pretty fast! Finally getting back there 🙂
I can imagine it’s interesting to see times from when you were a kid! I know some kids at that age who are super fast too, I am fascinated!
If I’m not worried before a race, then I should be worried! Pre-race jitters are a sign that I’ve trained well and I’ve trained hard so I’m excited to see what I can do under optimal conditions. When I’m not nervous it usually means that I’m not ready or I’m not chasing big enough goals. Athlinks is pretty cool but I’ve never used it.. I’m going to have to check it out!
Very good point, I like looking at things this way. Thank you!
I’m sorry that you’re having some pre-race worries. You are going to do great. You did make me laugh several times, though. I totally can relate to the one about seriously loving your shoes when you take the time to untie them.
I am glad I made you laugh lol. I really try not to slip my shoes on and off, especially my favorite running shoes!
You’re going to do great, lady! I’m pretty sure that everyone gets hit with the pre-race worries, but just remember that 99% of the things we worry about never end up coming to fruition. You’re going to rock the socks off that race and feel great doing it 😀
Aw, thanks for the confidence boost!
Ooh! I just signed up for athlinks! what a cool site–I love how it has all my results from over the years! thanks for the tip 🙂
Isn’t it neat? I have two races that are missing but otherwise, it’s really cool and great to look at!
I love athlinks although a lot of the races I’ve run never showed up on there. It is a great site though! I’m feeling those tired legs right now too. I don’t wear my watch so I have no idea what my pace is but my usual 9 mile runs aren’t feeling as effortless as they did before marathon training. I keep telling myself that taper will have me feeling fresh again. We can do this!
I noticed two races that didn’t show up but it’s pretty cool otherwise!
I wouldn’t be surprised if MapMyRun was a bit off – I did a review of popular running apps back on my blog in early summer, and MapMyRun was always a little off compared to Strava and RunKeeper (I compared them all against my Garmin 10 and the mile markers on my trail). So I bet you were running as fast as you felt!
I get pre-race nerves pretty bad, but I just try to take it one mile at a time. I bet you will hit your PR no problem! Something just clicks on race day and fast miles feel easier. Also, if it’s anything, I’m training for a 3:30 marathon, and some days a 9:00 min/mile feels like I’m flying (usually the day after a hard workout) – training fatigue can trick our brains like that on easy days!
Thank you, this made me feel better! I occasionally have issues with mapmyrun but for most part, it’s been decent and I am used to it and a creature of habit lol. I am starting to think thought that I should just get a garmin already!
I have never heard of Athlinks. Maybe because I am not a runner, but I have been wanting to start running!
You should totally start running 🙂 If you have any questions, just let me know.
I have never heard of athlinks, I am going to look at it a little later. I think that as long as you race, you will always be nervous. I always tell myself this too shall pass.
I usually worry about keeping my pace during a race. My best way to feel better about it is get up early and have a relaxing morning while getting ready. This helps me get in the zone although I get race butterflies whether I’m running a 5k or a marathon. I think that’s part of the fun.
You are right, it’s totally part of the fun.