Monday, January 23

Did I run hard enough?

In the hours immediately after a long race, I start second-guessing my effort. My mind reels with questions of:
Did I run hard enough? Could I have pushed harder? Did I really do my best?

I don't know why this happens. I was elated after Sunday's half marathon, but halfway home, I started to wonder if I could have run harder/better/faster/stronger?*

I see the clock as I cross the finish line. I start out proud, but then I begin mentally lining up this race against those I've run before. I get back home and do the math... 4 minutes faster than this one (good!)... but 15 minutes slower than that other race...

No one wants to be slower today than they were yesterday/last week/last year. And while I know I could not have run a minute per mile faster, I wonder... Could I have shaved off another minute from my finish time? Two? I had enough kick for the last half mile. Could I have started my final sprint sooner? I didn't hurl at the end. Shouldn't I have been dry heaving at least?

I tried to distract my nagging brain. I made popcorn and sat down for an afternoon of football. I napped through part of the Pats / Ravens game, but was wide awake for the fourth quarter nail-biter finish. I got up and walked around. Stretched. I made dinner and mostly ignored the Giants / 49ers. (You can take the girl out of New England...) I went to sleep.

...And woke up so sore it hurt to get out of bed.

Today stairs are my enemy.

And I have my answer: I may not have puked at the finish line, but I really did run as hard as I could yesterday.

How do you evaluate your performance after a race? Comparing stats against prior races or pre-race goals? By how your body feels? By whether or not you enjoyed the ride?

*PS - I gave up hating Kanye when Watch the Throne was released. It is too good to ignore... But running playlists will have to be another discussion for another time. Anyone else have a love/hate relationship with K. West?


  1. Believe me, you ran hard enough. We also 2nd guess our effort. We wouldn't be normal unless we did.

  2. The bottom line for me is that I try not to ask myself if I could have pushed harder after the race. It's like checking the items you didn't know during a test -- it won't help your score at all!

    Yes, I do check myself DURING the race, so that I know what I feel capabale of in those very moments. Hope that makes sense. This is a great post~!

  3. I always go that route at the end of a race. I am horrible at laying it all out there on race day. I'm always trying to conserve to make sure I make it to the end. The problem then is, did I conserve to much? Ugg. I guess that's why I keep racing cause I probably could push harder and I want to find out.
    Great post!


Penny for your thoughts?