Sulking after half marathon today!


Ran my second ever Half Marathon today in 2h05mins which normally I would be over the moon with but I'm disappointed! I knocked 9 mins off my personal best but I'm not happy and know I could have done better.

The course was undulating, which is fine as my runs are always on undulating routes living in the countryside, however it was a hot day and in the final couple of miles I started to crumble on the hills and developped a negative mindset. I stopped at the drink stations to take the time to drink instead of running off  cup in hand, water splashing everywhere like I usually do!

On the last couple of  hills I actually stopped and walked for a minute before starting up again.  I trained really hard for this and have done better in my long runs in training stamina-wise. Guess I'm disappointed that I let a couple of those hills beat me. What's wrong with me?!


  • Hi northern lass why are you disappointed 9min off your PB great I wish I could do that.You say it was hot on the day,that takes it out of you.This is only your 2nd. half I am sure you will improve as time goes on and you will be under 2 hours.

    Have a bit of a rest then start the training again for another race with a positive mind take the good points out of your race there is nothing wrong with you.

    Just a thought did you set off too fast on the day and so you ran out of stamina on the final stages I have done that before.

    KEEP GOING jimma image

  • Never be dissapointed in a PB Northern Lass

    What half did you do?

  • Thanks jimma. Realised at 6 miles when looked at my time that I was running a faster than normal pace for a long run.

    mugpunter32 - did the Great West Run. Fantastic atmosphere! Crowds very uplifting and marshalls great.

  • Well done with the PB!!!  The fact that you got a PB and didn't do it as well as you'd have liked means...

    a) you've improved

    b) that there's still room for improvement, even if you were to race next week, bringing me to

    c) if your training continues to develop, massive improvements can still be made image

  • as you was a hot day.  That does make a difference (ask the FLM lot last week!)

     Congratulations on the PB, and try to celebrate that, and see the rest as things to learn about. 

  • Well done Northern lass - dont be so hard on yourself

    I ran the FLM last weekend - wanted to run sub 4 - finished in 4:14:46 - too hot!!

    At least you beat your PB - this was my first marathon so I didn't even have a PB to beat!!

    Well done to you.

  • northern lass,

    The Great West Run course looks the same as it was when I ran it. Undulating is not how I'd describe it! There's a hill almost immediately after you start and then you have a long climb out of Exeter city centre to get back to the athletic arena. Then you have to do it again.

    Knocking 9 minutes off your PB on that course is fantastic. I know I couldn't have managed such an improvement on my second half.

    As said above, learn from the experience and you'll soon be under 2 hours. 

    Well done on the run and the time.

  • SticklessStickless ✭✭✭
    One of the things I like about running is that it is a bit like sailing: when things go wrong, there is absolutely no point in caning yourself. Plan a strategy to cut your losses, and keep going.

    You got a pb - 9 minutes is a heck of a slice of time to take off. It's only your second half - how should you know about setting the right pace? One race is not likely going to give you the experience necessary to develop a sense of pace.

    Things you might learn from this go round:
    1. Be Very careful to hold back in the first half. It is extremely hard to do this; particularly when you have prepared well and are expecting a good run. You get a little up on schedule, and your reaction is oh good - money in the bank - Wrong! You'll pay in compound interest in the later stages. Done it many times myself.
    2. So how do you judge pace? Either you can run a few halfs, with a shorter distance race or time trial a few weeks before the race as a guide. You will have to work out for yourself what the time for the shorter distance tells you, because you will have to factor in the effect of the longer distance, and that is different for each of us. Or you can run your long runs with a heart rate monitor, and then use that in the race to keep heart rate down.
    3. You can help avoiding panic or despondency when plans go awry by setting back-up plans. If you are aware by 8 miles that you are feeling unduly distressed, have a reserve plan which includes a reduction in pace for a set distance, after which you re-evaluate, and either resume pace if you have weathered the bad patch, or continue with plan B (or even plan C). Just as setting off even a little bit too fast can wreck things, hauling right back on the pace for even half a mile can give you a significant second wind. And even if it doesn't, feeling still in control of the situation allows you to finish in a much better frame of mind, and, usually, consequently, a rather better time than you might have feared.

    It's one of the things I like about running. It's not just brute force and ignorance, strategy, the ability to revise plans on the run, the delicate and respectful balance between mind and muscles required to perform to the best of ability and training make it a really challenging sport in many ways.
  • Thanks so much everyone. It all makes brilliant sense and has cheered me up no end!

    Will learn from it definitely for my next half which I'm looking up as we speak.

    Got a 10k lined up in couple of weeks which I did last year and looking forward to so that'll help blow the cobwebs away.

    Stickless - thanks for the advice. Brilliant post and you are so right!


  • Good luck with your next half northern lass have you decided on one yet,all the best I hope the training goes well

    jimma image

  • Thanks jimma. Half tempted to do the Torbay Half  at the end of June. Did it couple of years ago.  Don't know if it's too soon tho as I'm a Half Marathon novice. What do you think? Any tips on how to continue the Half training in order to improve after this?

    Got a 10k lined up in a couple of weeks. Also, it's a lovely course down the lanes which I did last year. Aiming for a PB and determined to make amends for the Half!


  • Hi you could do another half at the end of June( you are keen) but how prepared are you going to be.I dont know what schedule you followed for the half you just completed but you could use your 10k time as a guide and go for one of the 12 week schedules on here based on your 10k time.

    Out of interest what are you looking at for your 10k time.

    jimma image 

  • Jimma - my PB for this race is 56.08 so am hoping to better that.  

    Again it was a hot day when I ran it last and I didn't feel on top form. I really am rubbish in any kind of heat !  Love the cold and drizzly!  Am hoping that the speed training I did for my Half will help me achieve a PB.

  • Northern Lass

    stop beating yourself up - u did great - and u'll conquer all in time  

    but, u must remain positive and block out all negative thoughts, get a structure in your mind to break down the mileage

    keep that fluid down u and over u and have fun

    good luck

    mick n phil

  • micknphil - Gone for it and entered Torbay Half. Any tips on where I take my training from here for another Half?


  • Hi Northern Lass,

    Well you went for the half in June,go for it.What training did you do for the half you just completed.I am aiming for a half later in the year and plan to run 4 times a long run,one semi long,one 4-5 mile easy run and one faster session of either a tempo run or some reps.How does this compare with you.

    I think that you must put your last half behind you,you trained well but on the day things did not go well,that happens.Set a realistic time you would like to achieve,work out your pace required to do this and do some training at that pace so you know and get used to running at that pace and on the day dont set off too fast.

    I hope this helps,all the best,

    jimma image 

  • Hi Jimma,

    I followed a training plan off the GWR website for the Half. I can only manage to run 3 times a week , as I have small children, so I've been doing a long run, tempo run and a recovery run every week. Gradually lengthening the long run and the tempo run. Guess I will continue with it and I also plan on introducing some interval training.

    Which half are you aiming for? Sounds like you're on the right track with your training. Will remember not to pace myself better this time! The Torbay is pretty flat compared to GWR!

    Stretched my legs on a 4 miler this morning to see how the old calves were after Sunday and felt fab! I'm itching to do the 10K now in couple weeks.

     Lots of luck with your training for the Half!

  • Norhern lass

    i think Jimma is right

    I'd say just keep gentle training, and days before keep well hydrated, top up on your levels depending on what you like

    take the first mile as a warm up, second as a settle down mile, and then say to your self at 3 -

    " well i'm 1/4 way now" - keep it nice and steady - take on drinks whether thirsty or not,

    don't make the mistake of following what someone else may be doing - They may be fitter than you think - it's imperative that you do what you do

    Me myself, i,m a physcological mental tactition- but that takes fitness and practice

  • Your training schedule sounds fairly similar to mine northern lass keep at it.I did Bath half in March and like you I faded in the last 2 miles and that was on the flat no hills.I am now aiming to run Chippenham half at the beginning of Sept with a view to better my Bath time.Thats the plan but as you know things do not always go to plan.

    You sound as though you are enjoying your running at the moment itching to do the 10k.When and where is that.

    I have not run Torbay half but I have heard it is a fairly flat pleasant course to run.

    All the best   jimmaimage

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