Crisis of confidence

Hi AllI've never posted on here before, so please be nice to a newby (although not at all new to Runners World).

I ran the Hadrian's Wall half marathon at the weekend, and didn't just do my worst time ever in a race, but my worst time by an extremely long way! The race was beautiful but I've never done one where I have been second to last! I am in no way a fast runner, nor built for running, but I've managed plenty of 10ks, halfs and a marathon really comfortably without ever having to walk! This was so far from the case on Sunday!

Basically, I now feel utterly embarressed and demoralised! I had to have 9 weeks off with a metatarsal fracture, which left me two weeks to continue training before race day. I know in my heart that this will have had a effect, but I just can't seem to pull myself out of the rutt and feeling as though I should give up a sport that I love because I'm an embarressment! image

I have a marathon in October, another in April and then the Wall Ultra in June, and I'm completely dreading repeating Sunday all over again!

Am I mad and alone or is this normal??Thanks for your time!




  • You had 9 weeks off - of course you'd be slower.

    If taking 9 weeks off was normal and didn't affect your performance - wed all be sitting on the beach instead of wasting effort training.

    I'd think no more of it. I'd be happy just to finish with training like that.

    Now move on and begin training for the next race. Of course you'll do better there. Training works.
  • Hey chick - chin up! 

    You had a bad race - we all have one at some point!  I once took the same time to do a 10k as I normally do 10miles due to not being 100%.  It happens to most people eventually. Put it behind you - forget all about it - consider it as training - whatever you need to do!

    Then focus on October.  You can't change what's just happened but you can build on it and go forward!  Try to see what happened as motivation - you didn't like it - so stick to your training so you have the best chance of it not happening again!

    Give it time - run easily & relearn to enjoy your running - 9 weeks can be a long break and it might feel crap for a while!


  • Hey Chick? What a sexist pig!! Give some advice but don't belittle her. She's a human being. Not a chick. image

  • Cougie and Sleepy Bear - thanks so much! Your responses are a massive help!

    Sussex Runner - I appreciate your comment, but I'm not offended in the slightest by being called Chick, so please don't worry about IT.


  • Okay Snookumsimage 

  • Hayley, 9 weeks would be a major part of anybodies training schedule to lose. At least you still went and did the race and didn't pull out.
    Chalk it up to experience, put it behind you and and start working on your October marathon.

  • Hayley - the problem here was not your running or the time but your expectations. It's great to have a goal but it must be achievable or you will inevitably be disappointed. I would under those circumstances have treated it as a fun day out doing what I enjoy and to just get round. Clearly you do enjoy running so I would focus not on the time you did but the fact that you didn't give in - think of it as a mental training run - on that basis it was a success and stands you in good stead for your marathon/ultra training!

  • I see no problem, as the others have said, not training for 9 weeks and then racing after only 2 will have had a massive effect. It generally only takes 3 weeks or so for your performances to drop off. So you were slow and almost last - so what? You finished, which is better than all those couch potatoes who didn't even get out of bed until the pubs opened. Be proud of finishing, and go out to train for your marathon -  you have plenty of time to build back up again. And don't ever feel you should give up just because of one bad performance - there are plenty of people out there who would love to be able to still run like they used to but just can't any more.

  • Get a life Sussex image

  • I did a 10 miler on 7 April. After that, I did nothing more than about 2 miles for about a month. Then I tried a Parkrun and it nearly killed me.

    Before the 10 miler, I was comfortably running 5 miles and slowly ramping up, then I got injured and had to take two weeks out, and it was the equivalent of setting me back over a month. I barely got enough training together to enable me to manage to finish. I was seriously considering pulling out two weekends before.

    You were unlucky with the timing of your injury, nothing more, nothing less.

    Under the circumstances, well done for going ahead with the race. Take pride and confidence from the fact that you knuckled down and got on with it - you have absolutely nothing to have a crisis of confidence over.

    Look at where you are now writing this post, then look at where you are in 9 weeks time. Reflect back on that being the equivalent time that you missed. I'm sure the progress you'll have made by then will be staggering.

    Fingers crossed things go more smoothly in the run-up to October! image

  • Everybody get's bad races the lucky ones of us don't have them in front of the camera's Think about the number of times you've seen a top runner not win at a international race after month's of them being tipped to get gold. Makes when you do get a good day all the sweeter. image

    Basically as other post's keep calm and carry on. It's all going to be goodimage

  • Thank you so much for all the really positive responses! So much appreciated! I'm gonna dragging my chin up and crack on image

  • 9 weeks of no running is gong to make a massive difference to anybody. In fact most people would pull out of a race if they missed a much smaller chunk of training than that. You really may as well dismiss that run as nothing more than an exercise in bloody mindedness. If you finished that race while in such bad shape, imagine the confidence it can give you when you're feeling in a bad way towards the end of other races you have actually trained for.

  • Shit happens; get over it...

    Over the years I have done some great performances and some rubbish ones. I have never really been able to fathom why I do well sometimes but not others. Some days I go out and feel light others heavy, if I had a team of Drs to analyse my blood, urine etc no doubt I could crack why.

    However I am certain that it is what is in your head that has a massive influence on your ability on any given day. If you think about it you had 9 weeks off; I suspect you were already thinking you were not going to go well before you even pulled your shoes on.

    This is not to say that if you could have convinced yourself the rest would do you good then you would have won the race, but you would probably have finished further up the board. Knowing you have followed a respected training plan for the last few months is a great confidence builder. Injuries are shit...

    Many runners do their best times after a lay off because of injury, so do not give up, write it off to experience, all being well, soon you will do a cracking time and laugh about how you are feeling at the moment.


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