Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Why I'm feeling so defeated!

Have you ever felt really good about something and then something happens and it just burst your bubble?

Ever since I signed up for the WDW Marathon for the second time, I had a goal to just beat last year's time. It shouldn't be hard, seeing as I ran the entire race injured last year.  But, I finished the race and that's all that matters.

I have to admit that I did have fun during the marathon and I DID say that I was "One and Done", but I felt like I owed it to myself to give it another try and hopefully run it at the best of my ability. So yes, my only reason in running it again is to better my time. I know it should be all about fun, but at this point I just want to see what I am capable of. I know from experience that anything can happen on race day, so it may be foolish of me to even set any goals.

But there is where the problem lays. After more time than I care to admit, I've been calculating, and looking at past race paces, and looking at my current training run pace to develop a plan. I not only wanted to finish the marathon in a better time than I did last year, but I actually have a goal time in mind.  According to my plan and the average pace per mile I would have to run, it seemed doable. I would definitely be cutting it close and might not make my time if I had to make a restroom break or stop at a med tent, or any other possibility that an unpredictable race day could throw at me.  I am four months out from race day and already my plan was making me nervous and I was putting undue pressure on myself.

I had a pretty good 6.2 mile training run on Saturday and hit all my miles under the pace I needed to be at to hit my marathon goal. I was actually pleased with myself UNTIL I put that pace into the McMillian race pace calculator. Boy did I feel defeated!  Apparently I have more faith in myself than McMillian does.  According to their pace calculator I will miss my time goal by 18 minutes. Okay, so maybe this was the reality check I needed.   This doesn't stop me from trying my best but now I guess I should know to not be disappointed if I don't make my first goal.   -M

Have you ever WAY exceeded a running goal that you made for yourself?
How accurate have you found those pace calculators to be?

We are linking up with the lovely ladies from TOTR.

39 comments:

  1. Ugh I am sorry the race predictor disappointed you. I have never used one and normally just gauge things with how my training runs are going.

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  2. Those pace calculators are depressing - I try not to put too much stock in them. Keeping my mental outlook positive is one of the best things I've found for my training. It's crazy how much our minds affect what we can do.

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    1. I know I shouldn't worry about the calculator and just worry more about my training.

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  3. Sorry that you are disappointed :( I don't used those pace calculators, but I can understand that it could be a little bit depressing.

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    1. I do understand how they calculate though so I shouldn't be that upset...lol

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  4. I've never used a pace calculator before but I wouldn't listen to them too much. Run your race with your goal in mind and i have no doubt you'll do great!! It's definitely all a mind game for sure...try not to over think it (easier said than done, I know)!

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  5. I like to do A, B and C goals. It helps from feeling defeated if you can't make the Big A goal!!

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  6. Ugh those darn race calculators! It seemed like you were really feeling optimistic before you plugged your numbers in. Racing is so mental for me if you think you can do it, you are more likely to do it. 4 months is a long time in run training time. Way too soon to start setting your mind on a goal. Enjoy your runs now! Hope that helps

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    1. Thank you! It makes me realize I need to do more running and less number crunching...haha

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  7. I wouldn't worry too much about what the calculator says, I always find that they are pretty far off. I think if you stick to your training your will be ready for your race! And while I know it would be disappointing if you don't reach your goal, try to enjoy the process. A million things could go wrong on race day and you don't want all your hard work to go to waste if you end up feeling like you failed. Maybe make some other goals besides just a time goal.

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  8. The number crunching can be so hard!!! I think you can do what you set your mind to, but give yourself some slack too! Most importantly, have fun!!!! <3

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  9. The pace calculators are definitely depressing :( Sorry that it didn't give you the news you wanted but the good training run is great news! I think it makes more sense to pay attention to things like that and how you're feeling on tough runs during your training as well as having the multiple goals in case conditions aren't ideal on race day. And I love this post about qualitative as well as quantitative goals http://suzlyfe.com/successful-goal-setting-first-marathon-life/.

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  10. I've never used a race calculator and now I'm glad I don't. I'm sure they would stress me out.

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  11. I don't find pace calculators to be that accurate. Race days are completely unpredictable..you might be predicted to run a 4 hour marathon and have a great race and end up under 3:45, or might have a horrible race and be closer to 4:30. I don't really count on those calculators much, but just put in as much work as I can! Good luck in training!

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  12. I wouldn't put too much into a calculator especially at this point. A lot can happen in 4 months and you haven't even gotten into your long runs yet. Those 18-20 milers are so key and each one not only helps with pace but endurance. After 3-4 of those that is when you can start gaging your finishing pace. Until then just enjoy the journey and keep logging the miles:) plus another thing race calculators can't do, is predict what the adrenaline rush on race day can bring ya. You want a specific time, train for a bit under that time and believe you will get it, and you will!!!! You still have a lot of great training months and the best miles are still to come, chin up my friend, you've still got this!!

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  13. OH gosh... I think we can all relate.
    It can be so deflating but this is a good time to get the mental game back in check... realizing that you have come a LONG way & just doing a race, & finishing, is AMAZING in itself.
    & you know how it goes - race day is always different. Energy is high, conditions affect a run - you may be closer then you think... & if its further away from the goal, so be it - you're awesomeness doesn't change one bit to me :)

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  14. Calculators are more accurate tools when you are actually RACING the distance. So if you had run your absolute fastest 10K, then that would probably be a good indication of you absolute fastest marathon pace (because you can't hold the same pace for 26.2 miles as you can for 6.2 miles - no one can). However, for those (like myself) who tend to run all long training runs at about the same pace that I run a marathon, I would do the calculation as your 10K training run pace times 26.2 for a more accurate prediction of your marathon finish time.

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  15. Like Sue, I also like to create A, B, and C goals for myself, and I usually try to make the C goal very reasonable so that I don't feel completely defeated if I miss all of my goals altogether. Try to focus more on the big picture of the race instead of the nitty gritty data, like a pace calculator.

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  16. Bummer that you are disappointed by the pace calculator! But never say never. I am the opposite. I under promise and over deliver. McMillan said I had a BQ in me and oh how I doubted!

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  17. There are a few different pace calculators out there and they all use different algorithms to predict your race time. Just because McMillan said you might miss your time I wouldn't completely give up on it. One thing to help keep you positive on race day is to set a few different goals for yourself. It may be worth setting an A, B and C time goals - on that is achievable, and another one that is your stretch. I'd also highly recommend setting process goals for yourself. It could be something small like thanking the volunteers, or it might be to stick to your run/walk breaks throughout the race.

    Sometimes the problem with having one very specific time goal is that if at some point in your race that time goal slips away it is very easy to get negative and to mentally throw away the race. If you set multiple goals you can stay positive and keep working towards those other goals. It can make a huge difference between feeling really happy about a race or feeling very negative when you cross the finish line.

    One other comment I'd make about training for time at the Disney Marathon is to leave a cushion in there not being able to run the tangents. I have run an extra 0.5 - 0.8 mile on the marathon because the course is so wide and crowded that it isn't possible to run the shortest possible line.

    Whatever happens...don't give up, but I hope these tips help a bit!

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    1. Oh goodness, I didn't even think about the fact that I may have to run a bit further due to the crowds. I guess I better calculate that in there too! Thanks.

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  18. Those pace calculators are never accurate for me! I wouldn't give up hope yet! Maybe you should consider a training plan that has runs at your goal race pace (Higdon is the most popular one). That way you can get practice running at your goal race pace. If you have trouble holding that pace during the training runs, then you'll know you need to adjust.

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  19. Don't put too much pressure on yourself! I find that the races I do my best in are the ones that I have the most fun at. Somehow I always bonk when I feel under pressure!

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  20. Those calculators will mess with you! I've tried to stay away from them lately. I can't hit my desired paces in this heat anyway. MAYBE when I train for WDW I can, since it will be so much cooler in late October. Here's hoping anyway.

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  21. Those calculators can really mess with your head, which is why I'm a big fan of having an A, B and C goal. Don't give up hope yet!

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  22. Right there with you. According to the pace calculators I can make my BQ but barely. Way to boost my confidence... :p

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  23. I actually think those pace calculators are a blessing and a curse. When I put my PR race times in at various distances, I come up with alot of different results for the other race distances. But, the one thing that is most important is training and how your training pace has changed. If your training pace is improving from last year, you should be able to improve your time on race day. The other thing to consider is the weather in FL in January. I am also running the Mickey Marathon, but have not decided what if any goal I will have until I am done with the NYC marathon and see how my recovery and training is doing. You should be able to improve your time since you ran injured last year, but make several goals so you can enjoy the race and be happy with your performance.

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  24. I always hope for the best. You never know what will happen on race day!

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  25. Those pace calculators are depressing and never seem to match up to what I do in real life. There are just too many variables, in terms of motivation, weather, course crowding, etc, for them to be very accurate. That's why multiple goals are a good idea and A goals are always a good thing - you never know how perfect your day might be. :)

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  26. Oh no! I'm so sorry. I haven't used a pace calculator, but if your training is going well and you continue to run at your goal pace, I don't see how you can miss your goal by that much! I agree with LittleMoreEachDay that you should give yourself multiple goals. A reach for the starts goal, a just beat the last race goal, and maybe one other so that no matter what, you are pushing yourself to be better one way or another. - I hope I can meet up with you at Disney after you crush your goal :)

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  27. None of my training run paces reflect what my race pace will be, lol. If I'm really training hard, my race pace is always faster than my training runs. So don't lose hope!!!

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  28. First, congrats on giving the WDW Marathon another go! The only time I way exceeded a running goal was when I ran a 2:12 half marathon training run. My fastest time ever! That said, this time also caused me to have one of my worst races ever. I had run that 2:12 just a few weeks before my second DL half and I was determined to hit that goal again or close to it. I was so focused on my time that I couldn't enjoy the race. Around mile 9, I knew that I would never hit my goal, but by that time I was so exhausted and disappointed in myself it was hard to just enjoy the rest of the race. From then on, I really try not to go into a race with a goal, especially Disney races where there's just so much to enjoy on the course. I think as long as you run your race strong and uninjured, it will be a great improvement! :)

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  29. Personally, I hate pace calculators for this exact reason, haha. There are just so many variables on race day that can affect your performance...it's just impossible to predict! I think as long as you set more than one goal for race day -- and realize that, no matter what, you are a BADASS for making it happen despite all of the obstacles that have been thrown your way -- then it's all good! :)

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  30. I'm also doing the WDW marathon in January. First Disney run and First attempt at a marathon, can you say Eeeek! I can relate this to a half I ran last year and did horrible at, well horrible in my mind, I was determined to do better. I adjusted my training on where it was most difficult in my race and I signed up again this year. And I smoked my last years time by 13 minutes! You can do this! :)

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.