Picking up the pieces

Last night's 5K at Mt. SAC was yet another disappointing race. I finished second-to-last (ouch) in 16:47, far off my PR of 16:21. Heck, I ran 16:55 en route to my 10K three weeks ago... Granted, last night's effort wasn't a full-blown, sprint-across-the-line-and-collapse effort. Rather, it was 6 laps of solid racing and spot-on pacing, and then... everything fell apart. 

What happened? I'm not exactly sure... but it was ugly, embarrassing, and not a good representation of my fitness, my coaching, or all the hard work I've put in. Suffice it to say that I was pretty bummed out last night.

Some of my New Balance SV teammates also had rough nights, so we were able to commiserate together. Despite of having a rough go of it, my teammates kept smiles on their faces post-race and helped me see the bigger picture. Thank goodness for supportive, optimistic teammates!

I've had a few bad races as of late and I can't quite explain what went wrong. In the wake of a bad race, it's easy to be mopey, be depressed, be a bitch (sorry to my mother who was on the receiving end of my bitchy whiney post-race phone call last night). I spent some time feeling sorry for myself last night, but today is a new day and I've got to leave all my post-race negative energy in LA. Now back in the Bay Area, it's time to pick up the pieces and move forward.

Thankfully, I've got many resources available to me to help me figure things out. First and foremost is a phone call to Dr. Paul Salitsky, UCD Professor and PhD in Exercise Science/Sports Psychology. I've been talking running (and life!) with him for the past 8 years and he's been an invaluable friend and mentor to me. He tells it like it is and doesn't sugarcoat things - which is exactly what I need right now. I might not always like what he has to say - hey, the truth can hurt sometimes - but I know he's got my best interests at heart and will help me get back on track. For all those who've struggled with a bad race, pick up the phone and call your friendly neighborhood sports psychologist! It'll do wonders for your running!

Friday night didn't go as I'd hoped, but it's over and done with. Time to move on, time to get back out on the roads, time to keep training hard. 
Until next time,