Training to Live

living and learning, one day at a time

what i carried home on my bike, part I »« inspiration

not a personal best

out of the 13 races i’ve done in the last 6 years, there have been only two occasions when i have raced a distance and performed worse than i had in the past.

the first time was my 5th half marathon that i ran last spring – it was much hotter than i expected and i was unprepared. i wasn’t drinking enough and i likely hadn’t trained properly. i ran the course 4 minutes slower than i had the year before, and for some reason, it didn’t really bother me. by the fall, i bounced back to my old time (almost a minute faster) and a few weeks later, took 3 more minutes off.


(this was taken at that race, early on before things got really rough)

the second time was this weekend. half marathon #8. it was on a course i had never done before (this year i purposefully sought out new, interesting races to do. i’d seen this one on angela’s blog – she did the 10K last year). the race was super small (only a few hundred people) and not as well organized as most of the other races i do (my race kit had 4 boxes of triscuit crackers and a whole bunch of wrist and menstrual cramp tummy heat packs. random!). there was no elevation map on the race website, so i had no idea how many hills there would be! i knew it would be hilly-ish, but i wasn’t ready for steep hills in kilometre 2. at kilometre 16, it started to POUR. thunderstorms. i was soaked in an instant (squishy shoes), which didn’t help my defeated attitude. i made the same mistakes i’ve made many many times in the past: i didn’t drink enough and i didn’t take in enough calories, and you better believe i hit the wall. my splits were getting slower, i was getting tireder (is that a word?), and i just wanted the whole thing to be over! i had enough energy at the end to sprint the last kilometre and pass a bunch of people, which made it obvious that i hadn’t run hard enough during the rest of the race.


gretchen rubin says that people feel happier when they are improving and this is true for me! she talks about how having an atmosphere of growth is important. i don’t have any more races until august, but i will take this lesson and work towards growing and improving, not only my time, but my attitude and outlook on myself too! i know i can’t get faster each and every race forever because that is obviously unsustainable. from now on, i will embrace my body for what it can do, even if it’s not always as fast as i wish it were!

although i’ve had a lot of fun with a busy spring racing season, i am happy that i have a few months of “breather” time to refocus and really work hard on my speed and hills without the pressure of getting a long long run in every single weekend.

until then, here are some funny pictures.


i am wearing a bondi band that says yoga on it and has a stick figure in tree pose. i am trying to imitate that here.

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although these were taken pre-race, this pretty much sums up how i would feel after!

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can you see the pain in my eyes? my legs look so slow, i may as well be walking (oh and i did half to stop and walk a few times up parts of those killer hills). i look a tiny bit deranged on the right, no? it kind of felt awesome passing some people at the end.

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June 15, 2010 at 7:40 pm
  • June 23, 2010 at 8:12 amFit Chick in the City

    I believe that our bad races set us up for even better races in the future. I always learn a lot from the bad ones. Great race photos, btw!

    • June 23, 2010 at 12:17 pmhaya


      haha thanks. i still have yet to have race photos that are awesome enough to buy.

  • June 23, 2010 at 3:18 pmKirsten

    Too bad we didn’t connect before the race! I really wish they had an elevation map on the website. I didn’t really think about the hills until I saw the first one and though oh no…that hill by one of the wineries (tawse I think?) was humungous!!

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