A Race I Can’t Win – Me vs. Last Year Me

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This guy is the source of my misery. I think I hate him.

Hello and happy hump day to you! My July running results are in and I finished with 96 miles, down 1 mile from June. Why didn’t I run 4 more and get an even 100?!

I started August off with a 6 mile run that included 4 pretty fast miles. The splits were 7:21, 7:13. 7:19 and 7:17. I’m happy with those times, but a little unhappy with just how hard I had to work to get them.

Back in November, I was dropping 10 mile tempos at slightly better paces than today’s and with relative ease. Yes, the weather was substantially better, but still. I know this is crying over spilled milk (or torn Achilles tendons), but it’s really hard not to have negative feelings about losing what I’d worked so hard to gain.

I’m progressing and I know that. I have great friends that are encouraging me and pushing me to get back. I want to race and I don’t want to race. I know there’s joy to be found in just showing up and experiencing races, but that’s not how I’ve been wired. I need to compete. I compete with other runners. I compete with myself. I PR or blow up trying. I can’t compete with last year Randy right now and it frustrates me.

I’m hoping that some of you can relate and maybe you’ll know what to say. For now, I’ll keep grinding. I’ll keep waking up before 5am and swimming through the swampfest that is summertime. I’m sure a time will come when I don’t have to work so hard for a fast pace. I haven’t lost hope yet.

Thanks for letting me whine and complain. It’s good to have a place to do that. Maybe I can compare myself to 6 months ago me instead. I’m WAY faster than that guy!

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Do you even run, Bro?

 

 

20 Replies to “A Race I Can’t Win – Me vs. Last Year Me”

  1. Yes! Compare yourself to six months ago Randy, Randy! Plllllllease try to remember, after every struggled fast split/mile/whatev, that you were in a flippin’ boot and on crutches SIX MONTHS ago. Remember that you are recovering from an injury (a muscle that flippin’ exploded for Pete’s sake!) and you are just putting in that hard work to get back to where you were. I think you’re gonna end up even better than that Randy in USA shirt and red shoes. You experienced something INSANE that will leave you an even harder worker than you were before. I also think this could have a little to do with a big day that is coming up and I’m sure you’d rather be the fastest you’ve ever been instead of someone recovering from an injury. It will happen, my friend! In the meantime, whine away! You gotta get it out!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate and what brings me back is my mileage and pace stats from the last month. I see more consistency, better paces, longer distances. It’s not the old pace but look at what you did accomplish and know that you are moving forward.

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  3. Oh. My. Word! Can I relate! I was 30 seconds from a BQ a year ago!! Now I’m trying so hard to be happy with the fact that every running step is not excruciating. Two torn hamstrings and a year of recovery later.
    I don’t know that I have any good advice, but I can tell you that I understand exactly how you feel. My goal is the 10 miler and my only goal right now is to be able to finish pain free and be happy with that progress….. not unhappy that I’m no where near who I use to be or that I did not beat the girl in front of me

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  4. Whenever I have a crappy run I think back to a few years ago when I could barely make it 3-4 miles max without knee pain that usually caused me to walk. I find being grateful just for the ability to run the miles I do now keeps me from feeling too discouraged about my times.

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  5. Can I relate? You bet. I went from running close to 50mpw last year to not running AT ALL since May (and that was only like 6-7 miles all month! That used to be a daily run for me).

    I am still a few weeks out from running and not rushing it since it’s so hot here, but I mentally let go of the runner I used to be. When I can run again I know it will look very different than my running before at least for a while. IMHO, it is “Tiny Terror 2.0” post-injury. I say mentally reset your PRs… I actually do this every year because my first sub-30 5K meant so much to me and I hate for all the 21s I have run to dull how good that felt at the time.

    Injuries change you. It’s not just your running, it gives you a new perspective and a lot of empathy. Neither of us are the same runner we were last year, or the year before, or the year before, but that is life. Nothing can ever take what we have accomplished away from us and nothing can change how what we’ve been through has impacted us as people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that you’re getting close to being back. You’ve been so patient. Your perspective is good, that’s for sure. I’m having trouble seeing it that way. Maybe I’ll come around.

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      1. No- you’re doing a great job! It is a very difficult thing- I feel like the mental toll and recovery from an injury can be way harder than the physical recovery. Also, it’s really easy for me to comment with things like this online, or even blog about it, but I face my share of demons inside my head too. It is not an easy thing. If we were not runners and just got surgeries/treatments to feel better for daily life, it would be different.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks Amy. It’s always good to know we aren’t alone. Runner problems can seem small to non-runners but we’ve got each other to understand.

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  6. I always struggle in the summer. I try not to think about my splits because I know they naturally improve as the temps and more importantly, the humidity drops. Just hang in there. I missed 100 km by 1.76 last month because it stormed on the 31st after work. It is what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

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