Training: Reality Bites

You’re Cut Off

The gradual, butt-kicking uphill of Saturday’s trail.

I went out for my Team in Training run on Saturday, as I always do. It was a sneakily grueling one — somewhere between 9.1 and 9.8 miles, depending on which GPS you use — that’s downhill on the way out, and uphill on the way back.

This was my test run, the one to see if I could hit the very slow 13:47/mile necessary to meet the 3-hour course cutoff in Nürnberg next month.

Not even close.

If I can maintain the pace that I ran on Saturday, I will miss the cutoff by a whopping 16 minutes.


Yes, I know that I’ve been injured. Yes, I know that I’ve really only been running for about three weeks. Yes, I know that considering the pain that I’ve been in with my IT band, I should be thrilled to think that I could even attempt 13.1 miles at all.

And yet, I’m completely demoralized.

So now I have to make some choices. Do I start the race and suffer the humiliation of being pulled off-course? Do I ask to switch to the 10k and hope that I can stay on pace for the shorter distance? Or do I just go to Nürnberg, play tourist for the day and pretend that the half marathon isn’t even happening?

I haven’t made any decisions yet, and I’m sort of in denial that I have to decide at all. It’s strange: I’m never a fast runner, but I’m slow and steady enough that I never had any fear of failure. This is new. This sucks.

Any advice for a demoralized runner?

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2 Responses

  1. Oh, that sucks. Do you know how hilly the course is? If it’s much flatter, that could make a big difference in your time.

  2. Alisa says:

    Ah, I thought I replied to this last week. Anyway, it is flat, so that’s good, but I’m still in a good amount of pain when I get to anything close to my normal pace. We’ll see what happens. Coach says to toe the line and try.

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