Who is your harshest critic? I can certainly say that I am my own harshest critic. I have now run 18 marathons and in every one, except for maybe 1, I have come away feeling like I did my best. Now I am not saying that I didn't run well on Saturday, I did run a sub 4, something I haven't done since October 2007, but I look back and see that I need some improvement.
My quads were tired all week prior to the race and that was the thing toward the end of the race that slowed me down. So what do I have to do to make my quads less tired at race time while making sure they are strong enough to go the entire 26.2 miles? Longer taper? Better food for energy? Quad massage? I don't know. And I assume that this is an individual thing so what may work for others does not work for me.
One thing I worked on this year is putting in more miles in training and I think that I still didn't put in enough. I feel I need some longer slower runs as well as longer faster runs. I also missed out on a lot of speed work this summer. I really don't think this is the issue though. I need more stamina, more endurance but maybe the hard speed work will do that also.
So I go on now trying to figure this marathon thing out. And I try to recover from this last marathon which is taking longer than usual. I went on a 4 mile run yesterday and it was one of the worst runs in a looooooong time. The first mile went well but 2 and 3 were slow and wobbly. I even walked some as I felt a little dizzy (wonder what that was all about?) I still am having some issues with my left quad. It is still sore and I think I maybe strained it or pulled it a little in the race.
I am going to take some more time off and maybe run a short one on Friday. I do have another race on the horizon and I don't mean a marathon. I am going down to Florida next week for a bit and I found a little local 8K to run in. I checked results from past years and it looks like no one from outside Florida runs this one so it may be fun being the outsider. In any event, it will be nice to go somewhere warm since we have had some cold weather here the past week and this coming week. It is not like I built up a huge sweat at Whistle Stop but I am sure I will at this one.
So who is your biggest critic? Never stop trying to improve yourself!