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“I Should Have Done It Better” Syndrome

Tonight at 8:30 PM, I ran a six mile tempo run on the treadmill and continued watching Elf. The time is sort of relevant.

6 miles

When I got off, I attempted some parallel bar pull ups. The first two were really easy, so I asked Ryne to film one. I know. I’m such a bro. Well, he only the got the last second of the third attempt. I tried again and only made it halfway up. Dang. Ain’t that life? All I really wanted was to show you guys how strong I am now. ;) Then I pouted for the next twenty minutes because I am an adult, and any longer than 20 minutes would have been ridiculous.


Now let’s talk about something I’m currently battling (aside from immature tantrums and things of that nature): I Should Have Done It Better Syndrome. Better known as ISHDIBS, because creating an acronym for it makes it real. Obviously.

Ryne and I were talking about Saturday’s race and how I thought I did. Originally, I truly was proud of myself. I like to call that the post-race high. We’ve all been there, right? Well, once that faded away I realized that I could and should have done better. I didn’t end the race totally burned out, so I had a little more energy I could have used up.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I really don’t know my limits because I have trouble pushing myself. I’ll find a comfort zone in a race. You know, a pace that isn’t embarrassingly easy for me and will earn me a semi-respectable time. Then I’ll stay there. I’m scared of pushing so hard that I totally fail or, like, puke all over myself. What? It could definitely happen.

I’m doing better because I’m actually training for once in my life, but I need to work on what I do on race day. It’s such a mental thing. Which means, by default, I’ll be terrible at it. Brain power. I need it.

I don’t really know why I just mentioned all of that, but I guess I’m hoping for suggestions. Tips on how to know when you’ve reached your “top” speed in a race without dying? Maybe some motivation? I’m not really sure. I think I’ve gotten to the point where I really do want to improve. I mean, I know I’m not a superfreak athlete or anything, but I’d like to achieve a few new PRs in 2014. Should be relatively easy, since I’ve set the bar pretty low. Help me out and I’ll send you some tacky cookies made by the most awesome mom-toddler duo around. That would be Maddux and me in case you were confused.

Oh, yeah, back to the significance of my 8:30 PM workout: it’s now 10:30 and I’m nowhere near being able to fall asleep. For this old lady, that’s practically torturous.

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32 Responses to “I Should Have Done It Better” Syndrome

  1. Oh my, I totally know what you mean when you can’t fall asleep after a workout! Hoping sleep comes soon for you!
    Tamara @ The Workout Mama recently posted..The Workout Mama Bootcamp Link UpMy Profile

  2. Oh I am so the same way! its 11:40 and I can’t even think about sleeping – I’m not tired at all! I feel the most awake at this time. DARN IT! I know completely what you mean by the “I Should Have Done Better” syndrome – sometimes we are our own worst critics!
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..Chin Up ButtercupMy Profile

  3. Just because you could’ve done better doesn’t mean you didn’t do well. We diminish our efforts so often but realistically we can’t give 100% to everything. Trying to leads to perfectionism and burnout.

    How about using HR training to help learn how to push yourself appropriately?

    • You are definitely right about burnout. But I just want to actually TRY for once, haha. I know I let myself slide out of the race mentality way before the race ends. I just one to see what COULD happen one time, ya know?

  4. I know exactly what you mean by the ISHDB syndrome. I think it comes hand in hand with being a perfectionist, but I honestly see it as being an even more productive “syndrome.” I’m the type of person who isn’t really competitive with other people, but I am competitive with myself and I think having that should-have-done-it-better mindset sets you up to always strive to push yourself. I’d just try to turn it into a GOOD thing and remember how far you’ve already come and what you’ve already achieved before looking for more :)
    Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope recently posted..The Ice-pocalypse of 2013My Profile

    • Good point about looking back at the progress you’ve already made. I mean, at one point I couldn’t even jog a mile. Thanks for the reminder! :)

  5. Ya I hate the I should have done better thing! My last 10k I was upset because I ran it in 41 minutes (mind you there was a ton of snow so the ground was slippery and it was cold and windy). But I was upset that I didn’t break 40. Then I reevaluated my attitude, and got over it. Remembering that not every race is going to go as planned is key!!!

    Before races, I actually DO NOT “psyche” myself up or really think about it too much, because then I get too worried. I put my headphones in on the drive over, relax and walk around at the event, and then about 10 minutes before I make my way over to the start and then I focus on myself running and picture myself going fast. When I’m running the race, I just think about running and how my body feels and I talk to myself a lot in my head (compliments, encouragement to go faster, etc.)
    Basically, no matter what, I just try to stay positive and focus on the fun part of the race (and not the pain haha)

    Have a great day!
    Natasha recently posted..Thursday Thoughts and Life UpdateMy Profile

    • You are SO speedy! haha I won’t ever see a 41 minute 10k in my life.

      I like the idea of picturing myself going fast, though! ;)

  6. I am awful at knowing what my top race pace is. I am always more afraid of burning out too soon than using everything in my tank.
    Runner Girl Eats recently posted..Raining tacosMy Profile

  7. To be honest? I’ve only ever finished ONE race totally burned out. Even though the hills of death almost did me in when we ran Augusta I still finished feeling good. But I feel like I am happy like that? I don’t know if I WANT to feel like death just to run fast. I kind of like finishing feeling tired but decent and enjoying the moment. I think you should meet me in HH for some outlet shopping ;)
    Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family recently posted..Postpartum RecoveryMy Profile

  8. I watched some of Elf on Saturday night…it’s hard to not enjoy that movie. And, I just watched Horrible Bosses, which I thought was pretty fricken hilarious if I do say so myself. Or maybe I’m easily amused now that I have nothing to do… You be the judge. I wish I had any upper body strength. Lifting my arms to get a shirt from the closest is even too much for these weakling arms.
    char eats greens recently posted..i really am a poor plannerMy Profile

  9. I’ve totally been there! But I think for me the fact that I want to enjoy something more than be the best at it keeps my thinking in check. Life is a marathon…that’s something I don’t want to be sped up or sprinted, so I think of it in terms of that. Make sense?
    Tonya@Healthy, Fit, and Frugal recently posted..Why I RunMy Profile

  10. I am so there with you, sister!

    I’m training for a marathon right now, and I find myself comparing my times to my BFF who is also running it. I know that I can push myself harder, but I don’t want to burn out too soon, so I find a slightly uncomfortable pace and stick to that. I am worried I will do that on race day and then be disappointed with my time.

    I have never been one to run or train for speed… and now I am. So it’s a whole new experience for me. Trying to figure it out as I go, and it’s SO mental. I can relate to everything you said!

    If you figure it out, let me know :)

    • Yep, it’s definitely new for me, too. Maybe we’ll figure it out soon! I agree- in my case, it’s pretty much ALL mental.

  11. It’s so hard to know what your top race pace is. I am so scared of running hard at the beginning and burning out….I guess we just need to let go of our fears and RUN! :)

  12. Maybe I feel this way because I’m not a “runner” runner (and what I mean is I run 2-3 miles, and really have no desire to run more). I literally do it just for fun! I have gotten a little faster since I started running more often – but I’m not super caught up in PRing or running faster than everyone else. As long as you’re enjoying yourself that’s most important, right? With that being said, power to ya sister!!! {{I have no advice though – lol – sorry!}} Btw, love Elf!! :)
    Sammy @ Peace Love and Ice Cream recently posted..Hi. My name is Sammy and I…{have some mom confessions!} #TTTMy Profile

  13. Elf is a great one to run too! haha!

    I haven’t done a race in awhile–hello pregnancy, so who knows if I have this syndrome again/yet?! We shall see ;)
    Annette@FitnessPerks recently posted..Evil Doesn’t WinMy Profile

  14. totally right. anything over 20 mins would have been super embarrassing when it comes to pouting.

  15. Your posts always crack me up! Love ISHDIBS – brilliant!

    & I’m hoping to get a running coach because I too suffer from ISHDIBS.
    Ashley@cupcakesncrunches recently posted..2 Months PostpartumMy Profile

    • I wish I could afford one. Oh, and also I wish I could have one without embarrassing her/him. I will never be super fast, but I like to pretend.

  16. […] I Should Have Done It Better Syndrome (this is exactly how I feel!) […]

  17. […] people like to call a huge wuss. We’ll see how it goes. I love how I was just talking about forcing myself to work harder and here I am taking a break. I’m […]

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