One of the most frustrating things for athletes and coaches is when a race doesn’t live up to planned expectations. This can happen for lots of reasons from inappropriate expectations to horrible weather. There are also situations where a short course throws things off because it looks like an athlete ran a huge PR when they didn’t.
After any race it is important to not draw any rash conclusions. Give yourself a chance to think about the race and how it truly unfolded then begin to examine what went well and what didn’t. It is rare that any race is all good or all bad so it is important to be honest in your assessment. A coach can help in this process, because they are more impartial though certainly not completely impartial.
Things to consider in your assessment are nutrition before and during the event, training leading up to the event, the taper you used for the race and how if left you feeling, weather, the race course, competition, race strategy and your mental and physical health on race day. Some of these things are in your control and some are not. You can not control the weather and should not blame yourself for it. Other things you can control, and you should keep good enough records to spot trends so you can give yourself the best chance at success. Runners as a rule are quite tough, but sometimes too tough on themselves so be both honest and realistic in your post race analysis.
Lastly, keep in mind that race results are not always an accurate picture of your current fitness or future potential. Bad races happen for lots of reasons so don’t live and die by your latest result good or bad. Running is a sport that rewards patience and consistency so make the long term commitment to being your best and don’t get too high or too low on your march toward personal greatness.