All I want to do in life is talk about running and make lists and goals.
Yesterday on my way to get Remicade, I snagged a seat on the crosstown bus and started typing out my 2012 Resolutions. I’m pretty pumped about them. They’re good.
I always thrive when I have a plan. I like having something to work toward and strive for, and with the marathon behind me — insert tears of sadness here — I’ve made a point to keep registering for races and making non-marathon-related goals.
Obviously not all goals in life have to be running-related, but mine all seem to follow that pattern right now, and I happen to be registered for four races to wrap up 2011.
One of the best lessons I learned during marathon training came from my sweat-addicted friend Emily. After I ran a few disappointing races early in the training season, including the Mini 10K alongside Mrs. Coach Cane (I couldn’t keep up with the pregnant lady and I was pissed)…
…Emily had a chat with me about race goals.
She was like, “Ali, if you think you’re going to PR in every single race you run in your lifetime, you are so F-ing stupid. Honestly, I can’t even be friends with you. You’re dumb and all the PRs you got earlier this year made you cocky. Take it down a notch. Chill out. And bring me some pasta and a cupcake and some wine.”
That’s how I remember the conversation going, but it also may have gone something like this: “You’re not always going to PR, and that’s OK. You can make other goals for your races that aren’t just about running your fastest race. Make a goal to negative split the course, or make it your goal to run happy.”
She’s a smart girl, that Emily.
So, with that advice in mind, I have made goals for each of my upcoming races and now I’m going to share them with you.
Race to Deliver (4 miles, Central Park)
- This race is on Sunday. I’m going to be doing my last long training run for the Vegas Half tomorrow, which means I’ll be racing the 4-miler the day after a long run. Maybe I shouldn’t have also crushed my legs during spinning this morning, but whatever. I got to meet Allison, so it was worth it.
- I plan to run my long run at a conservative pace on Saturday so I’m not burnt out for the race on Sunday.
- My goal for this race is to run no mile slower than an 8:15 pace. My 4-mile PR is 31:08, and I’m not necessarily out to beat that. If I feel good after my long run I’ll go for it, but that would mean running a sub-7:47 pace, so we’ll just wait and see. The goal is faster than 8:15s. Should be a piece of cake. And then I will eat a piece of cake.
Turkey Trot 5K (3.1 miles, Bow, NH)
- I’m running this race on Thanksgiving morning with my mom. I use the term “with” loosely because I love her, but we’re not actually planning to run side by side.
- This will be my first race in my home state! The course is a boring out-and-back on the back roads of Bow, but it’s only 3.1 miles so I’m not too concerned with the course. I have no idea if it’s hilly or not. All I know is that when the race is over, there is gravy aplenty.
- My goal for this race is to PR. I’ve only ever run one 5K and it was a Turkey Trot last year…in an Indian costume. This year I’m not wearing a costume and I want to beat last year’s time of 24:34, which is a 7:55 pace. Based on my recent training runs, this should be a piece of cake as well. A piece of cake with a side of turkey and stuffing.
Las Vegas Half Marathon (13.1 miles, Las Vegas, clearly)
- This is my big fall race. I’ve been training for this beast since the marathon ended and now that I’ve been pumped full of anti-Crohn’s drugs, I’m feeling confident that my stomach is going to calm down just in time for me to crush the Vegas strip.
- This will be my first night race. The race starts at 5:30 pm, which terrifies me. I never run at night, let alone race at night. Am I supposed to eat pasta all day long? Am I supposed to drink all day and run drunk? It is Vegas, after all. Ideally I would have liked to do a few training runs at night to prepare, but my stomach just hasn’t been cooperating, so I’ll just be going for it and seeing what happens.
- My goal for this race is to PR. My current half marathon PR is 1:44:48, so I will be happy to clock in at 1:44:47.
- My other goal for the Vegas Half is to run happy. I know that’s lame and cheesy, but the reason I’m even doing this race is because I raised money for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. I’m running the race with Team Challenge (I’ll be proudly sporting a bright orange Team Challenge singlet with my leg warmers), so while I have my selfish “run for Ali and PR the shit out of this course” goal, I also want to keep in mind that this race is happening thanks to all the people who helped me raise $20,000 for CCFA. I’m honored to be attending the race weekend as a Team Challenge “VIP,” and when my legs start to hurt during the race and my mind starts playing tricks on me, I want to remember the real reason I’m running — to find a cure for lame-ass Crohn’s — and stay positive. Easy enough, right? (Someone please remind me of this goal if I don’t PR, because I’ll probably be mean and cranky at that time.)
- Bonus goal: Cross the finish line with Brian. It’s his first half marathon and while I have a feeling I’ll be eating his dust for most of the race, I think it would be awesome to finish the race together — though we haven’t actually discussed whether or not we’re planning to run together. And yeah it’d be cool to have a finish line photo of the two of us, but I’m also thinking that with 44,000 runners, the finish is going to be a total packed mess, and if we don’t finish together we may never find each other after the race. Soooo just a thought. Brian, do you want to run the Las Vegas Half Marathon with me? (Seriously though, I’m really excited for him. I think he’s going to love doing a big flashy race like this one.)
Ted Corbitt 15K (9.32 miles, Central Park)
- I’ve never done a 15K, so automatic PR! Also, I just had to Google “How many miles is a 15K?” Not embarrassed. The course for this race will be boring: a 4-mile loop of the park followed by a 5-mile loop of the park.
- My goal for this race is to start and finish. Simple! This will be my last qualifying race for the New York Road Runners 9+1 program, giving me guaranteed entry to the 2012 New York City Marathon. Woo! All I need to do is cross the start line and cross the finish. I honestly don’t care what happens in between. Yes, I want to run a strong, smart race as always, but as soon as I cross that finish, I’m in for next year’s marathon! Finally!
And there you have ’em: my goals!
NOW I WANT TO HEAR YOURS: What goals do you have left for 2011? Upcoming races? A workout class you’re afraid to try? (I still need to check SoulCycle and Yoga To The People off my Resolutions list before the year is over!) A recipe you’re dying to make? A zit you’d really like to pop? (It’s not gross, it’s normal.) Share, please!