Onto The Next!

Yesterday’s Sadness Fest was fun, don’t you think?

No! It wasn’t fun! It was silly.

So I didn’t PR in Las Vegas like I had hoped. The great thing about that is that I’m over it now.

Here is a nice photo of Brian and me at Mile 2. That was my favorite mile.

Thank you all for your comments on my race recap. All of your stories about missed PRs and races that didn’t go as planned made me feel much better. I trained for this race through a Crohn’s flare-up and I wanted it to be my big “I’m stronger than this disease” comeback with a personal record on the side. So that didn’t happen. But it will someday. And that’ll be stellar.

Brian's first medal!

If you’ve been reading Ali On The Run for more than a few minutes, you’ve gathered that I’ve always been a perfectionist. Sometimes that comes in handy, like at my very detail-oriented job, or when I’m coloring. I’m friggin’ fantastic when it comes to staying inside the lines.

But other times, my Type A-ness leads to my demise. Case in point: this weekend and the slight breakdown that accompanied my 1:52 finish time at the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon. (Can we just call it the Las Vegas Half Marathon? Otherwise that’s far too much to type. Cool. We’re in agreement.)

Oh hello! I didn't see you there.

I was, clearly, seriously upset over missing my goal time for the race. But eventually, after some good friends and a certain running coach knocked some sense into me, I got over it.

Yesterday morning I soaked up the last bit of frigid Las Vegas air by going for a 4-mile run along the Strip.

Bellagio, you are my favorite. Thanks for showing me your fountain dance.

My legs were still wickedly sore from the race, so I wasn’t exactly cruising, but I still loved this run. I didn’t care about my pace. I didn’t care about my distance. I just ran because I love running.

And that’s the thing: I really do love running! I love training for races, I love setting goals and I just love being on my feet and breaking a solid sweat.

See? I Heart Sweat. (More shirts coming soon, I promise.)

I still consider myself to be very new at this whole racing thing. I didn’t start running until 2008 and I didn’t really start racing until this year. I have a lot to learn and even though I learned the lesson that “not every race will be a personal record” during marathon training, I’m still working on accepting it. Clearly I don’t deal with disappointment very well.

I went through a glorious phase during which every race was a PR. I thought I was awesome. Turns out, I was just a beginner, and I hadn’t hit a plateau yet.

Lesson learned.

So despite a few sad little tears shed over a half marathon that didn’t go as I had hoped, I still had a kickass time in Las Vegas.

I met new friends, like Lauren

Lauren and me — we are both cool because we both have digestive disorders. Score!

…and got to be a part of an amazing group of Team Challengers.

Team NYC, ready to rock the Strip!

Attending the Team Challenge pasta party was one of the highlights of the trip. I was so inspired by all the runners and all the money raised for a cause I’m very passionate about: the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. Because isn’t that what I really came to Vegas for? To celebrate the fact that I raised $20,000 for CCFA!

I left Las Vegas down just $100, thanks to many hours spent at the Wheel of Fortune slot machine. I ate massive amounts of delicious food…

This is the "baked cheese" dish from Mon Ami Gabi at Paris.

…and got to get away from the city and work and all the craziness for a while. All in all? A wonderful trip, PR or no PR.

So what’s next?

I’m not sure.

I’m racing the Ted Corbitt 15K next weekend in Central Park. It’s a no pressure race for me. I’m doing it to wrap up my 9+1 guaranteed entry for next year’s New York City Marathon. I wrote a while ago that my goal for this race is simply to start and finish. Easy enough, right?

Coach Cane has agreed to help pace me in a few short distance races, and I’m eternally grateful for his help. I also hope he’ll let me steal his child.

Simon, you are the best, even if you do like Brian more than you like me.

I know that my racing problems include going out too fast, over-thinking everything and getting a defeated attitude long before I reach the finish line. I have a habit of choking on Race Day. That shit’s gotta stop.

I’m still undecided on whether or not I’ll be signing up for a spring marathon, so stay tuned on that one.

I do know that I have to chill out a bit when it comes to racing. As my oh-so-demure Uncle Glenn lovingly stated yesterday, I suffer from “Head Up My Ass” disease. “Of all things to Quit on it should be your constant over-thinking and over-analyzing everything,” he told me.

OK, Uncle Glenn. I promise to try.

I guess that’s what’s next. Working on chilling out a little and realizing that racing should be competitive, yes, but also fun. (I say that now, and I’m aware that actions speak louder than words. But I’m doing my best. Really.)

I remember thinking during the race, “This should be fun. I’m not having fun.” I was hurting and cramping and didn’t want to run anymore. And then I remembered Coach Cane’s words to me at mile 20 of the marathon: “You’re running a marathon. It’s not supposed to feel good.”

He’s a smart one, that Coach Cane. But you knew that already.

For my next trick, I will attempt to get caught up at work. Today should be interesting.



0 Responses

  1. First, I’d like to request a REALLY well colored picture sent to my apartment immediately. Thank you!

    Next, glad you turned around your POV. It’s Vegas! It’s a night race! Your with the BF! No pressure, you’ll get it the next time around.

  2. I still get all achy-heart feeling when I see Central Park. Probably because I miss it, and, hopefully, not because of NYCM. I should probably start listening to Achy-Breaky Heart by musical genius, Billy Ray Cyrus, better known as Dad to Hannah Montana. I miss that show.

  3. I had a difficult race last month. I did pr…by a few seconds, but I felt like I could have done so much better, it was a brutally hot day.
    Do you ship the ‘I love sweat’ shirts? I’d love one

  4. HaHa I suffer from “Head up my ass” as well….as I am sure most of the population does but they just don’t all admit it! Have fun on your runs…and can’t wait til you have more shirts out! I am a fairly new reader but I definitely want one! 🙂

  5. It helped me to actually run 5 half marathons in 1 year, this way I didn’t have the feeling of only having one shot. If I didn’t meet my expectations on the first one, I told myself, ok this was a training run and the next one will be better. I was so much more relaxed and did so much better than expected!

  6. I think it is too bad to finish a race, especially a longer one and be disappointed with it. We put a lot of time and money into our races. We are out there racing,not sitting on the couch. We are doing healthy things for our bodies. We should feel good and have fun. But after my last marathon I was very disappointed with my results and how I ran the race. I was so much slower than I thought I would be. Each of my previous marathons had had a PR and I expected it again. It ended up being my second slowest, only faster than my first when I run/walked. I had to keep changing my goals as I was running until my last goal was to just keep running. That one I accomplished. I still feel badly about that race but I have so many other good ones since then. I love racing even if I don’t love it when I am in the race itself. Glad you are already moving past your disappointment. That was fast. You are very inspiring when you write about running in spite of Crohn’s and all the money you raised for the fight of it.

  7. I’m sorry that you didn’t meet your goals yesterday, but girl, you still did awesome! You will definitely get that new PR someday, but for right now your current PR is pretty darn amazing! And I’ll say it again, I definitely think you should do a spring marathon…how about a little Oz-themed flat one in Kansas?! 🙂

  8. Recently found your blog and I’m loving it! Looking to race in my first half marathon in 2012, so it’s encouraging to see all your hard work!

  9. Glad you’re feeling better. As they say, “eventually, you won’t always PR”. And you’re spot on with if you’re not having fun, something’s wrong. Good for you for taking the time to reflect on racing. Enjoy the holiday season – perfect timing for a little mental break before the new year, and to just run for the fun of it.

  10. Hey, glad you are feeling better. Can’t wait for another update on where I can get an “I <3 sweat" t-shirt! Will wear it to Zumba… and on my runs…

  11. I’m not really a racer, as you can see, I’m more of a slogger…

    But I suffer from a lot of the self defeating thoughts you have. So I can relate!

    I’m glad you are better today! I have no doubt you will get to your PR. And I’m jealous you have a coach Cane!

  12. This post made me smile! I was sad that you seemed so upset yesterday, because what people say is true. You are still young and have years and years of racing ahead of you! Plus, it sucks to say, but PRs would become less valuable if they were easy to get. This race just means that when you do PR (Which you definitely will do!) it’ll just feel that much more satisfying.
    Besides which, you got to spend an amazing weekend in Las Vegas and you PRed at raising a ton of money for an important cause! That’s something to be proud of!

  13. Your Uncle Glenn is hilarious! And I had a slight meltdown on Sunday after a run that took way more out of me than I would like to admit. My lack of fitness smacked me right in the face and I didn’t like it. Fortunately I know my fitness will come back eventually, albeit slowly but surely. We all have our ups and downs, our lessons to learn. 🙂

  14. (just read Dori’s comment, might tend to agree on the rested legs thing!). I am so glad you are feeling better. And I say run to run for awhile and then decide on a next race. As for Coach Cane’s comment – it’s supposed to hurt…yeah, I really need to remember that when a run is killing me, it ain’t supposed to be easy to do, that’s why we do it, right??

  15. You ARE stronger than your disease and that was a comeback! You don’t need a PR to show it who’s boss, just by running a half-marathon you’ve kicked its butt. And that quote from Uncle Glenn made me laugh.
    Keep your head up girl!

  16. i was so sad for you in your last post, but glad you turned your frown upside down! any thoughts on where you will kick some PR ass for your next race?!

  17. Glad you are feeling better and welcome back to New York. It took me a long time to get over my marathon, but now that I am over it, it was a good lesson in not taking myself too seriously.

    And yeah, races are NOT fun. But finishing them is!

  18. Glad you are feeling better! The Bellagio fountain was my favorite part of Vegas! When I ran the marathon 2 years ago it was still dark in the morning and instead of water it shot up fire and water. Very cool.

  19. yay! glad you are over the that-race-sucked-major-ass hump. giving yourself a break is easier on everyone around you, which is for many of us a reason to calm down. if not for your own sanity, think of everyone else. i try to tell myself that 🙂

    happy wednesday? good luck catching up!

  20. If you ever figure out how to get out of your head so much and just do what you know deep down that you can do, please let me know! I struggle with that too and I do end up in those “self-fulfilling prophecy” situations all the time because of it. One thing I try to do is focus on just one thing I did well or right or better than I normally do so I don’t get completely discouraged because as a perfectionist I’m often inclined to quit when I know I didn’t do everything exactly right. Sometimes that helps, sometimes it doesn’t.

    Also, that cheese looks absolutely amazing to me right now. Why is it not lunch time already??

  21. Great attitude. I’m glad you’re feeling better, and after a good half marathon you will forget all about this one anyway. You love running, and something you love doing should not stress you out like this.

    I was thinking about you this morning on my walk home from Refine… I think part of the “heavy legs” problem might have been that you didn’t really full rest after the marathon. You were spinning two days after, running three. Maybe you should give yourself a full week off from running (I know it is hard for you and you love it) but maybe commit to like, three yoga classes in a week, stretch your legs out, and take the other days in the week totally off. You might just need a good rest/stretch/

  22. I didn’t post yesterday because everyone else said such great things. I myself flew from NY to Cali to run my PR half marathon – my 5th. I trained well and the course was perfect to PR. What happened? I sucked. My time was slower than my 1st half (where I was only trying to finish.) It was a month ago and it makes me mad/sad every time I think about it. I want to run another & I will but I hope I can get that “want to/should PR” out of my head. It really ruins a good race. Sorry to go on so long about myself. You wil PR. You are YOUNG and talented. When? Probably when you’re not trying to.

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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