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