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My Upcoming Race Goals
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!
Posted in Central Park, Crohn's disease, New York Road Runners, NYC Marathon, Races, Running, Team Challenge and tagged Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Las Vegas Half Marathon, Mrs. Coach Cane, New York City Marathon, New York Road Runners, Race to Deliver, Races, Running, Team Challenge, Ted Corbitt 15K, Turkey Trot-