Listen to the Ali on the Run Show!
- July 2, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 258: Feel-Good Friday with Claudia Thompson, President of Claudia Connects
- July 1, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 257: Nutrition Q&A with Starla Garcia, Registered Dietitian
- June 29, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 256: On the Job with Vikki Spruill, President & CEO of New England Aquarium
- June 25, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 255: Ramblings on the Run with Ali & Matt
- June 24, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 254: Samia Akbar, Fastest U.S.-Born Black Female Marathoner
Are you ready to read a slightly grouchy post? Because that’s what you’re about to get.
Well. I’ll start with some good stuff. How does that sound?
Yesterday was an excellent day. The photo shoot with the Refine Method girls went really well and I’m psyched about featuring them in the February issue of Dance Spirit.
After work, I went to the gym for a pretty rigorous Chisel class. We kicked off the class with some heart-pumping cardio and I was dripping in delicious sweat within the first 10 minutes. I love that.
Remember yesterday I was all about lists and goals and stuff? Well one of my goals for the week was to “Eat well.” Thanks to Brian, I did just that last night. I ate well. Very well.
Would you like to see some close-ups, taken with my very fancy camera, and by camera I mean phone? I’m a high-tech lady.
Thank you, Brian, for never letting me go hungry and filling my life with vegetables.
Another goal for this week was to “Get sleep.” Check!
Last night was the first night since this pesky flare-up began that I actually slept through the night and didn’t wake up until my alarm went off! That, to me, is huge. Granted, as soon as I woke up I felt like crap, but getting through the night was a big deal. I’m psyched.
And then there’s the final goal I made: “Run hard.”
I’m currently cursing this goal. It’s the one I care about the most, and it’s the one I seriously struggled with today.
Brian and I ran 6.5 miles this morning. It was 62 degrees. Nice.
I want to continue including speed training leading up to the Las Vegas Half Marathon. Have I mentioned that I want to PR in Las Vegas? And have I mentioned that this dream seems incredibly lofty and ambitious lately? Have I also mentioned that I feel like I suck at running these days? And that my PR from the National Half Marathon was a total fluke? And that I don’t think I’ll ever run fast like that again?
Maybe it’s because of my stomach. I’m constantly running to the bathroom and, as a result, I often feel completely drained when I’m out running. Everything seems to require just a little more effort, and the stop-and-go system crushes my legs. Even today, after being in and out of the bathroom all morning before even starting to run, I had to stop as soon as we picked up the pace at mile 1.2. It’s hard to get going again after you stop.
We did a one-mile warm-up and then the plan was simple: four miles at a 7:40 pace. In order to PR in Vegas, I need to maintain a 7:50 pace, and that will only give me a PR by a few seconds. That seems fast to me. It seems difficult.
Brian wore my watch this morning, so I just tagged along. I was fine for a while, looping around the Reservoir feeling pretty comfortable in our pace (which he didn’t share with me, but I trusted that it was the 7:40 we had discussed).
At one point my legs started to feel really heavy, so I scream-asked Brian, “How many more miles???”
“Three and a half,” he told me.
“We’ve done three and a half??? Or we have that many to go??? Or we’ve done that many fast miles and we only have half a mile left??? HOW MANY MORE MILES, BRIAN???”
He looked at me like I was insane because I was shouting so loudly and angrily. I’m a really, really pleasant runner, I assure you. I’m a friggin’ dream training partner.
By the fourth “fast” mile, I started to lose Brian. I watched the distance between us grow — literally, not like, “I saw our relationship fade into the distance” or something — and I tried desperately to hang on. But it felt tough. And I felt pissed.
I took this picture so I have proof that I was not keeping up with my pace-setter. Also I liked the colors.
So as you may know, I have a history of torturous, thought-consuming self-doubt. When it comes to most aspects of life, I’m all, “I can do anything! I am magical! Life rules! Party in the USA!” But when you throw running in the mix, I rarely think happy, convincing thoughts. I never think I can actually PR, even though I want to, and once I start running and it feels just a little bit difficult, I mentally give up.
This morning, I mentally gave up. That fourth speed mile was rough for me, and Brian got yelled at afterward because obviously my inability to keep up was entirely his fault. I can’t believe he continues to run with me and put up with my insanity. And also date me.
He tried to make me smile when we were done, but I was a brat and didn’t want to.
I was so frustrated this morning. My watch is frozen now and won’t upload our splits to the computer, but Brian promises that we did, in fact, stay right on the 7:40 pace for the duration of those four miles. I believe him.
I know that to be a better, stronger runner, I need to just keep pushing harder. I spent so much time recently running within my comfort zone, and now that I’m being pushed outside of it, I’m struggling, more mentally than physically. I think that in addition to having a running coach, I need a brain coach to slap some sense into me. (Mrs. Coach Cane? Sign up for this task, please! I know you’re busy raising a cute little human, but, you know, if you want to hang out sometime…)
When I have an awesome run, I feel amazing and unstoppable. Last Tuesday, I banged out a 7:12 mile like it was no problem and I was riding high all day. Then on Saturday, I was pumped about my long run splits and was giddy all weekend.
Then, with one “bad” run — which pace-wise wasn’t bad, but mentally took a toll on me — I feel annoyed. I know I need to toe the line in Vegas with a positive, “I can do this and then I’m going straight to the buffet” attitude. I know that when my legs start to feel tired at mile 7, I can’t give up. Giving up won’t get me a PR.
So stomach, seriously, chill yourself immediately, because we’ve got a race to run on December 4, and I will be damned if you blow it for me.
And brain, get your act together. Stop being such a downer.
Legs, you’ve got to do the work, because the rest of my body is failing me. Deal?
Alright then. I’m glad we’re all in agreement.
See you in Vegas.