Sunday, May 31, 2009

i {want to} give up...

...but i won't.

But I want to.

I've tried nine times - yes NINE times - to run a half marathon in under 2 hours. 1:59:59 is all I'm askin' here folks. And I can't seem to do it.

Sure, for some of those races {cough cough, Nike Women's, cough cough} it just wasn't attainable. But yesterday, I ran in the See Jane Run half marathon in Alameda, CA. It's flat. It's nearly at sea-level. And I had trained at a 9-minute mile pace and under.

{aren't running pictures just beautiful?!}


I trained mostly with two other girls. They both made it in under 2 hours.

They both made it in WELL under 2 hours, not just seconds to spare.

I started off great...and I paced myself so I wouldn't crash. And then "crash" I did. My legs just would not keep up. I felt okay, I pushed myself and I was giving it my all. But I guess my 'all' just wasn't good enough.

And it leaves me to wonder. Some people just have it in them. They're just runners. It's easy for them and they're naturally good at it. Running is not easy for me. And I'm not naturally good at it. But, I do take pride in the fact that I've worked hard at it and I feel good when I do it. And I usually enjoy the results of improvement.

Yesterday, I didn't enjoy those results. I ran a PR {personal record}, but for some reason that wasn't enough. It wasn't my goal. The ONLY reason I signed up for this race was to run it in under two hours. That didn't happen and now I'm just bummed that I'm out the money and the time it took. I could have run 13.1 miles around my neighborhood...and had a less stressful week for doing it.

I'm contemplating just becoming a trainer. I seem to have a knack for running with others who have goals...and they always reach their goals. Maybe I'm just a good supporter and encourager...and maybe I just haven't found the right kind of support or encouragement that I need at that crucial point in the race {probably because they're all ahead of me by that point}. I don't know.

But...I'd love some tips. To those of you who have set goals and attained them...what are your secrets? How can I run faster? How can I not crash? How can I start to really enjoy running again???

11 comments:

B, C, and D said...

Nine 1/2 marathons?! Goodness, Maren, that in and of itself is pretty incredible. I just think you're awesome!

Morgan said...

yes, 9 half marathons is AWESOME! i know it's discouraging when you don't meet your goal though. i'm sorry!! i know what helps me is positive encouragement while running. when i trained with whit for our marathon, there were times when i wanted to stop and walk SO bad, but whit would just tell me that i could do it and that i would be stronger for pushing through. if you've been training at 9 minute miles and under, than you CAN do it. you just need someone during the race, when you say you want to slow down or stop, to tell you "NO", and then you listen! :) easier said than done, but i am a BIG believer in positive reinforcement. i think that if you go into a race thinking you may or may not reach your goal, then you are not going to reach it. but if you go out thinking that : "i've put in so much time and effort and PAIN into this... I AM going to reach my goal!!"

keep it up, you will totally get there!

speaking of halfs, we are going to be in CA in august, so i was looking at halfs to do while we are there, and there is one in mt. view aug 23rd. it's totally tiny, but it might be fun!

Morgan said...

another thing i just thought of... maybe try doing 1 or 2 long runs at race pace. i don't know if you are doing that already. but it would probably help your legs get used to running faster longer.

if you want to start really enjoying running again, then get an injury... then you will really appreciate it, no matter how fast you can go. ;) just kidding, don't do that. it really sucks! but maybe just take a break from races for a bit.

Karen Hauley said...

Oh, no,no. You can't give up. I am living my running life vicariously through you right now because it's the only way I CAN run. I am so proud of you - you have no idea. And you look sooo fantastic in your running pictures! I love you. You will reach your goals and when you do they will be so so sweet.

Dyan said...

Maren, I am so sorry you were disappointed with your time. It is frustrating to train so much and then not have it work out the way you wanted. I don't really have any words of wisdom because I've never run a half, but the fact you've done it nine times is pretty impressive and there is always the tenth...

ed and kelli said...

don't give up dude... i brag to people about my cool sister who can do all this running because she is AMAZING!.. dont' give up.. ps.. i am crying at work as i right this because i love you that much:)

Jons and Celeste Leigh said...

Maren, you are amazing! I can't believe all the half marathons you have done. Unfortunately, I don't have any good tips for swiping some seconds off your time because I doubt I could even finish a half marathon!

Cheryl and William said...

Hi Maren-

So, I saw this article in the NY Times and thought it might be of interest since you are looking for new strategies

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/02/health/02well.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

And I am so proud of you for running so many!!! I've only done one

chrisbrems said...

Running for me is in large part psychological. You sound a bit stressed about this goal and I can only image what it is doing to you psychologically. Maybe focus more on why you love to run; time to clear your head, enjoying the outdoors, physical reward of taking care of your body, socializing with family and friends, and stress relief are some reasons I love to run. Once I found out why I loved to run speed and endurance naturally came. :)

Jessica M said...

I suppose this is the moment to be sympathetic, but I can't help but feel impressed that you EVEN RUN half marathons AND marathons. Not a natural runner?? I don't know, 9half marathons? I think that makes you super woman. I know, I know, this probably isn't helping, but it's what I think anyway...

I LOVE the swimsuit you have on in that last post. Darling! And I too was stunned by the American Idol results show but also equally pleased. I loved Kris!

Brandon Danielle and Laneah said...

What can I say Maren...you are awesome. Seriously- the fact that you are running at all is pretty darn impressive. I have no advice, but I would gladly take some from you. :) But tell you what- the countdown is on a 6 weeks to the day that this baby comes I will be glad to be out there too. :)