Chasing the PR Might Be Killing Me (But Setting Goals Keeps Us Alive, Right?)

May 31, 2017   /   byrunningwhilevegan  / Categories :  Running, Uncategorized

My next half marathon, the Rock’N Roll San Diego half, is in 5 days! It will be my fourth 13.1 mile race, and I’ve been training hard to get a sub-2, which means running it in under two hours. I came close last November (it’s now almost June) at the Rock’N Roll Vegas half with a 2:06:15 finish.

RNR Vegas! My last PR!

In January I ran a half marathon in Pasadena with a 2:15 finish. While a part of me wanted to be bummed out about not hitting the sub-2 in Pasadena, or even getting a new PR, quite a few things factored into that finish time (which is pretty good! Not disppointed!). I was burnt out from the holidays, it was pouring and cold outside (as a new runner, I didn’t know how to dress for running in the winter! My poor fingers were numb by the end of that race.) the course was super hilly and I was not prepared for that (course preview goes such a long way), I hadn’t been taking care of my nutrition or hydration the week before, and the weekend prior I had run 14 miles with BlacklistLA for LA Marathon training. I decided the morning of, when it was freezing (LA GETS COLD SOMETIMES! I’ve lived in Humboldt, Chicago and San Francisco! I know what cold is and that morning was practically freezing! There was definitely frost on the grass…I think.) and pouring, I was going to run this race for fun. I’d try for a PR, but all that mattered was finishing. So I did, then I had pizza and beer with my boyfriend at Mohwak Bend, got home, turned the heater all the way up and laid in bed watching TV* for the rest of the day.

Had never been quite so happy to cross a finish line. My phone had died, my hands were numb and I was wet from the rain. Some people like running and racing in the rain! I am def not one of them.

Anyway, the point of this post is to say that I’m starting to freak out. I’ve been training pretty hard, but since the LA Marathon in March, I haven’t quite bounced back to my old running self. I’m slower than I was and I burn out easier. I feel like I have a body hangover I can’t shake. I want running to be fun again! But then again, if it wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t have signed up for another half marathon. And training was fun until I decided that since I had a marathon under my belt, I could probably go the intermediate to advanced runner’s route and run 15 miles as part of my half training. The problem is, you’re not really supposed to run more miles than the race itself or you risk wearing your bod out. Which is exactly what I think I did. I just had something to prove to myself, I guess. The downside has been that I’ve been tired now for a couple weeks; I actually had to take all of last week off because I just COULD NOT. Couldn’t even force myself, which normally I’m pretty good at! This last weekend before the race, I was supposed to run 8 miles, and I went to a vegan beer fest instead (well, had planned to do both), then lost any drive to run or move for the next two days. Tonight I ran 3 miles and it was torture. I’m still dehydrated from the fest, and I feel like I haven’t slept in weeks (but that’s all I did yesterday!!!). ANWAY I’M FREAKING OUT, but all that really matters is showing up race day, having fun, and finishing. I don’t have to put all this pressure on myself if it’s taking the joy out of running. A sub-2, even just a new PR would be great, but so is getting out of LA for a couple days and running in San Diego! Eating in San Diego! Beaching in San Diego! Being in San Diego! And so, what if I could turn my thinking around to make this a postive no matter the outcome? (Ugh, and when did I become such a new agey douche? Blaming all the endorphines I get from running.) This is not the last half marathon I’m ever running. When I’m honest with myself, I have been running seriously for a little over a year! In that time I’m putting four half marathons behind me! These are the postives, these are the actual things that matter. And yet, I still want that sub-2, we all know it!

15 miles through Santa Monica and Venice. I did have something to prove, and even if it wore me out, it showed me I have the endurance to do what I set my mind to.

*Netflix or Hulu. Who under the age of 40 has cable anymore? Oh, everyone but me? Never mind.

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