Monday, June 1, 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. 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.

I'm contemplating just becoming a trainer. I seem to have a nack 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???


  1. Honestly, the only advice I have is to run prettier races. :) I think you need to step away from the 2-hour goal and do a couple of fun/beautiful races. Sign up for one of the Pacific Coast Trail Runs ( which are all on gorgeous trails and so hilly that you just can't even think about your time. Or do the Tahoe half in September. Gorgeous, but not one to try to PR due to the climbs. Seriously--I think you need to run a half marathon that has nothing to do with time.

    As for running a sub-2-hour half, the closest I came was 2:02:25, and that's when I was my absolute skinniest, doing a yoga class twice a week, riding my bike to work (on hills), and running with girls who were much faster than me. I was in ridiculously good shape and consider my time a 2-hour half marathon. If you really want to get there, I say keep training fast and do more cross training.

    But my overall recommendation is to not worry about time and do some runs that are about fun and beauty or you'll burn out.

  2. I have to agree with Molly. Just go run for fun. It will be hard to 'enjoy running again' if there is too much pressure and emphasis on the time.

    Granted, goals are VERY important and you should keep your eye on that sub 2hr half. But, be proud of every mile you run! Be proud that you are doing something that isn't easy for you!

  3. Just sent you an email this morning. My piece of advice here would also to be to remember WHY you run.

    You're an incredible mom, with a busy job, fabulous family.

    Are you running to stay fit? Compete? Improve yourself? To take some Maren time during your busy day?

    Maybe remembering those reasons will help put these races and times in perspective.

    I completely understand your PR frustration. I do. What you're asking is for me to say "STOP being a perfectionist. STOP pushing yourself!"

    Yeah right. Patience. Maybe that's all. :)

    You're the best Mare. Keep pluggin' away.

    June 2, 2009 2:00 PM

  4. Run with people that run faster than you and DO NOT let yourself stop or let them out of your sight. That's what worked for me. That's my goal when I can run again. :) I still haven't met my 1/2 marathon goal either. Maybe set a time goal the day of the race after you see if you're having an ON day? Whitney sped me up. ;) Good Luck! It WILL happen!

  5. that's frustrating! my advice? lift weights twice a week. i think that's the difference between a runner and a truly strong runner.