Hey all. Happy day after Christmas 🙂 Hope it was everything you wanted it to be. Like I said yesterday my day was really low key which was perfect. I went on a date with one of my best friends from high school and Mr. Robert Downey Jr (btw the movie was GREAT!) and then hit up a restaurant for some drinks and Chinese food with other friends who joined us. Yummy-ness and hilarity ensued!
But since everyone else is doing it (and I am a lemming) I put together some thoughts on what I want to do in the upcoming year. Be warned it’s long but oddly enough it’s all running.
But first running reflections on 2009:
2009 was a great year for me. I ran my first marathon, first 5k and pr’d in the half. Plus that marathon? Oh yeah, a BQ. I am very happy that I raced as much as I did this year too, with most of it happening in the fall. I tend to try and save money (like most people) so I’m really hesitant to sign up for races unless they are meaningful. But racing = fun so I gained experience (and shelled out cash) which was great. I also ran the most miles in a month as well as a week. And those two accomplishments came NOT during marathon training. Overall I’m happy with this year. I feel like I became a *real* runner rather than a chick who likes to run. Maybe a self-righteous feeling but hey that’s me 🙂
Goals for 2010:
- PR (duh who doesn’t?). I don’t know how obvious it is or how clearly it comes across in my blogging but I race to race. I don’t sign up to “have fun”. I sign up so I can run hard enough to want to puke my guts out when I cross the finish line. I think that by incorporating new strength moves and speed workouts will help that. Mixing things up and see what happens. Specifically (and yes they are lofty but I think that with some real focus I can come real close to most if not all of ’em):
- sub 20:00 5k — considering my only 5k time is 21:32 and I didn’t train for it I think this is lofty but do-able if I train for a 5k. Who knows if that will happen though as I ❤ the long stuff
- sub 43:00 10k — ideally I just want 43:23 because that works out to 7 pace even but being the overachiever I am I want to break a round number.
- sub 1:40:00 half — every time I run a half I smash my previous pr. I’m currently at 1:41:56 which was a 2 or 3 minute improvement from the previous pr. Definitely going to be hard but I think it’s do-able
- 3:35:00 marathon — I was going to write sub 3:30 but that’s an 8 minute pr and I’m not sure how realistic that would be. Actually to hell with it: the goal is sub 3:30. I left the last marathon feeling like I had plenty of gas in the tank so we’ll see if I can capitalize on that in 2010.
- Do an ultra. I do have a potential one in mind too about 5 wks after Boston. I think that the end of this year has made me really think that reeeeeeeeeeeally long distances is cool and that my body is totally capable of doing it.
- Dare I say it? Requalify for Boston. I’m scared of the course (I’ve heard really dramatic stuff!) so I don’t know if I’ll do it there or not. And since I’m not sure what my post grad plans are so I don’t know if I’ll have another shot at it this year. I guess in the same vein I don’t know if I’d even be able to use a BQ before it “expired”. Still it’d be cool to requalify (and I guess this goal falls under PR as well because I didn’t exactly smash the BQ time last time)
- Not sure how realistic this one is as I have no idea where I’ll be in the fall but I want to run MCM. I have this huge patriotic side to me that I rarely (living in New England — sorry HUGE stereotype) get to express. I’d really love to be a part of that military experience because I actually get verbally attacked when I express that stuff around here
- And super long term I want to run the Big 5: New York, Boston, Berlin, London, Chicago. Maybe I could get lucky and find myself in Europe this fall / next year. I can dream right? 🙂
- Have fun. I really want to relax that must-pr-or-die mentality. Not sure how I’ll do this. Since I am a poor college student I tend to pick my races carefully and thus don’t want to “waste” money by not attempting to pr. I think doing an ultra might fall under this category because from what I’ve heard they are a totally different beast than what I’ve been doing. Also maybe leaving the watch at home? I don’t ever look at my watch during a run but to actually not be timing might be a good way to chill out.
I think that’s a healthy list of running goals. And I think I’ve brainstormed ways to get them. Overall I think that this year has the potential to be a good year for me. At least the first 6 months. Life after graduation is still up in the air as I don’t know if I’ll still be in New England or what I’ll be doing on a day-to-day basis and how feasible training will be.
But here are some other things that I think will help me become an even better runner in 2010 and achieve the goals listen above:
- Drink more water. Yes I will admit that most days I do not drink enough (water that is). I feel the best when I’m hydrated and I preform the best when properly hydrated. And I’m also including tea and other semi-clear liquids. Alcohol and coke? Nope, they’ll count towards my fluid count but not the hydration count if that makes sense
- Get faster. I want to become more comfortable with speed. In my 5k this past fall (first and only) I was cruising at a great fast pace until the last mile or so. So I want to be able to push how far I can run at a “sprint” speed. I guess I can work on that by racing more? Although that does get expensive so I want to commit to keeping speedwork (tempo, mile repeats etc.) in my routine in a more consistent basis when I’m not training for a longer race. When I’m not following a half or full marathon program I tend to slack in that department.
- Get stronger. AKA strength train more. Like I’ve said in posts of the past I feel so much stronger and fitter and faster when I keep lifting in my routine. I don’t think this will be that hard to keep going once I commit to doing it. Which I’ve already started. But I need to make sure I don’t go on any 10 week hiatuses again!
- XT more in general too. Potentially do a tri although that’s not really a huge goal of mine at all (hate biking) but having a goal like that could be an impetus to XT it out more. Which will help my running. A win-win. Except for my butt which will never be friends with the bike.
- Stretch more. Now that Jazz is over (so sad!) I need to make an effort to keep stretching even if it’s just 2 or 3 times a week like the class met. In the two-plus weeks since that class ended I have not stretched once! And I definitely notice my muscles being more reluctant to do what I want. I know that I’ve told my friend to drag me to yoga twice a week if that’s what needs to be done (and you know how I feel about yoga haha)
- Respect the rest day. I’ll admit that I hate taking rest days. I am a mileage junkie after all. But rest is what repairs the muscles and is actually what makes you stronger. And while I do take ’em (and easy days too I swear! I’ve just been on a kick lately!)
- Listen to my body. Falls under respect the rest too I suppose but there have been times in the past where I push through a hard tempo when my body wants an extra easy day. Shocker I know.
- Wear sunscreen. I’ll consider my life improved if I wear it once a month this year. Because that would be about 12 times more than I did in 2009. Yes I know I’ll have skin cancer, like, tomorrow (trust me I have enough pre-cancerous moles to say this) and even if I dodge that bullet I don’t want to be all leather-faced in 10 years. I guess this isn’t technically running related but, especially this summer, the only times I was out in the sun (especially the bright sunlight) was when I was running.
Yikes. That’s a lot to digest I guess. Thanks for sticking with it if you’ve made it this far. I actually started this post over a week ago and kept refining it / adding to it. But I think that’s a good start. Nice small simple changes. Some of them will be easier than others. But change is change and I’m resistant to it.
With respect to “resolutions” well I hate the term resolution and, come to think of it, the fact that I’m starting these things on January 1st. I think that those labels put a pedestal up which sets a lot of people up for failure. Like starting something on a Monday, it puts real significance on that (too bad January 1 doesn’t start on a Monday heh). Which may or may not be a good thing for some people. To me these changes are designed to improve my running not just in this upcoming year but FOREVER.
So upon writing this post and thinking about it I am starting these things right NOW. Today. Going to go grab a glass of water and drink it while stretching. And maybe hit up the gym for a strength session.