A New Year & New Goals

Welcome to 2016!

2015 was an exciting year, running my first Boston Marathon and then following it up like a ridiculous person with another marathon barely 5 weeks later. While enjoyable, it did set me back a bit in regards to how my knees felt and slowed me down a bit more than I was expecting. Luckily, with no other races planned I kept it light until the end of September with a half marathon. Then I kept with the time off.

Well the madness of the end of the year is gone and I’m back at it. No races on the schedule and nothing planned besides adding exercise back into my routine, including regular strength training and more variety of activities like hiking.

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Starting Goals in 2014

2014-Numbers-free-Happy-2014-New-Year-Image-WallpaperFirst post of the new year, yay! Figure it’s only appropriate to broach a few of the topics I hope to tackle this year as an athlete and casual blogger.

I would like to note that I refuse to call these resolutions. Mostly because I feel like people make new year resolutions either drunk or with the knowledge that they’ll never fully commit to making it happen. So instead these are goals.

These are things I plan to accomplish {goals are partially about how you frame them in my mind: not ‘wish’ or ‘want’ which is intangible, but an active word like ‘plan’}. All are long term and some will be creating the standard of ‘habit’ instead of ‘occasional’ action. They are also in no particular order to complete.

Run injury free.

This seems obvious, but is harder to maintain than it seems. Luckily 2013 went fantastically in regards to a lack of injury. Yes I am always dealing with the issues in regards to my knees (more like a medical condition than an on-going injury) so this is more not getting hurt in a way that takes me out of the running game.

Incorporate strength training as part of my routine.

Last year when I was moderately doing strength training my running showed improvements. Having a stronger body in areas I was previously weak, like my arms and core, seems to have a positive effect on my running ability. Besides, I just want to be healthier and stronger all around (and able to do better at a Tough Mudder). So I want this to become as natural to my routine as the running is.

Be spontaneous.

With such tunnel vision in 2013 on racing the Marine Corps Marathon, I really threw away several chances to just go out and race with friends. It’s those events that I may not have committed to until the night before, which is something I strategically avoided last year. But I remember the fun of just randomly choosing to do a race within days of it. So in 2014, I’d like to be a bit more spontaneous about jumping into events. Without anything giant on my calender past February, I think this one will be relatively easy to accomplish.

Cross train.

With no crazy marathons coming up, there is no reason to feel guilty for substituting a run with a ride. Ideally I’d like to have double days where I run and ride (and in the warmer temps, swim). For 2014, I’ll build my ability to cross train which may just lead to my first triathlon.

Go out of my comfort zone.

I took a huge leap out of that zone by tackling marathons. Now that I’ve got 2 under my belt, I’d like to continue to challenge myself in more than just chasing PRs. This may mean tackling sports or events I’ve never done before (hint: triathlon). Eventually I’d like to try an ultra (50K and nothing longer!) though that may be saved for later. Already started in 2014 with my first Ragnar Relay in early February and a potential challenge event at Gasparilla.

Post more that isn’t just training or race recaps.

Yeahhhh, this is my weak point. I go through stages of having ideas for general topics. Then nothing unless it’s about a race or something specific in training. So I’m going to try and be better this year about writing down topic ideas as well as discussing a bit more of the above listed items. To prove I’m at least trying.

That pretty much covers my main areas to tackle. Though I will add as a wishlist sort of thing that I totally want a GoPro camera so I can make videos relating to sports. It would be mad fun. But as much as I want it, I’ll usually spend that money on running shoes or a race entry…

A New Year & A New Start

Things have been a little crazy in the ‘real life’ sector, so running has once again fallen on the wayside. However, a new year brings new determination to run my second marathon. As such I’ve jumped back into pre-training and have already logged over 15 miles to get me started.

I’m not going anywhere too fast. Anything less than 3 miles is sitting pretty comfortably at about a 9:00 per mile pace, but distances up from that range more towards 9:30 per mile. While it feels and looks slow, I’m glad it’s not any worse than that.

Starting training again is probably one of the hardest things to do. Not so much because it’s hard (though it is), but more because I remember where I was before the doctors put me into physical therapy and it will be a long road to get back there. On the bright side, I have lots of friends and motivation to help me along the way.

Also, I’m planning to go ahead and sign up for a marathon, likely in the fall, so I have money paid and a set goal to work towards. A friend does charity work with running and in conjunction with the charity Little Things for Cancer, is offering bibs for the Marine Corps Marathon if enough money is raised. Each person needs a minimum of $750 to qualify for their race bib. Any more than that gives you the opportunity to get a little reimbursement for travel.

The 38th Marine Corps Marathon is on October 27th, 2013 in Washington, D.C. It’s one of the races I’ve always wanted to do because of where it is. The course takes you through most of the city and past all the major landmarks and memorials. Many run it leisurely to take pictures and while it is tempting, I’d much rather run the race seriously. Even if it will be cold and full of hills.

The current plans aren’t too much. I’m waiting to hear more back from my buddy before I fully commit, but I imagine you’ll see something from me soon saying that I’m in. Until then, I’ll just keep running and maybe pick out a 5K and a half marathon to help me along the way. And I plan to better blog it this time.

Excited for an awesome 2013 full of races and goals!