After a good couple of years of mediocrity and probably being a sports psychologist’s dream I think that this might actually be a good running year for me. The very abbreviated back story (that will probably never be expanded on) is that I had a failed experiment with heart rate training that knocked me so hard on my butt that it’s taken me a really long time to mentally come back from. When your head’s not in it everything else is on the back burner. Suffice it to say that I did not love my runners for a while, but I think I’m back!*
I think my turning point was being included in a UBC NIKE study on running. They gave me a 13 week prescribed running program to follow during a time of year when I would much rather sit on my couch. Dark, rainy, winter-y Vancouver is not my favourite place to run. However, a treadmill and a decent amount of accountability kept me running on average 3 times a week. So what if my runs were predominantly inside? I’ve actually come to love my treadmill (hopefully the downstairs neighbours do too!). We had a
slightly illegal 10km race at the end and I came away with a respectable 1:05 finish time. Considering I ran once outside in 13 weeks I’m pretty happy with that!
Another key to me being more optimistic is that around Christmas I got my hands on a downloadable goal tracker from Believe I Am. I’m not usually one for journals – although I’m keen to get one of theirs when they’re back in stock – as I start and never finish. But this one made me sit down and think about what I want from running this year. I want to get faster and I want to finish my 50km race in August. Voilà! I suddenly found myself with goals that are attainable. The other helpful part of the tracker was an outlook calendar. I don’t usually race a lot, but I wanted to this year. I’m not wealthy by any means so it’s usually a stretch to get too many races in. But I found some affordable ones (and ways to get in free, too) and I have about one a month. This will give me more race and trail experience, which I very obviously need in tackling an ultramarathon.
I haven’t paid for all of these yet, but they aren’t really negotiable anymore.
I have goals, people, and I will darn well reach them!!
What’s on the agenda for you this year? And will I be seeing you anywhere along the way?
*Notice that I’ve removed the subtitle “Slowly Reconciling With Running” from by blog (and on Twitter, too). No self-defeating thoughts, please.
This is the first time I’m “recovering” from a slump.
I hate it.
I am not fast. I have never been fast nor have I really pretended that I am. Sure, there have been some seemingly speedy times on my HRM, but they generally correspond with going downhill. The only time I ever felt fast was last spring when I convinced my friend to run all out at the end of a tempo run to concentrate on something other than some personal stuff. But that was more because I was being a good friend than it being anything I could sustain in the long run.
Dropping down from being a slow runner to an even slower runner is hard. Not so much physically. It’s actually kind of nice to just plod along. But, mentally, it’s the pits. As much as I thought I’d accepted the slow runner in me I haven’t completely. She’s still there and I really want her to go away. That’s going to take some work. And it’s work that I’m not willing to do right now.
My goals are small. Run for an hour. Run 4 days a week. For now I’m just working on getting out the door.
WORD FOR THE YEAR: FOCUS
I will not call these resolutions. Resolutions tend to be less than permanent. It’s easy to give them up. It’s almost as if they are there to be broken.
Goals, on the other hand, are something to strive toward. If I have goals they are always there. I might meet them this year – that’s the hope, after all – but if I don’t it’s not the end of the world. I won’t feel too let down (I hope!). Since I met the “Run a marathon when I’m 30” goal in 2010 I’ve had to come up with a few good ones for this year.
My Goals for 2011, in no particular order:
- PR in the marathon! If I work as hard as I think I will it shouldn’t be too hard. I will be happy with one second faster than last time, but the most important thing to me is that my finish time reads 4:xx:xx. Not sure what the “x”s stand for yet – I’ll have a more concrete time goal in mind once training’s in full swing.
- Run another half marathon. I’d love to run the Historic Half again in February, but money would have to come through for that to happen. If I don’t do that one it’ll most likely be after the full.
- Volunteer at races. I’m already signed up to help out at the First Half Half Marathon in February. Ideally I’d like to help out at a couple more during the year. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with the volunteers in the races I’ve run and would love to make someone else’s race great too!
- Maybe run a fall marathon. I have mixed feelings about training through the summer – how many times was it too hot to run? Definitely a decision to be made in a few months.
- Eat better. Self explanatory. Work harder at planning meals and having healthy choices (for all of us) in the house on a consistent basis.
- Drink water. Not my first choice of beverage, but it really needs to be. This should be the easiest goal to achieve… hopefully. I need to stop having “alternatives” (
cough*pop*cough) in the house.
- Work on Core/Strength/Stretch 2-3x/week. My hip flexors will love me, I’ll be stronger, I’ll look better (goodbye muffin-top), I’ll feel better about myself, etc. Again, shouldn’t be hard to do – I’ll just need to get my act together and keep it up.
- Run 1250 miles. Now that might seem like a kind of random number. However, I’m Canadian and I run in kilometres (see blog name). So 1250 miles x 1.609344 = 2011.68km. Given that the year is 2011 I think that it’s a pretty darn good goal. It also means that I’ll have to run 38.some-odd kilometres/24 miles per week. Obviously some will be shorter and some will be longer, but I really do think that it will be attainable. Especially if I keep going back to that big, bold word at the top of this post… FOCUS!
There, I said it. I am planning on running a whopping 42km in October, although “running” might be stretching the truth. A good time would be nice, but isn’t necessary. I think I’ll just be happy with crossing the finish line of my own accord.
This blog/journal/online accounting of my journey to The Marathon (capitalized to give it the respect it deserves) is going to be my way of holding myself accountable. Please, please sign up or bookmark this site to follow my journey. You don’t have to check in often (unless you are really that interested in my progress), but I figure that the more people out there who will ask me how my training is going the better.
There won’t be much activity on here for a while as my marathon clinic doesn’t begin until 10 June 2010. I’ll post infrequently about my half marathon training (which my husband C is doing with me) and my foray into bootcamp (which he is not and makes fun of me for). I’ll write more about why I thought running The Marathon would be a good goal to have – something about turning 30… I’m sure that there will be ramblings about things that seem to have very little to do about running as well as my love-hate relationship with the sport.
So, for now, this is me.
In about 6 months, I’ll be a marathoner.