This year I accomplished two goals that were two years in the making.
In April, I completed a trail Ragnar Relay.
And in October, I completed my second marathon.
Both had been on my mind for quite a long time, after watching real life (and virtual) friends tick these seemingly impossible races off of their bucket lists. In 2015 I tried to join them, but my real life got in the way and I put my dreams on hold. There is a part of me that is still amazed by the past year, but now that I’ve had a few weeks to reflect and bask in the glow, I’m ready for whatever comes next.
FIRST, I have decided that getting healthy is mission critical. For three years, I have battled off and on with a calf injury that just won’t quit. I’ve worked with an amazing chiropractor to keep me going from starting line to starting line. And I put every band aid on this problem – shoes, inserts, calf sleeves, massages…. But the problem is still there. And it is still there because I have a heel strike and a weak glute.
I have decided it’s time to solve the actual problem over the next month+ with focused strength training and shorter runs paying close attention to how my foot is striking. I am also going to try a different type of neutral shoe to see if that helps me correct.
SECOND, I am going to work on quality over quantity for the coming year. Translation: a fewer number of races with more focused goals. Since really coming back to running, I have been all about MORE – 17 races in 2013, 22 in 2014, 27 in 2015 and 19 this year. For those keeping track at home, that is 78% of my 106 races ever have been run in four years. And I need to shift my energy. My medal rack will be sad and my sparkle collection a bit dusty, but I know this is the right direction.
THIRD, I need to change my approach to my work outs. Over the past year or so, I have just gone out and gotten in the mileage. Sometimes I do hills. Sometimes I am really good about lifting – and other times, it’s just a part of my routine to do 5 miles, 5 miles and a long run. If I really want quality races, I need a quality plan.
With the help of a BUNCH of resources, I now have one. And I am happy to share with you. My goals are a sub-25 5k in February and a sub-2 hour half in May. With that in mind, my energy is on three things:
MILEAGE. Increasing my mileage in a thoughtful, focused way. Everything I read talked about the impact more miles had on better speed. For years, I’ve done enough to get to a starting line. This time around, I am going to focus on what targeted workouts can do to move me forward, faster.
SPEED WORK. Dedicated, consistent speed work. On a track or a treadmill. The intervals will help and I know they will help. But they hurt. A LOT.
STRENGTH. As per above, I have to strengthen my muscles with regular work in the gym. Yoga is amazing, and I will continue that practice, but it is not enough to make the kinds of strides I want to make.
So there we are… Looking forward to FINALLY meeting those goals! Thank you for being here along the way.