I was all pumped up on endorphins or something in the days following the Cleveland race and I did something that maybe I should not have. I signed up for the Detroit half marathon in October. There was a discount for it in my “virtual race bag” and, despite the terrible weather, I really did enjoy the actual running of this last half especially since I had gotten faster and maintained the average pace I was aiming for. Maybe if I just kept my mileage high between these two races I could get even faster. the allure of running a 2:05 half marathon combined with a ten percent discount was too much to resist.
In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m a goal oriented person. In the spirit of building on positive momentum and adapting to my typically more relaxed (though maybe for the last year) summer schedule I’ve come up with some new running goals.
Speedwork: I love listening to other runners’ conversations. During the Cleveland race I heard a guy chatting up the woman running next to him. He explained that he hasn’t been a runner for very long and said “I’m only thirty so I should be faster.” (Because being younger should make you inherently faster than that sixty year old dude over there who clearly just runs twenty-four-seven. Yeah, that’s exactly how it works.) Her dry, almost sarcastic response of “Do you do any speedwork?” made me smile. So obvious!
Of course he replied that he did not do speed work; he didn’t know that the only way to get faster is to run faster. Running more helps but unless you practice running faster you won’t just magically race faster. Since I do want to race faster my goal here is to do regular speed work stuff. Once a week. Or maybe once every two weeks…at very least twice a month. I’m not talking about anything crazy, just a few 400’s at the track, some hill repeats, and a pace run here and there.
Long Runs: For two of the three halfs (halves?) I’ve done I ran just over thirteen miles at least once. That made a big difference in how I felt during those races even if the long runs leading up to them felt terrible. Since fall is a busy time for me with all my children and myself getting back into school routines after the less structured summer, building mileage in those long runs gets a little more challenging. To ease that challenge a bit my goal is to maintain my current (sort of…not much running had gone on the past two weeks) level of running. To put that in concrete terms, it’s my goal to do at least two ten or more mile runs a week.
Mileage: Mt running app informed me (the day before my birthday this week) that it was our year anniversary. At least I made it to a year anniversary with someone…even if that someone is an app on my phone. According to Nike Run I’ve logged 802.5 miles this year. I wish it had been 1000 because that just sounds way cooler. So, that’s what I’m aiming for this year. I’ll need and average of 16.46 more miles a month than I had this year to accomplish that. If I am achieving the aforementioned long run goal this should not be a problem.
Races: Aside from the October half marathon I want to get in a couple 10k’s this summer. Ideally I’ll find one a month for June, July, and August on the weeks I have my kids so that my First and Fourth, who both run cross country, can join me. My oldest is the type who can go out and run a 10k in 45 minutes even though he hasn’t run in months. Ugh! I’m so jealous. With it being his senior cross country season this fall I’d like to see him start running over the summer (you know, like most normal runners who have to to get in shape do). My Fourth is in middle school so his school based races are two miles. they run more than three in practices but he’s hesitant to do a 5k. I know he can do it with just a little regular running but he’s not so sure. Getting a couple fun 5k’s in over the summer would give him a great confidence boost before cross country and his second year of middle school starts. Whether or not this happens will depend on a few things including money (my single mom/student budget is not very forgiving and races are way more expensive than they should be especially when you’re signing up three people).
Coaching: I’ve been wanting to get into coaching cross country for a while now but my life has been a little on the crazy side as far as schedule and responsibilities go. My schedule is still pretty intense but there is a coaching change happening at the school and a couple parents have asked if I was going to either coach the middle school team or be an assistant coach. I’m looking into the logistics of this and am excited that it might work out. There are a few details to work out still so maybe it won’t, but I’m hopeful.
Relaxing: I’ve been told once or twice (maybe more) that I need to slow down and relax once in a while, that I should learn to take it easy. Psh, take it easy, what does that even mean?!? But since more than one person has said something along these lines to me I’m taking it to heart and adding relaxing to my list of new goals.
Over the summer I’m also working on getting my dental school application complete and submitted, getting my house clean and organized so I can tackle a few smaller home improvement projects (I have a wall that’s begging to be knocked down), crocheting, and reading. I even have a (mental) summer reading list. It’s been so long since I’ve had time to just read for fun and interest, I can’t wait to get started. Hopefully there will be some beaches involved in this summer reading thing. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting back on some dating websites too, it seems to be my summer trend (which I promptly abandon when I remember what my life is really like each fall). Despite the weirdness of online dating, it can be fun and entertaining to engage with so many new people and the thrill and possibility that comes with someone new is exciting. However, my efforts and energy might be better spent fostering the friendships I do have and on introspection and self-improvement…and on running. Unlike online dating, running is always worth the time and rarely disappoints.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve only run once this month and I’m starting to feel symptoms of running deficiency…time to go log some miles.