Running Resolutions

I know we’re over a week into the New Year. Resolutions are so ten days ago. 😉

Ha, whatever.  I don’t particularly like assigning healthy changes and self improvement to one particular time of year.  Does that just mean we’re supposed to work hard for about a month and then fail for the next eleven? Why not make improvements year round?  That said, I don’t have anything against resolutions, so long as they’re not exaggerated (I’m going to lose 150 lbs and workout out for 3 hours Every! Single! Day!) and they have strong plans to back them up (How am I going to lose 150 lbs?  Oh…probably not eat out so much). 

I think January is a great time for runners to set new goals. The big fall racing season faded quietly away into the holidays, and it’s time to start thinking about 2013’s races.

Yesterday I went for a trail run after work, as my first race of 2013 – the Frozen Buns 10k – is just 10 days away.  The weather was beautiful and I ran my very favorite trail.  Unfortunately, my plan to run 7 miles was cut short (Family.  I won’t even go into the details) and I ended up cutting it short at 5.7.  I was definitely disgruntled, as the run had been going so perfectly.  My mile splits were timed just right, I had a lot of energy, the weather was great. It was also a crucial run, as I haven’t done much training for this race. But I did what I had to do.  I went from a smiley, breezy pace of 8:30 to a grim-faced, on-a-mission speed that averaged out at 7:10.  In fact, my fastest mile clocked in at 6:56! It wasn’t the training run I wanted, but I’m definitely proud of my newfound speed. It stinks that I didn’t even have time to snap a post-run picture, though!

1. Run 13 races in 2013: Last year I raced 6 times, and although it seems like a big jump up to 13, it’s totally achievable.  By next week, I’ll already have one under my belt.  I’m planning 1 marathon, 3 or 4 halves, a good handful of 10ks, a shorter race or two, and hopefully a 15k. My race wish list is exhaustive and obnoxious.

2. Run a race for NF Endurance again: I really enjoyed raising money for Neurofibromatosis last year, and wearing the NF member shirt during my first marathon made me feel so empowered.  This time, I’d like to start fundraising farther in advance!

3. Go ALL OUT: My general race strategy is to run at a comfortable, manageable pace, preventing me from burnout and ensuring that I’ll be able to sprint at the end.  It’s been a foolproof method for me, but this year, I want to race. At least once.  I want to see what I’m really made of!  Especially since I proved I could maintain a sub-7:30 pace for at least 3 miles yesterday, there’s no reason why should be hovering around my standard 8:30 come race day.

4. Stay as injury-free as possible: Ugh.  This will be part luck, part hard work.  Considering how hard I tend to work out, I’m a pretty healthy, hardy runner.  That said, injuring my foot last year after the marathon was no fun.  I don’t want that to happen again!  I’m also prone to tendonitis (right Achilles, left Plantar Fasciitis)…which I tend to ignore.  No longer!  This year, I won’t be so flighty with the physical therapist, and I will do strengthening exercises.  Where’s the fun in running if you hurt all the time?

5. Journal:  I bought a Runner’s World running journal last year.  And then I used it twice. Journaling can be tedious, but it gives you a visual of your progress.  Writing down your stats and how you feel during/after each run is a good way to sense when you need to push yourself harder and when your body needs a break.

6. Set a PR for 10k and Half Marathon: Considering I’ve only raced one half (although it’s my favorite distance for weekly long runs!), it shouldn’t be too hard to PR there.  I remember running very conservatively during the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon.  As for 10k, I want to break 52 minutes.

7. Log at least 1,000 miles: I just about did it in 2012.

8. Get a handle on fueling: Last year was my first year running longer distances. Never before had I had to consider what my body needs to run 20 miles.  I kept a handle on my healthy diet, but I really want to optimize my nutrition this year. Very little processed food, better planning.  Running can definitely work up an appetite!

Runner or not, what are your healthy goals?


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