Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I was ruminating on the subject of running – goals, dreams, aspirations….and I woke up with a bit of a pep in my step. Then, as I set up the coffeemaker, and checked my phone, I saw Brian’s post and thought it was a great template to share my thoughts on how this year has been unfolding, running-wise.
- Races: Four 5Ks, one 10K, two Half Marathons, one Full Marathon, and my first Ultra Marathon
- Mileage: More than 420 miles
What the stats don’t show
Like Brian, I missed the mark on my big Q1 goal of a marathon PR, when I finished the 26.2 with DONNA, the only thing I felt was pride. I had went into that race with 10 weeks of training, after the hard-fought Space Coast Marathon, and still pulled off a top-3 performance, despite foreboding weather conditions. I truly enjoyed every mile of that race, and every minute of that weekend, and cannot wait to head back to Jacksonville next year and push it even further. (Side note: Fundraising ends TONIGHT for Spring 2014, please visit here if you’d like to make a donation to close out our season)
In addition to the fantastic DONNA weekend, I participated in some other awesome Florida races – including the Inaugural Minnie 10K, which I ran for fun with my pal Dani, followed up with an awesome girl’s weekend in Amelia Island, running ZOOMA FLORIDA with Rachel – which turned out to be a surprise half PR race, along with an AG win! That was pretty darn sweet, especially since I had been sick the week before! That race showed me that I was ready to push the half marathon distance – but more on that in the next section 🙂
Following that pattern of mixing fun running and racing, the other half in the first quarter was my first running of the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon, which I ran with my friend Jillian. What a blast!
On the opposite side of the spectrum were my handful of 5Ks – one was a fun race during DONNA weekend, and three were local races where I pushed my pace to two PRs. These 5Ks showed me that I am ready to fully embrace more speed work, as I went into them at what I’d call a 85-90 percent threshold, where I was definitely scared to push harder since I had other races coming up. However, after this most recent 5K, I realized that there is a certain satisfaction in going for broke and showing up at the finish line completely tanked – and now, I’m ready to throw down. Time for more pain face, more “almost vomiting” badassery. I’m scared, but ready!
In continuing with my theme of “more local, less racecation,” in 2014, I’ve got a slew of races coming up in the area, including a 5K, 10K and half marathon. After reading an article that my friend Sara posted about ditching the watch for racing, I’ve committed to two upcoming races, going watchless. It’s particularly ironic, since I am totally in love with my Garmin, and just received my Bia, but since I am in my maintenance mode right now (Chicago training becomes in June) it’s the perfect time to work on these fundamental, building exercises – and I think it’s a good way to prepare mentally.
Additionally, I am going to incorporate more core work – I really noticed the difference in how I felt running after I took my two weeks off post-DONNA and did a lot of HIIT and strength. I’ll work on that proper balance of running and non-running, despite my obvious affinity for one over the other 🙂 We get stronger each time we challenge ourselves, right? Let’s go with that 🙂
Now it’s your turn! What has your running been like this year, so far? What goals are pushing you as we enter the second quarter?