Monday, 4 January 2010

A change in plan

My first year of running was stellar. I ran eight races, including my first marathon, and really felt like I was kicking some ass and making great progress. This past year, my second of running, took that progress and positive attitude and pretty much shit all over it. Go me.

I ran less than 500 miles last year, 200 less than the year before. I never got around to running a second marathon and only ran one half marathon. The sole running bright spots in 2009 were my two PRs in the 5K and 7K.

This is just another instance of a repeating pattern in my life. Let’s call it the perpetual Sophomore Slump. It all comes down to that horrid word, complacency. I work hard and accomplish a lot in the first year/semester/term/etc and then I forget how much work was involved, get complacent and start hurdling down the steep slope to Failville.

Now it’s time to crawl back out of my self-made slackass hole and get serious. Let’s start by looking at my stated goal for last year. It was, and I quote, “Get faster.”

Hello vagueness.

Technically ‘get faster’ is measurable, but I don’t do well with generalities as I’m a bit of a perfectionist and will always expect more of myself. So, here are my three concrete running goals for 2010 which I will very clearly either fail or unfail by year’s end:
  1. sub-30 minute 5K
  2. sub-60 minute 10K
  3. sub-5 hour marathon
All doable goals, but they’re gonna require a lot of focus and consistency on my part.

An attempt on Goal #3 was set to happen in March at the Rome marathon, but that’s out now. My training has sucked during the holiday season and I also have a conference I need to attend that week. Thankfully I hadn’t registered for Rome yet so I’m not out any money.

So, I looked around for an alternative marathon in late spring and decided on Edinburgh on May 23. I spent a semester there as an undergraduate and love the city so it’s a great choice. It also doesn’t hurt that it was rated the fastest marathon in the UK by RW. Sweet!

I’ve already registered so there’s no backing out and no flaking on my runs. Training officially begins on February 1, so I’m spending the rest of this month trying to undo the excesses of the past three weeks and get back on track.

To add to the fun, there’s the Bath Beat on April 10. It’s a day for walking the countryside in and around Bath but you can also run it. They basically give you a map marked with the route and locations of some refreshment stops and you make your own way around. There are four distances to choose from: 12.5, 17, 21 and 26.5 miles. According to my training plan I should be running a 20-miler that weekend, so the 21 mile course is the obvious choice. However a small part of me (the crazy part) is considering the 26.5 mile course which is nuts since it’s a hilly trail run and I’m not a fan of hills. I need to sort this out soon though so I can sign up. Please, someone talk some sense into me.

All right, back to enjoying the rest of my vacation which sadly lasts only a few more days. Hope you all have a great week. Catch up with you when I can.

Later gators.


Mike Antonucci said...

Do the 21-miler and avoid the extra beating.

Good luck, and remember, running is fun!

MCM Mama said...

I am SO jealous of the Edinburgh marathon. What a lovely choice.

Good luck with balancing school and training.

The Merry said...

Plus, I understand some pretty cool people live in Edinburgh.

Theresa said...

Yes, you're coming to Edinburgh!!!! Woohoo!! I shall cheer for you!! And yell encouraging comments from the sidelines!!

Jamie said...

Good luck with the new goals!

RunnuRMark said... badass would it be to run all over Europe. I. Am. Jealous. Good luck with all of those goals. Definitely good to have some concrete numbers vs. the "get faster" idea. Genius.

BrianFlash said...

Maybe as training for Edinburgh you should run the London 'Kilomathon.' This is a 26.2K run that is before Edinburgh and would be a nice long training run prior to the real deal.

At the Marine Corps Expo, the Edinburgh guys were there promoting both races. If Comrades would have fallen thru, I would have tried for Edinburgh.

Viper said...

Agreement with Mike: 21 miles is your choice. Enjoy the vacation. Cheers!

Lily on the Road said...

OH.SO.JEALOUS!! Lucky you, and Happy New Year BTW!

All sounds GREAT.

Marcy said...

Ummmm . . . like I want to know when you're coming home again so we can run some sort of boondock marathon in the woods that we (or I should say I) live in LOL

Jess said...

Edinbugh would be awesome!! Good luck with the training for it!

Anonymous said...

Good luck meeting your goals! I think you're pretty brave to write them down in black and white for all the world to see..because we'll surely all heckle you mercilessly should you somehow fail to meet said goals. We readers are kind like that.

carpeviam said...

Fastest marathon course! Good choice. You're sure to PR now! Good luck!

SteveQ said...

Registering for a marathon is always a good way to get your butt out the door and run. Hope you enjoy your 5 hours in Edinburgh!

X-Country2 said...

Sounds like a great list of goals. Go get 'em!