2012 Goals…(I blame the taper)

I’m one week into my three-week Marathon Taper.  The mid-week 10 milers and 20 mile long runs are a distant memory, and my enforced rest has left me chomping at the bit.  Maybe it’s the fact that I just finished re-reading Chris McDougall’s excellent ‘Born to Run‘ (one of my top-five books.  Ever.)  Or perhaps it was Matt Long’s ‘The Long Run‘ (also a great read…wow!).  But I have some pretty fun goals for 2012.  Since I can’t yet share them with my family (for fear of strike) or my friends (for fear of that they’ll commit me), I thought I’d post them here.

November 2011

  • Run 3:30 in the Suntrust Richmond Marathon.  This race kicked my tail nine years ago, when I attempted to run it (too fast) a month after the Chicago Marathon (sore legs).  I paid dearly for my hubris…dropped out at mile 13, and spent nine hours in agony on the floor of my bathroom (I’ll spare the details, just google hyponatremia).  If all goes as planned this year (and with marathoning, you know that’s a big IF), I should be able to pull off a 3:40 (~8:24 pace).  I’ve actually paced my long runs at 8 minutes/mile, which would put me just under a 3:30 finish if I can avoid The Wall.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out on Nov. 12.
December 2011
  • Volunteer at a race for the first time!  I love, love, love those folks who help out at races.  I can’t wait to watch the action from the other side.
February 2012
  • First Ultra.  50K.  With a friend.  Awesome.
March 2012
  • Shamrock.  Have a good friend and running buddy who will hopefully make her marathon debut here.  Fully intend to be there to support her.
September 2012
  • Rumor has it that a Half Ironman is coming to Richmond, VA.  If I can work up the nerve to log the hours on my road bike I’m in.  Don’t get me wrong — I actually LOVE cycling, and border on an obsessed fan at times.  But since I had children I’ve lost my nerve, and get really edgy having to share the road with cars and buses.  Need to find a cycling group and squash these negative thoughts…
November 2012
  • Richmond again, but that’s just a warm up to…(drum roll please)….
  • The JFK 50 miler.
There…its in writing.  Don’t know how I’ll pull off back-to-back marathons, but I get teary every time I think of this race.  I no longer live in Washington County, MD, but its where I was born and raised.  Those trails – I’ve hiked them.  The canal – I’ve biked it.  The roads….well let’s just say there was a time when I’d fly over the hills with the invincibility of a 16 year old.  To bring it all together in one run is the ultimate dream.  Others can have their Leadville or Badwater.  JFK is it for me.
Not sure how of if any of this will go over with the four people that matter most.  But if it works out, what a fun ride it will be!

Mommy’s Time Out

Its been 10 years since my last running injury.

Now, I need to start off by saying that a large part of my last decade has been spent pregnant, nursing, sleep-deprived and totally unable unwilling to consistently run….no surprise that I haven’t pushed myself to the point of pain.

But this year, I have found my stride.  SweetBabyJ is two…and it’s been much easier to find time to train.  I’m fitter, and consequently faster, than I have ever been.  What started as a quest to reclaim my fitness and find a few minutes for myself has become an obsession…how much can I improve…seeking my potential.  I won’t know for years the outcome of my mothering style, but every day, every race I have a solid data related to my fitness.  I cling to this.

A few weeks ago (when I started writing this post), I twisted my ankle.  Nothing major, but it hurt enough to make me wince on stairs, and I had to take (gasp!) two days off from running.  In retrospect, it was the right decision, but at the time I agonized.  I had just decided to sign up for a November marathon (my first in nine years),  and I was so worried that this injury would scuttle my plans. What if it was a serious injury?  What if my missed runs impacted my ability to finish the marathon?  And on, and on, and on…(I’m a bit of a worrier)

Of course, I rested, I ran, and all was fine.  My time-out cleared my head and rested my body.  Just like with kids.  My children, precious angles that they are, have never responded well to discipline.  I’ve spent almost SIX years pulling out my hair out trying to figure out how to get my girls to LISTEN.  And no matter what method we try, we always come back to time-outs…getting the girls away from the situation so they can calm down and THINK.

Of course it doesn’t always work…and sometimes those injuries linger longer than one would wish.  But rest is a good thing…and something that in life and in motherhood, we just don’t get often enough.