Smarter & Stronger: 2016 Race Goals

standard January 8, 2016 Leave a response

Last year was the first year where I took a “season” of training and then a period of rest. And my body definitely appreciated it. Living in Texas, it is convenient to train through the fall, winter, and spring, and use the hot summer months for rest and indoor strength and cross training work. This year, I am focusing on goals within each season, so that I can be better prepared for race time, and better utilize the off-season and actually rest appropriately.

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2016 Goal #7 is to get stronger and faster. Push my body and brain to continue to improve and grow and build. And through that to cultivate gratitude that I have legs that can carry me, lungs to push me, and a mind that will get me to my goals. We aren’t guaranteed these things, especially as we age, so this year I am going work on being grateful for what I do have and not compare myself to those who are faster, or leaner, or better than me. Running is a race against my self. Year over year. No one else.

Goal: Run a sub-2:00 half.

Action: 3M is up first, but if this doesn’t happen, I will work again for this in the fall (probably Decker).

Goal: Run a marathon PR.

Action: Training for my A goal of a 4:30 race, but anything better than my 4:55 personal best is doable now.

Goal: Strength train 3 days a week during off-season.

Action: Body pump, circuit training, and yoga will be my primary avenues, and the goal is to take a nice long off-season from May through August this year.

Goal: Maintain 6 mile base // Log 2016 miles.

Action: Running every day is not something I feel my body is up for this year, but I am planning on sticking with it for fun, especially through May, to maintain an easy 6 mile base level of running fitness. 5.5 miles per day on average will end up at 2016 miles for the year.

Anyone else have big fitness goals in 2016? Make a plan, and get it done. You are stronger than you think!

ADC 2015: Decker Challenge

standard December 7, 2015 2 responses

The Decker Challenge half marathon is a horrible race. Known for crazy, extreme weather and miles and miles of hills, it is definitely a challenge for 13.1 miles. The weather was on our side this year, but that did not make the hills any better. I went into this race just for fun, cross it off the Distance Challenge list and move on. Hopefully improve on my course record from three years ago. Then a friend showed up and we ended up doing a super speedy sub-9 minute miles for the first five miles. By mile 7 I was well on target for a sub-2 hour half. At Decker. I was a little shocked at myself. But the hills kept getting worse, and I had to keep all my energy just to get up and over each one, slowing my pace down to my usual 9:30 race pace. Giving it everything I had was good enough for me at that point, knowing I would probably at least PR. And I did managed to squeak out a one second record, finishing in 2:03:59 vs. 2:04:01 at 3M back in January. One second on a flat, fast course vs. a hilly, horrible course is definitely a win in my book. Only means 3M next month is going to be a speedy one! Time to actually stick to my speed workouts over the holidays!

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ADC 2015:

  1. Run Free Texas 80’s 8k
  2. Run for the Water 10 mile

 

ADC 2015: Run for the Water

standard November 2, 2015 Leave a response

The best part about doing the Austin Distance Challenge again is seeing improvements over the years based on the same race(s). I have hardly repeated any races, and yesterday I reaped all the benefits of knowing the course ahead of me. SO. MANY. HILLS. But I felt SOO much stronger this time around. I remember the corner at mile 8 from three years ago, where I finally felt a last push of energy, the strength and mental pep talk that got me through. I hit that point this time, and I knew I had it. Goal time or not, I was running this race stronger and smarter. And it was FUN.

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This course was my first 10 mile race back in 2012. I had no idea what to expect out of my time. Then last year, I surprised myself with a super speedy Chicago 10 mile race (otherwise known as the race where my foot fell asleep). And yesterday, I barely squeaked out a minute PR on a much more hilly, wet and humid run. I held a steady 9:28 pace mile over mile and managed 8:45 for all three final miles. I also discovered that skipping down super steep hills is much easier (and way more fun) than actually running them. And even without my goal 1:30:00 finish, an 11 minute course record is definitely a feat I am proud of. Lots of progress in the past few years. Fingers crossed it means Decker will go smoothly next month!

ADC 2015:

  1. Run Free Texas 80s 8k