Getting Serious

2012 – The year running becomes a SPORT instead of a HOBBY

I enjoy running because I’m decent at it.  It gives me a reason to be outside.  It keeps me from weighing a million pounds and makes me feel good about myself.

But I don’t LOVE running anymore.  I don’t crave my daily date with the pavement like I used to.  It used to be a time to clear my head, zone out, and bask in the familiar and comfortable feeling of running.

Somewhere between running for therapy and running to race I lost that spark

It became work  and I started dreading my scheduled workouts.  I’d drag myself through weekday runs, go into survival mode for long runs, and skip out on the “evil necessities” like stretching, lifting, and cross training.

It wasn’t fun.  It kind of sucked.



And then race day would show up, and I’d get sucked in by the sport -  The competitive environment, finite finish, and motivation of inspirational athletes and published times as proof that you either ran well or you didn’t.

But at every finish line I was overcome with a little sense of regret.  What if I’d done more?  Committed a little?  Made a plan for the road leading to the day?

What if I actually TRIED?  How good could I be?

I know I won’t win any races.  I’ll probably never see the pavement in corral#1 and people won’t think of me when they think of really great runners.

But I can be better.  There’s a better runner inside me.  I just need to give her a reason to come out and play.

So here’s that reason.  Well, reasons.



  • RagnarDon’t be the slowest kid on the Ultra team.  Run each leg feeling strong and proud of my contribution to the team.  Enjoy every second and recover quick to springboard into…
  • Eugene Marathon (deemed “Huge Eug” by SweatyEmily) – I wasn’t sure I’d jump into the 26.2 deep end again after finally Sub4’ing in Santa Barbara, but I’m ready to see what a dedicated 10-week plan will translate to.  I have an estimated finish time for the sole purpose of base-lining my tempo and speed workouts, but I’m not going into the race with that as a goal.  Annnnnd even if I did I wouldn’t tell you about it ;)  (see, failed PR-blast #1)  I can promise you though, it starts with a 3
  • Sub 1:45 half (Fontana excluded)– I remember after the Columbus Half in 09 (the 1:49 PR I just broke at OJ) thinking that maybe I could run a 1:45.  And then got crazy marathoning and got slow.  Time to test out those 8:00/miles again
  • Run the SHIT out of Fontana – 1:46 last year and I was OUT.OF.SHAPE and pulled in the reigns on the final few miles.  “Cheat course” or not, I’m running in 5th gear the whole time and blowing all realistic times out of the water
  • PR the 5K (again) – My current 22:13 came the week after Long Beach.  It’s arguable that the rage-y redemption mentality I had may have overcome the lack of proper 5k training or recovery, but I’m pretty confident there’s a faster time in these ol legs
  • Become an AM workout-er – Not all the time, just be less stabby when I do meet people for pre-dawn runs


Sow how am I going to do this?  What makes me think after all this time of being a lazy half-assed runner I’m going to flip a switch into serious mode?

(don’t worry, I’m not giving up beer)

Daily Mile – I finally jumped on the DM train and am already in love with it.  Having a place to publicly track all of my workouts will be great for accountability.  And bragging, obviously.  Isn’t that a big part of it?

Related : let’s be friends.  I pinky prom not to brag too much

Mini goals – Junk runs burn me out.  Pushing a progression run or not puking during a tempo keep it fresh.  Little victories will (hopefully) keep me out of runner death camp and excited about running

Running with friends – Not only because it makes running more fun, but because my friends are freaking FAST.  If I can’t soak in some quickness through sweat osmosis hopefully running with them will at least push me to go faster

Race Weight – It’s science that moving less mass takes less effort.  I have a few lb’s I can part with and my diet could benefit from a good clean-up.  I’ll make an effort to put good things in my body while I expect it to put out good numbers on Garmin.  (disclaimer : I’m a realist. This is NOT a diet, because I don’t do well on diets. It’s a slight tidying of my current eating habits)

Not racing – This might seem dumb, but I need to focus on my goal races, not compulsively sign up for ever cheap/discounted/nearby race.  I’ll get the itch and might have to block, but it’s necessary.  Also, it’ll be nice not to go broke in 2012

Yoga – Strength and flexibility will not only help my speed and form, but also keep me off the disabled list.  Plus I love what those chaturangas do to my flabby arms


So that’s that.  Here’s to 2012!  I’ve finally recovered from my NYE hangover so I guess it’s time to get going.

Sarah OUaL


50 thoughts on “Getting Serious

  1. I know what you mean. This year I probably won’t race as much either, so that I’m not doing so many junk races but really focusing on some goals.

    I also found reducing my running from 4-5 days a week to only 3 has helped reduce burnout.

    You have some great plans in place. I hope they work for you!!


  2. I’m so afraid of yoga – but I really should suck it up and go. I think if my hips were less tight I’d be able to work a longer stride. My legs have good for something, right?

    Love your goals! I also love this: “What if I actually TRIED? How good could I be?” I, personally, think you can be kickass.


    • I love the more power-type classes – doubles as strength training and stretching! It’s a pretty selfish workout – nobody is there to talk/watch/judge others it seems, they’re just focused on their workout. I vote you do it. Take advantage of those 10-foot legs


  3. I’m pretty new to this whole running thing but now that I know about, I might have created a monster! Thanks for that! And you can count on a new friend on DM, even if your mileage/times blow me out of the water and make me look bad :)


  4. Junk miles never seem to work out for me, unless you count them as contributing to injury :-/ yoga, on the other hand, has been an absolute lifesaver for me, though i’ve yet to REALLY master a chaturanga… those are all awesome goals though!! you’re gonna end up being so speedy (as if you weren’t fast already).


  5. Go Sarah!!! Love this post… you are going to CRUSH this year!!! I can’t wait to hear about all your great accomplishments!!!! I will live vicariously thru you as I broke my femur and won’t be running much :(


  6. I LOVE the way you laid that all out. So awesome. Makes me want to re-evaluate my sporadic training! And I love the goal to be less stabby in the morning. It’s tough. I always suck up races because I hate running in the morning so I need to practice more.


  7. Alright…what’s the scoop with Daily Mile? Is it just another tool to enter miles into manually? Cuz that’s going to kill me!

    Love the goals by the way. A friend of mine is doing Eugene and is hoping to make it an epic race as well. It’s in the back of my mind. Basically if I don’t qualify for Boston at the end of this month Eugene will be the race. For all the bloggers that are heading there it sounds like another Vegas but more Epic! HA!


    • So DM is basically like FB/Twitter for workouts. It’s more accountability than my google doc that I was using and now my FB friends don’t have to hear about my runs anymore :) I vote you sign up.


  8. Thank you for this post! Last year hectic for me (got married last summer too so I know you can relate!) and it was basically the year of injury + sub-par training plans. I know I can do better than I’ve been doing, so I am being a crazy training plan maniac in 2012. LET’S DO THIS!!!!!!!


  9. Great post – seriously, I know what you mean about having to block, given that I just dropped another $90 on race registrations for another beer race series. That brings me up to 16 races on my plate for 2012. Must. Not. Register. For. Any. More. The good thing though, is there is beer at the end of Every. Single. One.


  10. These are good goals! I took a little hiatus from running and ran a whopping 1 5K with no training in December. I love the feeling of crossing the finish line, so I need to remember that. My goal for the first part of the year? A PR half marathon!


  11. Great goals and I love that you aren’t just doing a whole whack of races. not that I have the money to do that, but I like the hype of having one or two to train and look forward to :)


  12. Just added you on dailymile!

    Good luck accomplishing all your goals (I know you will!) I have a goal to “race” every month but some of those might turn into training runs. My husband and I have signed up for a few big races, namely our first marathon: Wineglass 2012!


  13. Please, please, please be my running partner in crime!! Not to sound too stalker-ish, but you are the one who convinced me I have a sub-4 in me. And I don’t mean a crawl across the line in 3:59:59, I mean race a smart race and finish in 3:5X. X=less than 5 ;).
    So, there is my plea!! If nothing else I am so super excited you and sweaty Emily will be at the “Huge Eug”!!


  14. I added you on Dailymile – feel kind of creepy since I just read your blog and don’t know you, but would love to follow your training!


  15. I get super tired of the long runs all the time but I was on the 80 year marathon training plan. I’m looking forward to shorter runs for awhile because it become no fun for me too. Love the goals. And we all know you kick ass when you put your mind to it. :-)


  16. I absolutely love this post. These are some of the best goals/resolutions I’ve read so far. I am really inspired by this, you have no idea! I had no idea what DM was and now I’m psyched, “racing weight” is an excellent way to express and look at weight loss goals without having to say you’re dieting just so people will get it, and having a focused PR. I was also starting to feel like running was a bit of a job, I feel revived. I cannot wait to follow along. Thanks for the great post… and funny pics too!


  17. Great goals Sarah! You can do it!!!

    BTW, don’t let me join you for a run, I’ll slow you down. But, I’ll go with you to yoga or barre classes any day! Let me know when you want to try out Meraki Barre and use the Groupon classes.


  18. Yeah, yoga and not racing all the time. I think these are key for me. I have fallen off the yoga wagon and am racing all my effing backdown weeks. And, then I wonder why my left hip and back are totally screwed up now.


  19. I have fallen out of love with running as well. I’m hoping the Tough Mudder training will help me out. Or, do you think I could do the no training plan for Tough Mudder? Would I actually die?


  20. I’m so excited you are running Eugene. You will love it, and you will sail to a PR. I’m afraid of jinxing myself by sharing race goals too…

    Did you know you are one of the very few humans who looks pretty in race photos? And did you also know how weird I sound in my head when I try and think the word “OUaL”?



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