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.
- Ragnar –
Don’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 active.com, 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.