Monday, December 16, 2013

Running - Now What?

Another year of running is in the books.  Well, my training journal, at least...I don't think I've managed to make any record books with my running!  Before I get too far ahead, here's a quick summary of my running saga:

2009 - Ran my first mile on September 2nd (thank you blogger archives for that date).
2010 - Ran my first 5K in February; joined USAFit in August and ran my first half marathon in November.
2011 - Injured my ankle in January; had surgery on it in October - zero running this year.
2012 - Started from scratch with running again; worked up to running 5Ks in the spring and ran two half marathons in the fall.
2013 - Ran all year; became organizer of our running group, injured hamstring in September, still managed to run our goal race half marathon in December.

As you can see, even though I've technically been running for nearly four and a half years, I've really only had about three years of getting to run.  Some years have been super fun, some, not-so-much (2012, I'm looking at you).  This last year ended up being really fun, even with the hamstring injury that continues to irritate me both mentally and physically.  I think having other stuff to focus on (all the details that go into our long run days, plus looking out for our runners) helped lessen that running/race anxiety that plagued me throughout 2012.  So what's next?

Well, body-willing (I sure am ready for this nagging hamstring to shut up already and be completely healed), I'd like to get back to running a few miles without having to walk.  Don't get me wrong - I like doing intervals and think they are always going to be a part of my distance running (although I'd like to lengthen the running time of each interval, once I'm injury-free).  But I'd also like to do a 5K without walking.  Amy and I discussed this during the half marathon, and she's on board - we've set a goal to run the entire Girls Just Want to Have Fun 5K race, which will be on March 22nd.  So we've got three months to get there, and we've got a plan, which we'll start this Saturday.

I will also continue to train for another half marathon - this one is in Houston, on January 26th.  We are doing this race because the young girl who, along with her mother, trained with us, was not eligible to register for the BCS half marathon (their age limit is 12, and she just turned 11).  However, she IS age-eligible for the race in January, so she and her mom, along with Jeff, Amy, myself and a few others from our group will go ahead and run it.  It's a USAFit race, so I know it'll be done well.

After that race, I'm going to take it easy on the distance - I think I'll run 4 or 5 miles most Saturdays.  I like that distance - I feel like I've done something, but I still have energy left to not laze around the rest of the day.  I will run a couple of days during the week, but as I'm a social runner, I need to find some weekly running buddies - I just don't do well with getting out on my own to run by myself.

As far as future racing, unless it's a race that I know will sell out early (like the Girls run), I'm going to wait to register until close to the race day.  Why?  Well, because I'm tired of racing when it's ridiculously hot...a lot of these 5Ks don't start until 8:00 am, and when the temps are nearing 80 degrees with high humidity, it just makes for a miserable run, and the end result is that I don't feel good about myself or my running when I've endured such a race.  So I'm giving myself permission to sit out the hot races.  I'm FIFTY (have I mentioned that lately?) and I can do what I want!

I've decided to continue on with being the organizer for our running club, at least for one more season.  While I am inherently lazy at heart, and this does take a lot of work starting several months before we do our first official group run, this season went well, and since I know more of what I'm doing, I might as well keep doing it.  One cool thing is that Amy is interested in taking over the organizer role when I'm ready to step down, so as organizer-in-training, she gets to go with me to the official USAFit organizer conference in March - we'll be heading to Salt Lake City, Utah, which should be fun, inspiring, and most of all, a nice little getaway.

The tl;dr version (too long; didn't read) is:
  • Run a 5K without walking
  • Start and finish 2014 with a half marathon (USAFit in January, BCS in December)
  • Run 4 - 5 miles on Saturdays during the off season
  • Organize USAFit again and train from July - December with the group
It feels like I'm taking control of my running and I'm excited to see how the next year plays out!

28 comments:

  1. Your goals are doable. Good luck! Hope 2014 is injury free.

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  2. (((sits back, gets comfy and readies her hands to applaud yer successes)))

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  3. You know, I do remember you running that first mile in 2009, that's how long we are blogger friends. And it's been a good 4,5 years, I can say that.

    But you stole my goal for next year LOL. Now when I tell it, they think "where have I read that before". :)

    Without kidding: I like your goals, they are SMART. I won't be doing a half in 2014 (well never say never but it's not my plan at this moment). But I do want to run a 5K without walking. Because I haven't run in 2 weeks, I took a little step back when I went for a run this morning. This means I won't be running that 5K this year but definitely in January.

    I do want to run some races and since for most races you can register on race day, I will wait to the last minute too before I decide if I run it.

    Here's to another year of running virtually together and for us both to reach our goals.

    And that stupid mail should have arrived at your house by now :) Guess Santa is taking a detour before he delivers it to you.

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    1. I think there's quite a few of us with the same goal, lol! Love that we will both be trying for it, and I love being your virtual running buddy!

      I wonder if last week's ice storm messed up mail delivery? I'll have to start stalking my mailman! ;)

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    2. Yes please do stalk him because you will love what I sent you (that is, I hope you do :) )

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  4. Now I want to try running again. Please slap me.

    I think your goals are definitely achievable and smart. I bet having a year under your belt as organizer will make this year even more fun and creative since there won't be so many unknowns.

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    1. I will slap you - you don't like it!!! ;)

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  5. I think you'll find that the hamstring is going to get better, faster once you're past that 1/2 in January and aren't putting in as many miles. I'm telling you 6 months. I know I told you that before but I swear when they estimate recovery times they MUST be talking about 20 year olds!

    I'm excited for you to have another year of good running, even though "good" can mean different things depending on... well, you know. With running you have to learn to go with the flow!

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    1. I suspect you are correct when it comes to age vs recovery times, bah!

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  6. I like your goals. They are achievable and enjoyable, but still have that element of making you stretch for them.

    Very cool that Amy is interested in being coordinator, and that you guys will be able to get away together!

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    1. Yes, we are really looking forward to our vacation!

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  7. I can so relate to the injury frustration! It's so cool that you keep going whenever you can, but are not stupid about making injuries worse--something I"m really prone to doing.

    In fact, I seem to have some sort of glute/hamstring thing going on now that isn't healing on its own, and probably need to see some sort of medical professional, if only so that someone with the proper letters after their name will tell me to stop being a fool and running anyway and making it worse!

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    1. Oh dear...the glute/hamstring is connected (both literally and figuratively) - I'm sorry you're having this pain. I suppose it might be worth it for you to go to a real doctor (instead of Dr. Google) to get the fear of god put into you about making it so much worse that you won't be able to do anything for eons, but honestly, you really need to rest it. PT is nice and made me feel better...another option for you?

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  8. Hi, my running career has been similar to yours ( minus the injuries). The past few years I had only run the 5K's cause that's all I had the confidence to do. This year I have stepped out of my comfort zone and ran distance up to 13.1! Best of luck to you with your running in 2014!

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    1. Thanks, and congrats on your half marathon! Good job!!!

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  9. I love your goals Shelley! I don't have much desire to run farther than a 5k, but then I think when I lose these next 20 pounds, maybe I will want to?

    Happy Monday!

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    1. You might want to, or you might want to keep it to 5Ks - whatever makes you happy! :)

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  10. Great goals! Here's hoping your hamstring is completely healed quickly.

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    1. Thanks, Janice - here's hoping, indeed. :)

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  11. I have the same goal, run a 5k without walking! I know I can do it, I've done it before! You can do it!

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  12. Good goals! I'm curious about your training plan for running an entire 5k. That got a lot easier for me once I started really upping my distance, so doing that while coming off of 2 half-marathons should help you with that goal a lot!

    I'm glad this year was a good one for running, and I hope 2014 is even better! :)

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  13. Haha, get that 2014 half out of the way in January so it doesn't hang over your head the rest of the year!

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  14. I'm excited for you! I admire anyone with the discipline to run longer distances and the wisdom to wait out an injury!

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  15. I hear you...i'ts really hard to train for longer distances in the heat. Houston is a GREAT race! Like you said, very well put together, organized, and spectators are in abundance! Can't wait to hear your thoughts after the race. Great goals for 2014! :0)

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  16. I run but only when Bella pulls me by the leash.
    And I am very boney so I fear I will fall and be a vegetable.

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  17. I'm looking forward to cheering you on all the way!!!!!

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