2013 Goals

Happy New Year, my friends! I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Celebration!

I woke up this morning excited for the new year and the opportunity to set new goals. I am proud of myself and how I blasted most of my goals for 2012 and I’m really hoping I can continue on this trajectory. Having these goals for 2012 written and publicly announced really helped me stick to them. The only one I didn’t really get to was the biking and tri stuff… I needed a computer before I needed a bike, so I’ll have to wait a bit longer for the bike. I took the tri and biking stuff off the list this year – I don’t have a reasonable expectation for getting to that this year since I’ll probably have some larger expenditures and I want to do more 50-states races this year.

For 2013, I want to work on my strength overall, my stamina at higher speeds, and swimming. Like in 2012, my plan is to check in with these goals periodically throughout the year, and adjust them as I need to do so. Here’s what I’d like to see happen this year. Nothing crazy, just incrementally better than last year…

  • Half Marathons – in 2012, I did four half marathons. I’d like to do at least 4 from the 41 states I still have left, ideally 5. I have already registered for two that count toward the 50-states goal: one in February in AL (Mercedes Marathon Half) and one in April in MI (Martian Marathon Half). I’m also registered for the second half of the San Francisco Marathon in June. I did the first half of the San Francisco Marathon in 2012, and the friend I did it with registered to do the 2nd half to get the Half it All medal and, since I absolutely loved this race last year, I registered to do the same for 2013. It doesn’t count as one of my 50-states this year, but will be a great experience and I’m looking forward to doing this race again!
  • Other Races – I’d like to continue doing the longer distance races as a whole, and I may add a couple more races this year over what I did last year (only 9 in 2012). A few friends have thrown out the idea of doing a Ragnar Relay in DC in October, so that may take place of one of the Half Marathons. The shortest race distance I did in 2012 was 8k in October, so I may try for at least one 5k to try for a new 5k PR.
  • Running Mileage – In 2012, my recorded mileage was 983 miles, far more than the 775 mile goal I set for 2012. This year, since I’m so close to 1,000 miles now, I’d really like to make that my goal for this year. I had a silent goal of 90 miles a month during 2012, and I surpassed that goal 5 months, one of which was a 100-mile month! Getting to 1,000 miles means an average of a little over 83 miles a month, which is still under that goal of 90-miles a month, so I think I should be able to do it.
  • Average Pace – in 2012 my average pace for all runs (including races of all distances and training runs) amounted to 8:59, shaving a cool 17 seconds off the 9:16 from 2011 and completely blasting the sub 9:15 goal I set for 2012 – a *huge* improvement that I am VERY proud of!! For 2013, I’d like the overall pace for the year to be around 8:55 or less.
  • Overall Duration for Running – in 2012 my overall duration per run was 45:33, most likely due to the faster pace. I would like it to be closer to one hour, though, in 2013. The situation I tend to find myself in, however, is that getting the overall mileage can sometimes depend on splitting runs, so 51:00 might be harder to get for me.
  • Swimming – In 2012, I worked on swimming a lot and got much better at it. For me, swimming improves my running, which improves my swimming, which improves my running – haha. So, the improvement I’ve seen in 2012 has been steep. I don’t expect that level to continue, but I would like to be able to swim 1600m without stopping before the close of the year and, generally speaking, improve my endurance and stamina in the pool. I’m not going to set any pace goals yet as I’m still breaking in to the sport.
  • PRs – I broke my half marathon PR significantly this year (1:51:13 in the Annapolis Half Marathon December 1, 2012). I also broke my 10k PR in the City of Oaks/Old Reliable 10k in November of 2012. In 2013, I’d like to finally break my 5k PR, my 10-mile PR and my 8k PR. I would be very delighted I could also break my 10k and half marathon PRs this year, too (batting eyelashes at the running gods).
  • Weight Training – I’ve been better about this goal, but still not good enough. I’m starting to get into the habit, but I have room for improvement. I’d like to set the goal of establishing the habit so I do it at least 3 times a week and incorporate at least the stretching and core routines I’ve been doing up to this point each time. I’m up to 3 sets of 20 for the crunches, but I’d like the rest of the core exercises, the planks, the push ups and other exercises to be at least that and to make sure that I always do the exercises in pairs so the entire body gets the strength.
  • Mentoring – mentoring got me to this point and I have many, many people to thank for that, but the best way I can think of to repay them is to mentor others. I have someone very special to me that has requested my help in getting him started with running and I plan to get him to finish his first 5k this spring – that is my biggest mentoring goal. Otherwise, I’d like to help and support as many people as I can in their quest to become healthier, recover from injury or illness, and loose weight.
  • This Blog – I got off track with this blog because of work over the summer and I can’t say that won’t happen again. I will make a concerted effort to keep up with it at least for the race reports and quarterly goal check-ins. It doesn’t help that I’m a little anal retentive when it comes to writing… I’m not going to apologize for that or try to “fix” it, so I’ll have to settle with what I think I can manage.

That should do it for 2013. Nothing crazy, but I do have a few bigger goals in there that I’d like to see happen. Good luck to all of you in 2012!

Where do I Start?

ok, I’ll admit that I swiped the title of this blog from the Reverend Horton Heat song…

I chose this title carefully, though… I’m a runner and I do it of free will – no chasing required. Some, however, do not share my opinion. Most of the time, those folks will crack a joke “yeah, well, only if somethin’s chasin’ me”. I thought the title fitting for those folks.

I think that because I used to share that opinion. It wasn’t until I was graded on it that I started running and seeing the value in it. Like coffee and dark beer, it was an acquired taste. I haven’t always been an avid runner, but I think it will stick now. I always come back to it, especially when I have stress and anxiety in my life. It has been the one thing in my life that I can honestly say has kept me sane (though, that’s pretty relative as of late). I’m always grateful when I come back to it and I miss it when I fall out of the habit.

I’m going on about an 18 month stretch now, and I must say, this is the longest it has stuck. I think I’m officially addicted now – as long as my body will let me.

Sure, I love it now, but I didn’t always… and I don’t always. There are days when I wish I didn’t have to go – followed by the sense of accomplishment and gratitude for actually making myself lace up and go for “just 3… if I can just do 3, that’s something and something’s better than nothing”.

Something is always better than nothing.

Then, there are days when I can’t wait to go. I eagerly pack my running gear only to be stopped by a lightning show or ice and am stuck on  a treadmill.

Something is still always better than nothing.

So… in essence, this blog is about my running. Why I do it. How I do it. Whether or not I do it. Successes and failures – and I’ve had plenty of both. I have lofty goals: I want to run a half marathon in each state (2 down, 48 to go). I want to Boston Qualify (and if I do, that’ll be MA). I want to run a sub-8mm 5k (did one today at 8:30 – I have my work cut out for me there). But… if you don’t have anything to work toward, that time on the treadmill is a little more frustrating.

Hope you enjoy reading… gotta run.