This year has been full of ups and down, but mostly ups! Since I’m still rehabbing my knee and can’t run as much I’ve decided planning for races I can’t even run yet is a better idea.
Run a 1:30 or less half marathon
When I ran my first half last spring I had no real expectations, all I knew was that I wanted to run sub 1:45. I surprised myself by finishing in 1:34! I probably could have gone faster but I was holding back a little bit because I had no idea what running 13.1 miles would be like (and that beer I drank at mile 9 slowed me down for a little bit with all the carbonation). I really want to run more halfs next year. I loved the combination of distance and speed required to run a good race so I’m hoping next year I can PR and run 1:30 or less.
Finish marathon training as a healthy runner
Last season training started out great, but as the miles increased and school began I definitely got thrown out of my rythym. This caused me to bunch long milage together, skip workouts, and try to play catch up. At the time I was so focused on getting the miles in. Instead I should have been focused on staying healthy. With bad training habits, less sleep, and more stress my body started to revolt. I ended up with some pretty bad Patellofemoral Pain (Runner’s Knee) that I still haven’t gotten rid of. My knee and I have been in quite the on again, off again relationship for the past few months. The good news is that it’s getting better, and I really like the new PT I’m working with. Next year I want to run another marathon, but I want to do it smarter. I know if I would have been healthier I could have run a much better race.
Run some trail races
At the end of this year I really started to fall in love with trail running. I ran cross country in high school but never really thought of it as trail running, however this year I started running more trails in hopes that the surface change would help my knee pain. It didn’t really make much of a difference but it did spark something inside of me and I found myself being drawn into the woods more often. I like the lack of traffic, people, and distractions. It’s a different experience feeling totally focused in on what you’re doing step by step. When running the trails you’re almost laser focused in on each step, it’s not as easy to go into autopilot. It’s kind of counter intuitive but it feels more meditative than road running to me. I don’t know if it has something to do with being more present and in the moment, but I find it easier to leave life’s distractions behind, and just focus on not falling flat on my face. I can’t wait to take more time to run trails next spring, especially because we just got state park license plates to entry to all NH state parks is free!
If I’m healthy run a 50K by the end of the year
I’m really just throwing this out there but I want to run a 50K. I know it sounds cray with how badly I crashed and burned on my marathon this year, but I’ve heard from others it’s a very different kind of challenge and its just something that’s been lurking in the back of my head for a while now. I know this goal will only happen if I can stay healthy next year so I’m just gonna wait it out and see how things go. If it happens in 2015 that’s awesome, if not there’s always next year!