Now that I am feeling back to my old self and have been cleared to run I have started mapping out my 2012 race plans. While sidelined due to a silly injury that could have been prevented had I put more focus on strength training, flexibility training and taking some time off post NYC, I devoted a lot of time to goal-setting while spending countless hours getting my pool run on. The one trick that really helps me through boring pool running workouts is visualization and daydreaming and just imaging myself participating in different races. In 2011 imaging myself running through both the streets of Boston and NYC kept me focused and entertained in the pool as well as during the really tough workouts on the roads. In the past few weeks, without Boston on my radar I kept finding myself daydreaming about racing the Columbus Marathon. Again. I’ve targeted that race three times prior, and something in me wants to go back for a fourth attempt and really give it all I’ve got. I have something to prove at my hometown race, and that’s what I intend to do. I am going to focus my sub-3:20 attempt on next October in the Buckeye City!
So that left me with what I wanted to accomplish this spring. I thought about the year I had, being able to PR in the 5K, 10K and full marathon distances which I am beyond grateful for. But I truly think the little hiccup in my hammy was a sign from above that I need to cool it a bit and give my bod some R & R and not race so many marathons. I need to refocus my goals especially since now I feel that I am finally starting to understand how to race the 26.2 distance. I need to be smarter with my training and with what events I choose to partake.
So this spring I am going to focus on the fundamentals: improved strengthening and flexibility, I am going to focus on quality workouts over quantity and limiting myself to running no more that 4-5 days per week. I will take one full week off of physical activity each week. And I will get in the saddle and utilize my road bike more this year for cross training purposes.
As far as race plans go, I want to accomplish the following:
- Run one race each month of the year, some as all-out efforts, others as tempo runs or for ‘fun’ especially if it is for a good cause or charity
- Race each of the following distances: 5K, 5 mile, 10K, 10 mile, half marathon and full marathon
- Run a race in another country, but strictly for fun with no finish time goal in mind
- PR in the 13.1 distance (sub 1:33:10)
- Go sub-3:20 at the Columbus Marathon
- Run 30 miles on my 30th Birthday
The hubs and I have booked a trip to Europe in the spring and I have set my sights the Halstead & Essex Marathon, a small race (a cap of 750 runners) to do just for fun and to experience the sport from another country’s perspective. It was rated one of the best marathons by the UK version of Runner’s World and I just can’t wait to incorporate this long run into my travel plans. The hubs gets über nervous when I run in a new city by my lonesome while traveling so I thought the best way to appease both of us was to enter a race so I can get in a solid run and tour a part of the world in the best way I know how to: on my own two feet. I plan on carrying a disposable camera with me so if I see something amazing that I would like to document I will stop running and snap some photos. I don’t want to put any finish time pressure on myself for this race and I want to enjoy my entire vacation and not freak out about having to eat certain foods and staying off my feet the entire day before the race. I’m going to treat it like a long training run and just soak up the moment.
So that’s where things are so far and I’m feeling pretty good about the situation.
Any 2012 athletic endeavors on your radar?