(Blog) check – 1, 2, 3 … Is this thing on?

What can I say, I’ve been so busy not running that I haven’t had time to write!

Let me provide an update on those new year resolutions I talked about last month.

  1. Do at least 20 minutes of strength and core each day – I’ve altered this goal. Because, see below.
  2. Join the YMCA before February – YES! I am now an official member which has become so convenient because I live right in the middle between two Y locations so I feel like I have a lot of options. I’ve become a slave to the elliptical and have gone to quite a few yoga classes. Today I went to my first Pilates class and hopefully I will make my way back to the pool again. (The pool has been so crowded so I haven’t quite figured out an ideal time to workout there). So, on days when I go to the gym, I do not adhere to my “20 minutes of strength/core” rule. If I don’t go to the gym, I definitely do a workout at home for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Continue journaling – Check!
  4. Read one book a month – Shocking but (so far) I am on top of this goal. What am I reading? January’s book was Lauren Graham’s Talking as Fast as I can and currently I am reading Hidden Figures. Yes, so far I am only reading books that have been a movie or has been written by someone who stars in movies and TV … but, books are books are books, right??

So, a month-and-a-half into the year and things are going well! (Or, as well as they can be while you are sidelined from running).

New year resolutions for the injured runner

New year resolutions seem good in theory but I don’t know if I really stick to them. I usually come up with a list of a few goals at the start of each year, but I also change the goals throughout the year as the months change and the shape of my year also changes.

Here are my current goals. Note, that at this time, I know I won’t be running again for another four months or so.

  1. Do at least 20 minutes of strength and core each day — Yes, you read that correctly. Every day. I gave up on my walking goal since Seattle has gotten so freaking cold! I started this new goal on Jan. 9 and have so far stuck to it. What honestly helps me do this is following along with random YouTube videos. I just do a search for “core workouts” and do whatever comes up. If you have any specific video recommendations, please send them my way!
  2. Join the YMCA before February — Regardless of when I can run again, I need to continue working out and cross train. Swimming is my “substitute” to running. And, once I am running again, I will continue to swim as cross training days. (Something I never did regularly before and will help in my plans to never be injured from running again!)
  3. Continue journaling — I used to keep a “dear diary” type of journal. No, I did not write “dear diary” but I had been keeping journals since I was in sixth grade. I’d just write about what happened that day and my feelings. I didn’t write daily but was very consistent with it. About a year ago (so even prior to getting injured) I stopped for some reason. I guess I just got too busy. I was tired of always writing “I’m feeling tired” countless times in my journals. Now my plan is to not write the details and all my feelings of the days, but to just write one sentence (or more if I feel like it) to describe one positive thing that happened that day.
  4. Read one book a month — This is really hard for me. Bryce always jokes that I never read. But, I guess it’s true so it’s not a joke? I enjoy reading but always say I don’t have time. I’m going to make a habit of reading before bed or instead of those minutes where I am aimlessly scrolling through social media on my phone while I sit at home, I will pick up a book instead! This is honestly going to be my hardest goal of them all.

I know I’m late to the game in establishing my new year goals. But hey, better now then never, right?

Hello, 2016

Hey there, 2016.

You sure surprised us with some amazing weather and sunsets and frost/snow to kick off the year!

After a day-and-a-half of spending time with friends on Camano Island, I am tucked in the corner of a coffee shop (with Bryce sitting next to me doing work), and thinking about this brand new year.

It’s a clean slate.

I haven’t made any mistakes. I haven’t failed at anything. I haven’t hurt any feelings. I haven’t stepped on any toes. I mean, that I know of …

But, instead of thinking about what I haven’t done, let’s look at what I have planned to do.

IMG_4547

My main goals of 2016 are running-related.

  1. Break 4 hours in a marathon.
  2. Complete my first 50K.

How will I go about achieving these goals?

  1. Train my heart out for the Anchorage Marathon. This will include focused strength and core training and foam rolling every day that I run. I will cross that finish line with at least a time of 3:59:59. Joanna will be doing the race in June with me so I’m thankful to have a training partner (and racing buddy, hopefully!) along the way.
  2. Once registration opens for the Chuckanut 50K trail race, I will register. Then, I will train and race run my first 50K ever in March. Scary! Phyllis and I will be running the Orcas Island 25K (as volunteer sweepers) at the end of this month, so I hope to have a good base going and can ease right into 50K training.

Why I am scared:

  1. I don’t want to fail at breaking 4 hours — again. I have failed twice already. (Once horribly at Portland two years ago, and a second time not-so-horribly at Eugene last year. I guess Oregon state just won’t give me a break!) I’ll be having a pretty long training cycle for Anchorage (I’ll explain why in another post,) so it would be devastating to put so much time and effort and to not reach my ultimate goal.
  2. I’ve never done a 50K before. It will be the longest distance I have run on trail or road! The unknown is pretty scary. But, I’m still more scared about sub-4’ing than I am completing a 50K!!

Don’t you have any non-running related goals?

Yes, I do. Thanks for asking. Here are a few that I will share with you:

  1. Learn Ruby on Rails (type of coding). I work on the web team in my marketing department and while I do not need to know coding for my job, my boss felt it would be good for the two of us to have some background knowledge on it. And, I agree! Plus, it’s fun to learn new things and to have another skill up your sleeve, right?
  2. Get serious about my finances. I keep putting this one off. And, by no means am I neglectful with my money. But, after having four other jobs before my current one that have had 401K or 4013b options, I have little pockets of money everywhere and need to sort out what is what and combine some things or not. Basically, get organized with my finances!
  3. Read one book a month. I love reading but most people probably think that I hate it. (Rare for a writer, I know). But, the thing is, I am always so busy running or writing, that reading gets bumped down to the bottom of my list. I end up re-reading the same chapter of a book three times because I forget what is happening each time I pick the book up after a 2-3 week hiatus. This gets exhausting. So then, I move onto a new book, or rather, a new first chapter of another book. I honestly think that last year I read 1 to 2 books in their entirety … I plan to change that this year.

IMG_4548

Of course, I have a few other goals/resolutions but I don’t want to bore you with how I am going to be the ultimate version of myself this year.

What are your goals running or otherwise? What are you looking forward to this year? What challenges will you face? Whom or what will you pull strength from?

Take some time to think and reflect on some of this. I’m sure most of you already have. And, let’s all rock 2016 together.

I’m ready.

Getting ready for 2016 running and racing

I’m excited for 2016.

As I sit here warding off fears of “back pain” as I ready myself for the Seattle Half in four days, I am thinking beyond this one race.

I’m looking forward to next year.

I have one race that I’m already registered for — Ragnar Trail Cascades — and two that I am not registered for, but in my head am 99 percent in.

Ragnar will be with friends. The race got cancelled this season due to forest fires. This race is still nearly a year away and won’t be for time anyway since it’s a relay so I am focusing my attention to my “big two” for 2016.

  1. An ultra
  2. A marathon

I’ve caught the trail running bug ever since my 25K in September that went flawlessly in terms of my first long-distance trail race. I want more. So, the next step is a 50K, right? Bryce and I will most likely do the Chukanut 50K in March. Registration hasn’t opened yet, which is why I am not currently registered.

I have no time expectation for this race. I just want to finish.

And, as for the marathon. I’m pretty sure the Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon in June will be my headliner event for 2016. This will give me plenty of time to “recover” from the 50K in March. But, why Alaska?

Joanna and I wanted to do another marathon with Team In Training next year. We did our first marathon together with Team In Training in 2010 in honor and memory of our friend, Natalie. We want to do it again since it will be 10 years since Nat’s passing. It only seems fit to once again train with the team and raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Plus, Joanna and I seem to be on a streak of doing only West Cost marathons together … Alaska can be considered West Coast, yes?

Training with the team kicks off in January and we plan to go to an info session in a few weeks. I’m sure we’ll be registered for the race by the end of the year.

I have a goal time for this race. I’m chasing down a sub-4 hour time. It’s within reach, I just know it. (If I cant run 4:01:18 with a portapotty stop, I can run 3:59:59 with or without a pitstop, right??)

I’m sure I will throw in one or two half marathons into the mix at some point next year, along with shorter road races. But, one ultra and one marathon are the big ones for me.

I can not wait.

2016 is going to be a great year for racing!

Home course advantage

When you run at home, you have home court advantage.

You have your city cheering you on.

You know every turn and hill that is approaching.

You have familiarity and security at home.

The Seattle Half Marathon is my home course.

My city is filthy

 

It wasn’t my first half but I have done it six times.

I’ll be ready for whatever weather the Sunday after Thanksgiving brings. I’ve done this race in the pouring rain. I’ve done it in snow flurries. It looks like it’ll be pretty cold, so even though I hate to race in a long sleeve, a long sleeve it may have to be!

Every Seattle Marathon finishes in Memorial Stadium

 

I don’t have any time goals for this race.

I just don’t want what happened at the Portland Marathon to happen again.

I will finish with my head up and a smile on my face.

I’m going to finish the race with a positive attitude to conclude 2014 racing.

Because, after all, I’m on my home turf.

And, I’m ready to party with my lovely city of Seattle!

Portland Marathon goals

We’re four days away from race day. So, before my head gets bombarded with thoughts like, “OMG, marathon — Time to freak out!” I’m going to write the following with a clear head.

I’d like the Portland Marathon to go seamlessly for me. I’d like to walk away from the finish. Yes, actually walking away (rather than hobbling away as so it happened in Chicago last year). I’d like good weather. You know, the slightly chilly pre-start temperature that turns into a slightly warm (high 60s to low 70s) race weather. When I cross that finish line, the sun will be out but it won’t be harshly beaming down.

I’d obviously like a lot of things, but there’s a lot I cannot control.

All I can control is my mindset going into (and during) the race.

I am pretty darn confident in the training Joanna and I have put into this marathon. We started back at the end of June and ran through the “grueling Seattle heat” of summer.

So, with that being said, here are my Portland Marathon race goals:

(A) Break four hours — It can be 3:59:59, I just want to break it.

(B) Set a PR — My time to beat is 4:05:26

(C) Finish without any major IT band/knee injury

(D) Finish with a positive attitude

 

I’d be great if all four of these goals are attained Sunday.

For now, I’m thinking warm, happy thoughts and trying to avoid the pre-marathon nightmares.

Running down (a marathon of a) dream

If running has taught me anything, it has taught me to never give up.

It has taught me that no goal is too unrealistic.

And, as corny as it may sound, it has taught me that those dreams you once had can be turned into realities.

It took me three years to set a marathon PR.

Did I feel like quitting? Yes.

Did I ever feel like maybe I wasn’t cut out to be a marathoner? Heck, yes.

But, I didn’t stop trying.

I didn’t stop training.

I didn’t stop learning from the mistakes I made in the previous one, two races.

And, when I finally did achieve that PR, not only did it feel great because I reached a goal I had invested all my time and energy into, I had a HUGE PR. I beat my time by 16 minutes!

Now I have a new goal.

I want to beat 4 hours.

I will beat 4 hours.

I can’t guarantee that I’ll do it in three months at the Portland Marathon, but I am planning on it.

I’m training for it.

Four years ago I never even imagined of being a sub-4 marathoner. It seemed too far-fetched. It seemed crazy.

Now I can see it.

All because I never gave up after all those disappointing races.

For the past two weeks the weather in Seattle has been uncomfortably hot for this born-and-raised Seattleite. Every afternoon when I would arrive home from work, I really did not want to run in the heat and sun.

But, I did.

I kept (and I keep) telling myself that everything from here on out is for that sub-4 hours.

Vancouver Marathon 2012

Vancouver Marathon 2012

We all know distance runners never give up.

So, I’m going to keep running now for later.

My future self will thank me.