Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Anti-Resolution Post

Here it is, already 24 days into January and I have yet to do a post about my goals and resolutions for 2013.  Shame on me...such a bad fitness blogger. 

But here's the truth. I've thought about all the things I want to do this year and I've tried to come up with my SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals to put out there for everybody to see. While there are definitely a few things I want to accomplish this year, if I learned anything from 2012, it's that you never know what's going to happen next. You think everything is going great and you're on your way to meeting your goals, and BAM! Injury. Stomach flu. Having a seizure. Moving to a new house. Something that forces you to change your plans.

I don't view any of my road blocks and detours in 2012 as tragic in any way, despite being frustrated with them at the time. I know that everything happens for a reason and it's all part of a larger plan that hasn't been revealed quite yet. But I'm the kind of person who stresses out and feels guilty if I don't cross something off my to-do list.

So this year there is no to-do list. 

Do I want to run a marathon? Yes, absolutely. But it might not be this year or it might not be at the Blue Ridge Marathon. Do I think it'd be cool to run/walk/bike 2,013 miles in 2013? Heck yes, I do! But I don't want to view 2013 as a bust if I only get to 1,000 milesIt's not that I fear failure, but I hate putting unnecessary pressure on myself for not meeting my goals for reasons out of my control.

I feel confident that my lack of goals is NOT going to lead to a lackluster year. It's kind of like when you go for a run without your Garmin and you end up having one of the best runs ever because you just relax and run by the time in 2012 when I set a 10 minute PR at my 3rd half marathon when I forgot my Garmin.  I don't need a mileage goal to get myself out the door. I don't run and ride and lift weights and eat healthy because I'm trying to meet a goal. I do it because I love it and it makes me feel good.

If there's any kind of "goal" I have for this year, it's this:

Give everything my best and be proud of the results. 
Spend time doing what I love. Avoid things I don't love.
Appreciate and enjoy being with the people I love.
Live day by day and adapt when necessary. 
Think of every day as a gift, because it is.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

December in Review

This is just a quick post to update the mileage totals...I hope to do a year in review post for 2012 and another post with my goals for 2013, but I'm still thinking about last year and thinking about my goals for this year.

I continued my Runner's World Holiday Run Streak for the first 16 days of December until I got sick and my 25-day running streak was broken. My running and exercise routine has been off ever since then, but I'm hoping to get back on track with marathon training starting this week (although I'm taking today off because I was feeling a little funny today...listening to my body > adhering to a strict schedule).

I got some nice new running gloves and matching ear warmer/headband for Christmas, as well as a stability ball that I'm really enjoying playing with.  Andrew and I got a nice new memory foam mattress this month (it is amazing, btw), so that was our Christmas present to each other.

thumbs up for my new gloves and headband
We traveled the weekend after Christmas and I just returned to work today after having 11 straight days was wonderful to be away from work for that long but it went by way too fast.

December's Stats:
Running miles: 66 (long runs: 13.1 and 10)
Cycling miles: 18 (all indoor trainer miles...less this month since I was doing the run streak)
Walking miles: 10

Final 2012 Stats:
Running miles: 669
Cycling miles: 961

Total Running and Cycling miles combined: 1630. 

Bethany Hall Resolution Run 5K

...aka, the shortest 5K ever.

I was excited to start 2013 off with a race and see if I had gotten any faster since my last 5K in October. I was a little worried right after I signed up for the race 3 weeks ago because I pretty much immediately got sick with a chest cold (/bronchitis?) and stayed that way for about 2 weeks. Thankfully I stopped coughing up my lungs last week and I'm feeling 98% normal now.

This was the first year for the Resolution Run, which was put on by and benefited Bethany Hall, a local residential treatment home for women recovering from substance abuse. Being its first year, I totally understand when some things might go wrong or could be improved upon for future races. Having said that, though, there were some really great things about this race, too!

The good: 
  • 10 AM race start - perfect for anybody who actually stayed up to watch the ball drop (i.e. most people except for me)
  • Very nice long sleeve technical t-shirt (especially considering the race entry fee was only $20)
  • A $15 walking option for those just wanting to walk and show their support
  • A flat and fast course on the Greenway
  • Timing services from Mountain Junkies - they are kind of awesome...results were posted online at 12:30 (2.5 hours after the race started).  
  • Door prizes: Road ID gift certificates and yummy ginger cookies (made by the ladies at Bethany Hall). 
  • HOT CHOCOLATE and yummy snacks after the race.  I was really cold after I was done running so the hot chocolate really hit the spot. 
Suggestions for the future:
  • Double check the distance (it was only 2.6 miles). This was probably just a miscommunication about where to put the turnaround point. No biggie. Everybody ran the same course so it's still fair.
  • Cups of water at the turnaround instead of bottles...though I was at least glad there was an option for water! 
  • Race porta potties.  The permanent bathrooms near the start/finish have been winterized so they are closed, but there is a single porta potty next to them which is always there.  There is another porta potty a short warm-up jog away, and there are nice bathrooms in the hospital nearby (also a short warm-up jog away). But only having a single porta potty nearby is a problem for an obsessive pre-race pee-er like me.
  • 1st/2nd/3rd place awards for each age group and/or maybe smaller age group ranges if the race field gets larger...only because I'm an age group bling chaser. I was in the 22-35 age group, and the next age group was 36-50... and only the first person in each age group got an award. Again, I understand that this was a "low overhead" race (so that the organization actually benefited from the race), so this really wasn't a big deal either. 
The race recap:
That's me zooming by in the pink hat.
I didn't know I had a calf muscle.
As usual, I started out pretty fast and had to reign myself back in during the first mile. The fast people took off and I passed a handful of people as well, and once again I found myself in the "no man's land" between the super fast people and the slower people. I was paying for my fast first mile for the rest of the race, but I was able to hold on and I was determined not to stop and walk.  I was successful but I did slow down a little bit. The course is a flat out and back...nothing too exciting, but a great place for a fast race.
@ mile 2ish
I'm pretty familiar with the course, so I knew that when my watch beeped at 2 miles that there was no way the finish was a whole mile away. Turns out, it definitely wasn't. When I had the finish line in my sight, I looked at my watch and saw, what? Oh, I'm only at 2.4 miles...

The results:
I crossed the finish line of the 2.6 mile 5K in 21:30, which was an 8:16 pace. Honestly my pace probably would have slowed a little more for the last 1/2 mile. Normally I will still claim a PR if a race distance is a tiny bit off, but this 5K was short by half a mile. That's a good 4-5 minutes for me. While I would love to say that I ran a 21:30 5K, I really just ran a 21:30 4(ish)K. Oh well!

Despite the large age group, I managed to get 2nd out of 21 in the 22-35 female age group. I was 19th out of 112 total people and I was 6th out of 74 females. I know it was a small field and a short race, but I'm very proud of that.

I really hope Bethany Hall continues to do this race because it's a great way to start the New Year. I'm definitely looking forward to doing this race again next year and hopefully there will be even more people there next year!